Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Thanksgiving Tradition

Hello friends! Today Jenniemarie, who blogs at Another Housewife, is guest posting for me as part of a Thanksgiving Traditions blog swap dreamed up by Jana at Jana Says. You can find my post on Thanksgiving Traditions here. I'll be back tomorrow with Thursday Thoughts. 
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Hello! My name is Jenniemarie, creator of Another Housewife. On any given day you will find stories about my adventures as a housewife. My ultimate goal is to create a legacy one memory at a time. Today I will be sharing with you our Thanksgiving tradition.
Every Thanksgiving my dad, a single father of five, would cook this enormous feast. While every other family I later learned had turkey, we ate ham. I suspect it may be more lack of skill rather than the taste of ham trumping that of a bird. No one said a word because a.) the ham was delicious and b.) we didn’t know any different.

It was the only time of year we all sat around our fancy dinner table normally used as a command center the other 364 days of the year. You know the kind of table with everything you could imagine five motherless kids could possibly place on (backpacks, school projects, books, laundry, sporting equipment, arts and crafts projects, etc.)

My dad would place dinner on the table, with the ham at carving distance from him. Then he would pray. My dad, the alcoholic who never went to church, prayed over our family. We then went around the table and said what we are thankful for, always ending with my dad. He would pour out his heart with thanksgiving for us kids. He made sure we knew he was proud of us and despite our situation, we were truly loved.

Throughout the years because of the death of my dad the logistics of Thanksgiving have changed. Where we meet and what we eat have had some interesting twist and turns. No matter the circumstance, one thing remains the same, we always go around the room and verbally express what we are thankful for.

Cynics will argue that we should be thankful for our blessing more than once a year. I wholeheartedly agree. I make every effort to raise our kids with a grateful, servants heart all year-long. However, I say to you, "Shame on you for criticizing what may be the only time of year families are brought together to give thanks?"

If it wasn’t for our Thanksgiving tradition, I may have never heard my daddy pray. I may have never heard him, soberly, share his blessings. More importantly I may not have learned how blessed we were despite our situation. 

Looking back, the significance of our traditions as a child has had huge impact on the person I have become today. It saddens me that Thanksgiving is becoming a stepping stone to the "give-me" month December has morphed into. Don’t even get me started on Christmas. The demise of the Spirit is being marred by the greedy, self centeredness of our entitled culture but I digress.

In our home Thanksgiving is a celebration of a years worth of blessings. It is a day when believers and non-believers come together in fellowship, enjoy a feast and continue a tradition of giving thanks in order to create a legacy for the next generation. That my friends is worth being celebrated, even if only once a year!

What are your Thanksgiving traditions?

Do you have turkey or ham?
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15 comments:

  1. Awe what a great post. Sometimes it's the little things that make the huge difference in our lives.. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. We have both. My daughter will only eat the ham. I don't know how she's mine sometimes.

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    1. Wow both! Mr. C makes a special "roast" in the Crock Pot because he not so secretly doesn't like turkey.

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  3. This is fantastic, and kudos to your dad for raising five kids on his own! Sounds like he instilled a great tradition and memories in you.

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    1. I didn't appreciate what a task raising kids. let alone five, as a single parent was until I had my own and I have Mr. C!

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  4. WHat a great post! I eat ham for Thanksgiving (my Dad tried to make Turkey when I was 12 and haven't eaten it since). Those memories and traditions are what I remember the most every year and I get to see more of my extended family.

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    1. Our first turkey was store bought with rest of the meal from the grocery store!

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  5. This is a beautiful post! We have turkey (I seriously dislike ham) and while my dad was alive we always had turkey for Christmas as well. That's a lot of turkey in a month's time.

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    1. I make an extra turkey for leftovers so by Christmas we are ready for our traditional Mexican meal!

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  6. wow this is amazing and so wonderful to carry on the tradition!

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  7. Thank you for sharing your story, Jenniemarie. Beautiful. I am so with you. Although the Hubs and I alternate whose family we spend Thanksgiving with, sometimes its the only day of the year everyone is ALL together. Sharing our blessings, and the most important is my opinion - passing these traditions of family and thnakfulness onto the next generation. Your Dad was a great man for that! Awesome story!

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    1. Thank you so much. We used to go to his side of family in the morning and then my side in the evening. We decided it was time to start creating our own family traditions for the kids so we began hosting both sides of the family at once. Sometimes there are more than 30 people and sometimes it is only us but the traditions lives on!

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  8. What a cute story! :) We do turkey on Thanksgiving and ham on Christmas. We're boring. :P

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