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Aaahhh, Thanksgiving…my favorite holiday without a doubt. As much as I love Christmas (and I love it bunches and bunches), Thanksgiving wins out as my very favorite holiday because it lacks the commercialism associated with Christmas. Stores do try to sell you fake turkeys and pilgrims of all kinds but besides that there’s not much more that they can do except sell you groceries (if there is, they haven’t thought of it yet!). Thanksgiving is for thanking God for His bountiful blessings and gathering with family and friends to enjoy a meal together.

As soon as payday rolls around, we’re going to start looking for a turkey. We’ve got lots of children, so we need (want) a big one. I’m talking BIG, 24-26 pounds big. Good news is, you get more bang for your buck once your turkey is over 12 pounds. Over that, you’re pretty much paying for the turkey rather than the bones. And there’s so much you can do with turkey. Our favorites are turkey pot pie, creamed turkey, turkey sandwiches and turkey Tetrazzini. I never really cared for turkey soup though I know lots of folks who love it.

I start cooking a day or two before Thanksgiving. It’s just easier that way. On the morning of, we get up and I make cranberry walnut pie and little sausages (that’s why my children call ’em) and we watch the parade together. You never watched the parade? Pity. Yes, there’s too many songs, too much talking, and not enough of the floats, marching bands and balloons but it’s tradition! So tradition wins out and we watch it over breakfast and the little ones keep on watching it as I head back to the kitchen to cook And they always enjoy it. 🙂

I like to make several different side dishes. Always dressing (we’re Southerners so it’s dressing, not stuffing), mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, a relish tray, rolls and gravy. There’s always a couple of pies or three. Besides that, it depends on money, time and what we want. There might be corn in some form on the table (corn pudding, jalapeno corn pudding, corn on the cob), maybe green bean casserole (which, though I love green beans, I don’t care for the casserole but the others like it), maybe a salad, ambrosia, macaroni and cheese, or some other vegetable dependent upon what sounds good and what we can do. It sounds like a lot (though I never make everything I’ve mentioned) but the meal and leftovers, including left over turkey and the possibilities it presents, takes care of our family for days and days. Sort of a mega-Thanksgiving cooking spree.

Yes, I love Thanksgiving but I love my God and my family more. Far more than the food or the parade, praising Him and being with them is what makes Thanksgiving special. I’m looking forward to it.

What special traditions or foods does your family enjoy on Thanksgiving?