Thanksgiving, OUR Way

My family loves thanksgiving. I bet you’re picturing it right now: all of us gathered ’round the table in argyle and lace, turkey steaming on a platter, everyone holding hands and solemnly proclaiming what they’re thankful for…whoa! Cut that tape! That is NOT our family at thanksgiving!

you’ve gotta fight…for your right…to…salsa (and chips!)

Us? We can’t WAIT for take-out pizza, christmas wish-list sharing, and casual seating a la Musical Chairs. Seriously.

Unconventional, maybe, but we take our traditional time of celebration very seriously. There is a protocol we follow.

This year, Thanksgiving weekend itself did not work for a family party. Instead, this past weekend saw all sixteen of us gather at mom and dad’s condo. I already introduced you to the family  back at easter. The only person you haven’t met is Cousin Joel’s GF, Andrea. So please meet Andrea!

sharon and andrea

Our traditional Thanksgiving format follows three distinct acts: meeting and greeting…and maybe a little munching and sipping; The Christmas List Exchange; pizza pie and pumpkin pie devouring. And we love it this way. (No one really misses turkey dindin since that’s what Christmas Day dinner is for!)

Act I: Arrivals

Since we all get together only at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, everyone enjoys a bit of social time upon arrival:

setting up a zoo is a great ice breaker!

the intermingling of ages and generations is so heartwarming!

gather ye at the salsa bowl and iced tea pitcher!

the zoo animals are set, it's time to move on to...

Act II: Exchanging of the Lists

Here’s how this tradition works: each person composes a list of items they would love to receive for Christmas. We go in order from youngest to oldest person. You distribute your pre-written list to all family members, then orally go through said list to add details or answer questions (ie size, colour, expensive/cheap). So while you won’t get everything that you put down on your list, you are sure that what you DO receive is something you will like and use. Works for us!

This is serious business, folks:

pens at the ready

listening carefully...


kate's turn!

their lists may be short, but the "add-on" family members are good sports, too!

even little e helps make her own list! let's review...

ACT III: Bring Out the Pies!!

It’s soooo much easier for everyone when we have Gourmet Pizza cater our gathering! This year, we enjoyed four unique pizzas and two types of wings for our main, then either pumpkin pie or apple crisp (or both, should you prefer!) for our dessert.

dessert: baked on the premises by MOM!

We spread out from the dining room, through the kitchen and spill on into the living room.

the girls

some guys

the young, and...'re never TOO young for a pizza crust!



I can’t WAIT to start Christmas shopping!

And guess what: only 70 days between Family Thanksgiving and Family Christmas!!! So I’ll be starting sooner rather than later!



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