I think a lot of what makes holidays truly special is the passing on of family traditions. We always have a family gathering with a meal on holidays. This Thanksgiving, we hosted the meal, as we usually do, and when I looked back through my pictures I noted that this was a year of many traditions being passed from one generation to another.
First, my husband's aunt Robyn showed me how to make her mother's stuffing recipe. My mother-in-law had showed me this last year as well, but this time I did most of it myself and I took copious notes so I could replicate it again on my own if I needed to. It's a simple but delicious recipe, and I made it my own by using my homemade bread. I appreciated being trusted to carry on a memory in the family by taking on this tradition.
Thanksgiving morning I had to stuff the bird and get it cooking on my own. I got up early so I could get it going in time to be ready for the meal. As I was working, here came Oliver up with the sun as usual. He watched while I stuffed the turkey then asked if he could help butter it up. I sent this picture to my mother-in-law and she predicted that someday Oliver will be the host of the family dinner, since he'll be the only boy who has watched me cook and learned the traditions.
Later in the day, Baxter came in from playing just as I pulled the beaters off the mixer covered in fresh homemade whipped cream. He said, "Oooooohh, what's that??" I gave him one to lick and he was in absolute heaven. I remember doing the same thing as a little girl after my mom made whipped cream. Another tradition, passed on.
I put my lovely husband in charge of cutting up the cooked turkey. He called on aunt Robyn again to share her expertise. "How do I do this?" he asked. She stood nearby and talked him through it. Another part of the process given from one generation to the next.
We sat down to our meal at two tables since we were too many in our group for one. A mix of family and friends, we enjoyed a warm house, good conversation and delicious food.
Another tradition I have started is bringing my mom to the table with us, whenever we have a special family meal. Though she's been gone more than two years now, her spirit is ever-present.
After dinner, Bailey had to make her trip out to see the chickens. This time there were even babies to check in on, which she loved. I hope that she will maintain her excitement for the farm's riches as she grows older. What a treasure to share in her giggles of delight at bird chirps and cock-a-doodle-doos.