Friday, November 17, 2006

Family Moments

At our Chicago Thanksgivings, there were always funny family moments. Aunt Lisa with Melly in the bathroom was one. The old men stretching before the Turkey Bowl is another. The video that Kristy and Lindsay made is one of my favorites. They went around with the video camera all day taping everyone saying things like "Happy Thanksgiving!" and "Gobble, gobble!" That, in and of itself, was very funny. But add things like flushing the toilet and pretend blow-drying your hair, and you have hilarity.

Somehow Thanksgiving Day seemed the be the longest day of the year. There was time to watch a parade, play football, eat snacks and watch football before dinner, eat a huge dinner, clean up, watch more football, stitch and chat, play bingo, eat pie, and watch a movie or two. It was like time stood still for one day. Grandma and Grandpa had the best room for movie watching. There were two beds, a recliner, and a triangle pillow (that we would fight over). We would watch Charlie Brown cartoons on their laser disk player (our favorite was the Homecoming episode with Charlie Brown playing the worst football ever, and then getting to escort the little red haired girl to the dance). We would watch A Christmas Story with Ralphie shooting his eye out. And, my favorite, we would watch White Christmas. It's still my all-time favorite movie. It makes you think that the 40s and 50s were wonderfully fun times full of singing and dancing and saving ski chalets. We always sang along, we always fast-forwarded through "Choreography," and we always broke out into spontaneous dance performances of "Sisters." This movie will always bring back Chicago Thanksgivings for me. During the movies, the girls would break out the dress-ups. They never failed to amuse us. It was an activity that usually ended in tears, and usually my tears, but we did it anyway and put on countless fashion shows over the years.

We did a lot of stitching on Thanksgiving Day. I think it's where I got my love of stitching. Aunt Lisa would bring her big bag and show the projects she had going to for teachers and friends for Christmas gifts. Kristy always had something she was working on. Grandma usually worked on needlepoint. Aunt Jill would work on a huge tablecloth. My mom and I would alternate between needlepoint and cross stitch. Eventually I settled on cross stitch and Mom has crossed over to knitting. We would sit in the living room on the gold couches and chat. I loved hearing stories from college years and holidays past. I also loved seeing the relationship my mom had with her sister and sister-in-law, and her mom. It was easy and relaxed. It was clear that they loved each other.

Thanksgiving Day just had a magic to it. There was a huge meal to prepare and clean up. There were games to be played and watched. But there was always time to sit and relax and enjoy being together as a family. Isn't that what the holidays are all about?


melba said...

um. I don't know how to post messages on blogs. Here we go.

I remember that triangle pillow, designed to elevate the head or the feet (depending on where it was situated). Somehow "sharing" it with a brother would always result in being pushed off of it.

I also remember playing with Grandma's keyboard, and how the memory song was "Last Christmas, I gave you my Heart." I think it wasn't until I was 18 that I realized it was a real song.

I've been gone too long, I forgot about the Confectionary store. I was always excited to go to Nordstrom because it seemed so much nicer than ours. And, of course, FAO Schwartz.

It's nice that grandpatty carries on a lot of these traditions. And while Tyson's is no Oak Brook, it makes for a close second.

grandpatty said...

I had no idea that all of those shenanigans were going on in Grandma's bedroom. Who knew about the triangle pillow? We're going to have a very fun Thanksgiving 2006 -- and aren't we glad that Grandma and Grandpa will be here.