Thanksgiving Traditions Anyone?

Thanksgiving is upon us, so I thought I would open a thread for swapping Thanksgiving traditions! Since Sean and I generally take the kids to relatives’ homes for Thanksgiving we haven’t really developed any traditions specific to us, but I have good memories of quite a number of Thanksgiving traditions from my childhood. I’ll highlight two of these traditions to get us started.

First, my mother would put two kernels of corn on each plate before the meal began. We would all sit down and look at those kernels while she told us about the scarcity of food during the winter following the first Thanksgiving and about the importance of being thankful for what we had. And you know what? I think she succeeded, because this made a real impression on me!

Second, we children could never pass up an excuse for dressing up, so mom sewed pilgrim and Indian costumes for us and we dressed as one or the other each year for Thanksgiving dinner. Today, I’m struggling with how to present this part of the holiday to Sally, given the centrality of genocide to the settlement of the Americas, and the huge problem of cultural appropriation. I also struggle with things like the trial of Anne Hutchinson when trying to explain themes like religious freedom. It’s complicated, and our nation doesn’t do complicated well. Suggestions are appreciated!

How about you? What Thanksgiving traditions do you have in your life?

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