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What family tradition do you observe on Thanksgiving?

Outlook, Sandy Post and Estacada News staff members have different ways to observe the holiday


ANDERSON “My mom is from Central Massachusetts and my dad is from the San Francisco Bay Area, but they’ve lived in Albany for more than 25 years.

“The year I was born (1987), my parents started a tradition at our church for families who lived away from loved ones. We host a full Thanksgiving meal, potluck-style. My dad makes the turkey, my mom sets up and decorates the fellowship hall and other families bring the potatoes, stuffing, side dishes, drinks and desserts. What’s great is that the burden of set-up, food preparation and cleanup doesn’t fall on one person — it’s truly a collaborative effort. We usually get up to 50 or 60 people each year and we’ve done it almost every year, except when the church was being remodeled. After eating the midday meal, we clean up and spend the afternoon playing board games. Then my family always goes to a movie at the community theater, Pix.”

Lisa Anderson, Outlook reporter

“One of my favorite traditions is to watch 'Home for the Holidays' (1995), featuring Holly Hunter, Anne Bancroft, Robert Downey Jr. and Charles Durning. It’s one of the best dysfunctional family movies I’ve ever seen. I can relate because I have more than a few nuts on my family tree.” COE

Deborah Coe, Outlook, Sandy Post, Estacada News graphics production

CULLIVAN “My daughter’s extended family stands in a circle and we all have to say at least one thing for which we are grateful that has happened to us over the past year. It’s always illuminating to hear what people are grateful for, from good health and a new job to something as sweeping as 'freedom,' which is what her 10-year-old stepbrother said one year.”

Rob Cullivan, Outlook reporter

“The first year my parents raised turkeys, we named all of them. I went away to college and when I came home for New Year's, they only told me after I’d had second helpings that I’d just eaten Pyramus and Thisbe. Ever since, I’ve had a Tofurky Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's tradition.” GAUTSCHI

— Isabel Gautschi, Estacada News reporter

“We are Catholic but never say grace except at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Here is how it does. After making a mental note of how many people are at the table, my nearly 74-year-old mother bows her head and makes the sign of the cross by touching her forehead, chest and each shoulder. STINE

‘Hail Mary, full of grace.

Nine little piggies run in a race.

In the name of the father, the son and the Holy Ghost.

Bless the one who eats the most.’

“Without fail, any kids gathered around the table squeal with laughter.

“The number of little piggies should correspond to the number of people at the table.”

Mara Stine, Outlook associate editor

ENDICOTT “Nine years ago, we were in the throes of planning our daughter’s wedding. Most of our traditions are centered around Christmas or birthdays, so to put on a good front for our soon-to-be-son-in-law, I decided to ask each person to say something they were grateful for before we started passing food.

“My daughter was thankful for a lull in the wedding planning; her fiancé was grateful the wedding was only a few months away; John expressed thanks that the lime Jello salad with cottage cheese, whipped cream and pineapple was missing from the menu; and my son, whose priorities have always involved food, said, ‘I’m grateful I’m last because now we can eat.’”

“We didn’t adopt the idea as a tradition.”

Anne Endicott, Outlook reporter

“When I was a kid we went to my aunt and uncle’s house most every Thanksgiving for a number of years. I remember it as fun because there were always at least 10 kids there (cousins, siblings, friends). We had a children’s table out of necessity because there wasn’t room for all of us at the 'adult' table even with leaves installed. Graduating to the adult table depended more on numbers of attendees rather than age. ZOOK

“With at least 20 (mostly related) people getting together there was always some drama. Sometimes relatively small dramas, such as when my brother refused to eat Jello with fruit in it and my volatile uncle yelled at him until he cried. There was always an ongoing warning about cleaning our plates and starving kids in other countries.

“Later, after numerous divorces and deaths in the family, we don’t have a true annual tradition. Sometimes we just take the immediate family to a restaurant.”

Nadine Zook, Outlook, Sandy Post, Estacada News graphics production




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