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For a girl who grew up in a large Irish clan full of loving loudmouths, Thanksgiving Day kicks off a time of family, food, fellowship, and…football, of course. 'Tis the season of goodwill and, for our family, the holiday table has always been ground zero for experiencing the joy of the season. Each year, beginning in mid November, the table expanders were pulled from the closet to accommodate the extra bodies that inevitably joined our gatherings. Stampedes into the living room to secure the best seat for the game followed the hours of overeating, conversation and laughter.
Come to think of it, that describes my memories of pretty much any given fall or winter Sunday when I was a girl.
With eight kids, our table was large even before the expanders were inserted. On normal days, that scared stretch of wood sat ten and there was rarely an open seat. One side didn’t actually have chairs. Instead, there was an oversized, hard wooden bench that stretched the full length of the table. Thank God we were a skinny bunch, since most of the time, those relegated to the bench shared it with four other bottoms.
The fact is, the only thing that distinguished Thanksgiving and Christmas from just about every other weekend at our table was the expanded menu. Christmas meant roast beef, one of Dad’s specialties and a personal favorite of mine, while Mom oversaw Thanksgiving and the dry bird. She made a mean cherry pie but, unfortunately, like me, she wasn’t much of a cook. (Hence the skinny butts)
Many years have passed since our clan gathered around that scarred table, but the raucous and wonderful memories we made there never fade—like the yearly battle over the wishbone, or the year dad choked out a laugh at something my brother said, and spittled dessert over all of us. We have our own tables now in Boston, Orlando, Tampa, Dallas, Denver, and Phoenix. Mom, Dad, and a beloved brother share a table in Heaven these days, and thousands of miles separate the rest of us, but the love and laughter we found at that table draw us back together often.
So, as we enter this joyous season and you and yours gather around your own holiday tables, here is my wish for you. May your Turkey be juicy, your favorite team victorious, and your bottom skinny.
When Mac isn’t gathering for the holidays with family and friends, she spends her time weaving HEAs for her characters, like Gabe and Jane, the hero and heroine of A CASE FOR CALAMITY, a Christmas novella via
I don't care much about the victorious team, but I'd take a second helping of the skinny bottom wish! Sounds like you had quite the family gatherings, Mac. Excellent memories!
LOL I'm clinging to that skinny bottom wish myself these days. And yeah, my family rocks.
Mac, only five kids in my family, but similar sentiments about the Lonnnngggg table groaning with food. Traditional Norwegians set up two tables, if you can imagine that. One for the meal; one for the dessert. My mother was a good cook helped in the kitchen by my sister and me. No skinny bottoms in sight. To this day, it's hard for me to lay out a special meal without at least five elements: meat, starch, salad, vegetable, bread plus relishes...an extravagant dessert to follow. 'Tis the season!
Well, I had one out of three this Thanksgiving. My youngest, Mike, grilled one turkey and deep fried another. Both were very juicy. My favorite team didn't win. And, in the name of all that's holy, WHAT is a skinny butt??? I lost mine with baby number one too many years ago to count.
What a lovely post, Mac. You have such great memories of your family.
Such lovely memories, Mac. Like Vonnie, I'm asking where is the skinny butt? Mine's been gone too many years ago to remember. When Mom & Dad (both sides) were alive, we always shared the holidays with them. Now it's our immediate family that grew by two (the twins) last month.
I love it, Rolynn. Before we moved west from Boston, hubs and I worked for some Italian friends who ran a catering business. The seven course meals were incredible and you should have seen the dessert tables they spread out. OMG so decadent! And part of the reason my skinny bottom isn't so skinny anymore. :-)
LMAO V. Like you, I only had one out of three this Thanksgiving. My team won. Yay! But hubs and I spent the weekend at our compound with no one else around, so our bird was a 1.45 lb breast cooked on the grill, and skinny isn't exactly in my vocabulary anymore...but a girl can still wish. :-)
We usually do just the immediate family now, Dianne, although one of my sibs and family occasionally show up. And twins. Whoot whoot. That's definitely something to be thankful for.
Sweet memories, Mac!
Ah yes. Food and family. Nothing better. Like the rest, I got two out of three as well. A skinny butt has eluded me since forever. Our holidays are happily hectic with four kids and four grandkids nearby and eager to be together.
I was incredibly lucky to grow up knowing I was loved, Brenda. My parents made sure all of us knew it every day. They taught us to respect one another and their familial lessons have carried us all through to adulthood. My sibs and I love getting together as often as possible, and do. We know how lucky we are to still have that special connection our parents gave us.
That's awesome, Margo. I know firsthand that hectic only adds to the joy. ;-)
Wonderful memories, Mac! I had a super small family and always yearned (at least some!) to be part of a big, boisterous bunch like that. Wishing you and yours a blessed and joyous season. :-)
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