I have always loved Thanksgiving. The food, the parade and time spent with family really made this holiday become special to me. I have some great Thanksgiving memories throughout the years and I thought since it’s tomorrow I would share my favorite ones with you guys.
The one where I became obsessed with the parade. I was about 7 or 8 when I discovered how much I loved watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade. My parents always put it on every year while they were preparing Thanksgiving meal items. My mom would wake me up right before it started and I would lay on the floor with my pillow and stare wildly at the tv. Our family dog-a cocker spaniel named Apollo-would sit on the floor with me. My mom would warm up her famous pumpkin bread for breakfast which is still a favorite of mine to this day. I loved watching the Radio City Rockettes! Being a dancer I looked forward to their kick lines and costumes each year. They were flawless! But my favorite part of the Thanksgiving Day Parade was always when Santa arrived. To me, it marked the beginning of the Christmas season. It filled my little heart with joy knowing that once he arrived my parents would be willing to decorate the house and bring out the tree.
The one where I stood outside my hotel room, sick as a dog, and watched the Parade live. I was a junior in high school when my parents took my brother and I to New York City. We were there for one reason only, to watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade live. I had been eager and waiting for this trip since I was old enough to know what the parade was. When we landed in NYC it was an unbearable 20 degrees. Immediately my immune system decided this weather was NOT for me! Our first night in NYC and I was stuck laying in bed drugged up on Nyquil and watching whatever was on TV. My family went to see the parade floats get blown up in the cold. I sat this one out. NYC 1 Shannon 0. The next morning we grabbed a quick breakfast at the cafe downstairs and I was feeling slightly better. Since the parade was scheduled to pass right by our hotel we decided to hang out inside where it was warm until the parade got close. It was about 18 degrees that day and still too cold for my liking. Once the parade got close I headed downstairs with my family…film camera in hand. (At the time, I did not own a digital camera and was strictly shooting black and white film.) I opted to stay close to the hotel while my parents walked further down the street to see the parade. I watched in awe as Miss USA passed by on the famous Turkey float, waving to those of us brave enough to stand the cold. It was awesome! However shortly after I dragged myself back into my hotel room to warm up under the covers and continue to drug myself with cold medicine. NYC 2 Shannon 0.
The one where we woke up at 3am the next day to Black Friday shop…like a bunch of crazies. My family never did Black Friday shopping ever-growing up yet during Thanksgiving 2010, my aunt got this crazy idea to do it. My mom was on board and so was I. I had been dying to get a crock pot and we found an ad for one on sale during Black Friday. Operation Bargain Black Friday Crock Pot began! We mapped out all the sales and what items we wanted then split to get some sort of rest. My alarm went off at 3am and I was not a happy camper. I sucked it up to meet my aunt and cousin with my mom and brother. We wait outside a JCPenny’s for my Crock Pot and needless to say I got it! I still have that Crock Pot to this day-it’s one of my favorite kitchen items!
The one where my parents brought a turkey that barely fit in our oven. It was 2011 when Judd and I spent our first Thanksgiving together and sadly away from our families. I hadn’t missed a Thanksgiving dinner ever but this was going to be a first. Judd was working at the hospital then and was scheduled to work that evening. My family decided to bring Thanksgiving dinner to us. My parents drove up the night before with my brother and our family golden, Connor. My mom brought everything we needed for a successful dinner: stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and of course the turkey itself. When they arrived in town, Connor had a bout of stomach problems. My dad was up with him every hour that night to let him outside. The next morning we put the parade on and my brother and I helped my mom in the kitchen prepping the turkey to cook. We lived in a pretty spacious apartment at the time. It was 2 beds and 2 baths but the kitchen was the smallest kitchen I had ever seen. Connor kept trying to get into the kitchen to get to the counter where the turkey was sitting. We had to block him out with a cooler! Once the turkey was ready to go in my mom noticed that our oven was on the small side. Somehow we managed to get the bird in with no issues but it was a process! Dinner turned out to be delicious and early enough so that Judd could leave for work.
This year will be a first for us. We are hosting our first Thanksgiving holiday with both of our families at our home. Instead of turkey we are making something much easier, Italian! I am looking forward to seeing my parents, brother and Judd’s parents this weekend to celebrate!
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving memory? Share with us!