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What did you / do you do for your Thanksgiving traditions?  Do you always have dinner at the same place/house?  Do you have to have a special family recipe dish every year?  Do you brave the crowds for Black Friday shopping?  Do you not celebrate at all?  I want to hear all the crazy, not crazy, normal, not normal or whatever type of traditions you have, whether they are new or old 🙂

I have a huge family, and Thanksgiving was always such a big deal every year.  As I get older, and our families branch off into families of their own, we don’t go as big.  I know I know, it is what you make it.  I really do miss seeing the whole family, but hey, I know how hectic it can get.  Which family do I eat with this year?  Do I go to more than one house? 3, or dare I say it, even FOUR?!  (By the way, love that movie Four Christmases, I enjoy Vince Vaughn humor haha).  Well our dilemma is will Ray’s mom have to work on Thanksgiving? (Yes, stores are now OPEN, what a joke!).  If not, will we pick my grandma up, bring her here have dinner with Ray’s family, and bring her back home?  Or if Ray’s mom DOES work, will we do Thanksgiving on a different day of the week with his family (GASP, I know, how un-traditional! but we did it the Sunday before in 2013) and then take Mommom to Villari’s like we did last year? (By the way the food was DELICIOUS, and no clean up involved).  Pics below – the three of us, including the turkey and ham dinners.


turkey dinner  ham dinner

When I was REALLY little, talking toddler years, we had Thanksgiving at my Mommom and Poppop’s house pretty much every year in Blackwood, NJ.  One year we went to my Uncle Tom and Aunt Cynthia’s house in Cleveland (Shaker Heights), OH and had dinner with all my cousins and some of their other family/friends in the area.  When I turned 14 I inherited a new family, around when my mom got remarried to Steve, and we went to a resort every other year with his whole family.  It was always so much fun with all my cousins and never ending food.  Then there was shopping, oh the shopping!  At that age, I could handle it.  Not quite anymore, Amazon is my best friend these days hehe.  My mom would book the hotels for all of my step dad’s family and we usually stayed Thursday – Sunday.  It was the perfect getaway.  My cousins and I loved to roam around the hotel, entertain ourselves, befriend the hotel help (yes, we even named one of them Lorenzo, no that was not his real name).  Someone had a guitar, I played the few chords I knew and made up songs. Oh childhood with less responsibility and less things to worry about haha.  Below are some pictures to reminisce.  The first couple are from 2007, the last few are from 1998 (sorry for the flash spots, I didn’t have time to scan).

Thanksgiving 2007

From the left front row – Mom, Steve, Harriet (Granny), Pam, Nancy, Randi, Hope, Irv, Lori, Debbie, Me. Back row – David, Sandy, Stan (Pop), Mitchell, Bret, Alan G, Jared, Michael, Alan K

Thanksgiving 2007

Me, Jared, Nancy, Pam massage train!


Thanksgiving 98

David, Lori, Jared, Me, Brett, Mitchell – cousins!

Thanksgiving 98

Front row: Jared, Michael, David. Back Row: Brett, Lori, Stan (Pop), Mitchell

Thanksgiving 98

Jared, Alan G, Pam

Thanksgiving 98

Brett, Nancy, Lori

Let me hear your plans, I love to read all your comments, they make me feel special 🙂