As a little girl, nothing excited me more than Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.
Without a doubt, those were the three biggest holidays our family celebrated and occasions I remember the most.
Each holiday was marked with reverence and given it’s due.
There was never a question where our family would celebrate. It was better than any mall, shopping center, or money-making venue. Better than a Black Friday sale that boasted once-in-a-lifetime bargains, and better than a getaway to the tropics or anyplace I could imagine.
It was Nana’s house—that beautiful, grand home built entirely of native stone and nestled within the old Ozark hills overlooking Route 66.
My grandmother’s home wasn’t especially fancy, but it was indeed unique. The massive two-story structure boasted comfy, cozy niches, built-in bookcases, and angled closets with mysterious passageways.
While I loved Nana’s home, I adored my Nana. She was gentle and sweet, and she had a servant’s heart.
I was thankful we lived only 18 miles away. It meant we saw her often.
Even so, our visits were always fun and Thanksgiving kick-started a new season of excitement.
“Will you make your creamed spinach, Nana?” I’d ask.
I knew she would, but I wanted that verbal reassurance. Nana’s trademark German recipe was my favorite part of the meal. With it’s rich, bacony taste and smooth, creamy texture, that spinach drew me a little closer to heaven. It made me think of God and all things good. That’s how scrumptious it was.
Nana would tweak my nose and laugh and then say something in German.
Of course, there was the traditional turkey, too. The gigantic bird that slow-cooked in the roaster all night long. The one Nana basted the old-fashioned way—every two hours.
Add to that: made-from-scratch dressing, candied yams, fresh cranberries, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, and the usual assortment of homemade pumpkin, pecan, and apple pies.
Conversation was fun and lively, and Thanksgiving dinner was an experience. A time of unity, bonding, and thankfulness. Sometimes, we’d linger at the table for hours.
Afterward, my sister and I would scamper away to play with our cousins. Later we might join Nana and the adults back at the table for a game of Monopoly and snacks.
We’d watch old movies and Christmas shows, and when it grew late, we’d slip into our footed PJs and cuddle with Nana on the couch.
Nana would stroke her grandchildren’s heads and take turns with kisses.
“Did you like today?”
Really? Didn’t she know?
“Yes, Nana. I loved today! This was the best Thanksgiving ever!”
And it was.
Until the next year. When I said the same thing—again.
I pray, dear friends, that your Thanksgiving this year is the best one ever.
I’m taking a blog break on Friday, but please join me again Monday.
Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE here or over in the sidebar for updates
sent directly to your inbox. I’d be delighted to connect with you and
I won’t divulge your e-mail…unless someone bribes me with chocolate. =)
(If you liked this post, you might enjoy The Letters She Kept. )
Do you have a favorite memory from childhood?
What are your plans for Thanksgiving?