Thankful for Traditions

by on November 27, 2010

Thankful for Traditions!

Joe and Cole used to prepare the Thanksgiving meal every year. Cole started learning to stuff a turkey when he was three, while being tutored in the finer points of gravy making. I was in charge of setting the table, making sure we had a dish with a lid for each dish, and persuading Joe to finally declare the meal ready, so we could all sit down and eat. We celebrate thanksgiving with a high-school buddy of Joe’s, his wife and my good friend, and their two children. We host Thanksgiving, they host Christmas Eve. Tradition!

Thanksgiving: You’ve Got A Friend from Katybeth on Vimeo.

For us, Thanksgiving is about preparing the meal together, and enjoying it at home with family, good friends and a house full of campers. When Joe died, I wondered how we would manage Thanksgiving. I don’t cook. Cole started a list. I suggested we go out for Thanksgiving. A lovely restaurant; he could have foie de gras or escargot. Cole wondered if I knew where his dad’s second stuffing recipe was; I shared with him all the lovely Thanksgiving invitations that had come our way; he wondered about Gorgonzola for the Brussels sprouts. I asked for divine intervention; “God,” I said, “people are always saying you don’t give them more than they can handle. Prove it. I don’t know nothing about cooking a turkey or making gravy. God, I don’t cook.”

God works in mysterious ways; Joe’s buddy offered to bring his son, and come to our house and make Thanksgiving dinner with Cole. This could work. Joe’s buddies wife and my good friend and their daughter would show up for dinner later in the day, and I would take care of our campers, shop, set the table, and make sure we had dishes with lids.

It worked last year, and it worked even better this year. The guys made stuffing and made sure the bird was tucked into the oven on time. All hands were on deck to peel potatoes. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law the gourmands stopped by to bring us a fabulous lemon meringue tart and enjoy a Thanksgiving martini toast. We spread a few of Joe’s cremation ashes on the front lawn TRADITION!

When the agreed-upon time arrived, our “guests”  arrived, intuitively bringing exactly what I had forgotten to buy at the grocery store. We all helped put the finishing touches on dinner, sat down, toasted Joe, each other, and said my favorite prayer: “Thank you.”

Dinner took all day to prepare and less than an hour to eat, but the process was joyful, and the friendship and love were priceless.

In time, our traditions will branch out, while our hearts stay firmly rooted to family, friends, and memories. You know, the stuffing that really matters.

Share your family traditions and how they have branched out over time! Glad you were in my Odd neighborhood. Feel free to drop by any time. Odd Loves Company and odd loves you and you and you!! I would love to hear from you in the comment section of this blog, or on Facebook or Twitter!




The stuffing that really matters…is what the holiday is all about!

I have 4 siblings and we take turns hosting Thanksgiving each year. Everyone brings a traditional dish and the host fixes the bird. We eat on the early side and spend the rest of napping, playing board games or outside and of-course football. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.

Katybeth Jensen

Windy, sounds like you enjoy Thanksgiving to its fullest.

Thanks for dropping by Odd!


Loved this post. The video was great. Our traditions have changed over the years. Our children now have children of their own and live more than a cars drive away. We usually find away to get together during the season but not always on the holiday.
Miles and I go out for Thanksgiving brunch. We are graciously invited to our friends homes but enjoy the simplicity and elegance of sharing Thanksgiving together in a restaurant. Sometimes we go to the movie after brunch or for a drive. Much different from the crazy Thanksgivings that we use to love but we have found a different way of celebrating together that works well for us.

May your season be bright, cheery and blessed with good humor and fun!


Katybeth Jensen

Sounds perfect; love how you have moved into celebrating the holiday in a way that suits you and yours.

Thanks for dropping by Odd!


The video is awesome. Such a great way to capture the day.
We have a traditional left-over supper. We gather with friends the Saturday after Thanksgiving and bring our left-overs. We drink a lot and eat a lot (one more time).

Katybeth Jensen

A left-over supper. Sounds super. I wish I could stop by and contribute-I have more than a few left-overs.

Thanks for dropping by Odd!


What a fine looking Turkey! Loved the use of technology.


Katybeth Jensen

You-tube to the rescue…helping to tie up the turkey. It was a handsome bird…I have to agree.

Thanks for dropping by Odd!


A little help from our friends….sounds like a great day. I love how you took the time to take pictures and turn them into something so meaningful. Your pictures always seem to capture the occasion so beautifully.

Hope your holiday season is filled with the light!

Katybeth Jensen

Everyone knows not to carve or eat until after I have taken my pictures. Capturing the moment means instilling fear early on 😀
Thanks for dropping by Odd!


David Tucci is a gem. You all are blessed. And I am sure that Joe is looking down, feeling at peace. xo
Cynthia recently posted…Quick and Easy Home Made Bath SaltsMy Profile

Katybeth Jensen

I think you are right!


Cole just has his stuff together.
omawarisan recently posted…Cranberry Sauce- A Recipe For DisasterMy Profile

Katybeth Jensen little Cole Turkey certainly did this Thanksgiving.


Aren’t good friends wonderful? I’m so glad Cole is learning to cook…his future spouse will appreciate that!


P.S. I posted my stuffing recipe a few days ago…it’s easy…I’m sure you could handle it!
writerwoman61 recently posted…Simple Things I Am Thankful For…My Profile

Katybeth Jensen

Friends are wonderful. I’m glad Cole is learning to cook so he can make me marvelous meals in my old age! To heck with the spouse ♥.

The stuffing recipe looks great—there is always next year.
Thanks for dropping by Odd.

Marcie Jensen

Looked like a party to me! Good friends can get you through just about anything. I’m so thankful you and Cole have so many of them.

Katybeth Jensen

Missed you DM.

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