Scratching the Memory Bank

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Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. ― William Arthur Ward

Illustration of Mother and Children Carrying Thanksgiving Dinner by Douglass Crockwell

What memories this nostalgic image of Thanksgiving stirs up. I will forever be grateful for how my mother so beautifully pulled off our childhood holidays. Tradition ruled in our house.

Just setting the table for a holiday meal was a chore in and of itself. All the good dishes came out of the china cabinet, and the silverware had to be shinned to a spit and polish before it was approved to go on the table. Setting the table with one fork, knife and spoon was almost considered blasphemous back in the era of my growing-up (1950’s and 60’s). My twin sister and I were well-schooled in the setting of a proper table and how to place an assortment of forks, knives and spoons in order of use.

As if getting the holiday dinner table set with a huge spread of food made from scratch wasn’t enough for a mother to handle, the entire family had to be dressed in grand fashion. Mom donned her most beautiful dress, heels, nylons, pearls and spritzed herself with perfume saved for special occasions. My father dressed his spiffiest, so as not to be outdone by his wife. Then she dressed all four of us kids to the hilt. But not before the clothing was properly ironed til the creases, pleats and darts were sharp, crisp and straight. My little brothers wore clip on bow ties for special occasions. My sister and I donned our fancy holiday dresses, with crinoline petticoats underneath.

My mother wasn’t being pretentious by dressing us all to the nines. It was how most families dressed back then for Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving. We wouldn’t have dreamed of showing up at the table in anything less.

This Thanksgiving I want to thank my mother for all of the fulfilling memories that I have of our childhood holiday celebrations. As a mother myself, I know that the matron of the family usually does the lion’s share of the work. All these decades later, my mother still feeds anyone who shows up at her house. And she is still the perfect hostess with the “mostest.”

Happy Thanksgiving to All from West to East Coast of these United States! We are grateful  for your interest in this blog and in Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. We will be featuring a newly released film just in time for the Christmas season.

One thought on “Scratching the Memory Bank

  1. Pingback: Holiday Memories–people change; memories don’t | jamesmatter

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