First of all, a birthday shout out to my favorite lefty on the Texas Rangers, C.J. Wilson. Welcome to the 30 and over club C.J.!! :)
For my Thursday 13 this week (no, it won't be baseball related, I promise), I thought I would list 13 Thanksgiving Day/weekend traditions in my family.
1. We watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on TV. Although the past few years my dad is usually complaining that we see more of the hosts and "special guests" than the actual parade (which I totally agree with). Are you listening network television?? Show the parade, not the stupid hosts. I want to see the floats and balloons! SHOW ME SNOOPY! SHOW ME MICKEY MOUSE! SHOW ME KERMIT THE FROG! SHOW ME SANTA! Oh, sorry. Needless to say, we spend a lot of time going back and forth between channels trying to find the best one to watch. Last year I believe CBS did the best job of showing the actual parade.
2. Along with the gravy, dressing, turkey, ham, cranberry sauce and other "normal" Thanksgiving meal items, there is always a bottle of ketchup passed around the table. (Or in my family's case, the room. There are too many of us to fit around one table.) Oh, I'm very serious about the ketchup. I don't know how that got started. I know I don't like gravy and when I was little the only way I would eat the turkey is if I had ketchup (have I mentioned I'm a picky eater?) I know that some of my nieces and nephews have picked up on my ketchup tradition. I'm such a good influence! :)
The picture is two years old, but that is me with ketchup on my plate at Thanksgiving. My nephew Peter is in the background (I believe he is another ketchup fan).
3. You get one cup and your name is written on it. Since I have such a big family, we are big fans of plastic cups and paper plates at Thanksgiving (see above picture). It means less dishes for the clean up crew (which I'm on since I don't cook). All cups have a name written on it at the beginning of the meal. That is your cup for the day. Don't lose it.
4. We line up to eat by age, from oldest to youngest. Again, with such a big family, you have to have some order (also, most people want to get to the food before my teenage nephews have their shot). It's best to beat my nephew Jacob (age 15) to the rolls, he ate about 8 last year!
5. There will be a group of us in front of a TV watching the Cowboys game that afternoon. Even though this year the Cowboys are not doing so well (at Thanksgiving their record will either be 2-8 or 3-7). But trust me, there will be a group watching the game.
Me with my brother and a few of my nephews watching football last Thanksgiving.
6. My mother will demand copies of all the pictures that are taken. And now that they have a video camera, she'll demand that my dad video tape it. If you don't like pictures, it's best you don't spend the holidays with my family. There are 36 people in my immediate family and LOTS of cameras. That's NOT counting any aunts/uncles/cousins, etc. Oh, I'm very serious. The tally right now is: 5 siblings, 4 in-laws, 20 nieces and nephews and 4 great-nephews (plus me and my folks). Now you know what I'm not married. What guy in his right mind would want to marry into that crazy circus? (but I love my big, crazy family!!) :)
7. A football game will be played outside between my nephews (and a brave niece or two). It doesn't matter if it's sunny and 85 degrees or rainy and 40 degrees, they will be outside playing. I throw like a girl so I just take pictures from the sidelines. I only play European football (that is soccer to all you non sports savvy folks!) ;)
Some of my nephews playing football last year at Thanksgiving.
8. We go around and tell each other what we are thankful for (yes, it's very "Walton's Mountain-ish". What can I say? My family is one commercial break away from being a Hallmark movie). If there is a video camera, that is the one thing that you know will be recorded. The best one from many years ago (that we still talk about today), is when one of my nieces said she was thankful her feet weren't naked. But since she has a Texas accent it sounded like "I'm thankful my feet rn't nek-id". She was maybe 3 or 4 when she said that. She's 21 now. Oh yes, we still tease her about that one! ;)
9. The Texas Longhorn/Texas A&M Aggie football game will be watched. My oldest sister Martha went to Texas A&M. I think it's the only football game she watches all year (I got most of the "sports watching gene" in the family for the girls). After the game, the annual "bragging phone call" between my sister and our nephew Peter takes place. For some reason Peter is a big Longhorns fan (not sure why, his parents didn't go there). If Texas wins, he calls and brags to my sister. If the Aggies manage a win, Martha will call and brag to Peter.
10. The Christmas decorating begins. Before the food has time to settle in our stomachs, my mother will start talking about how we need to get the Christmas decorations out. Last year my parents got their Christmas tree Thanksgiving weekend so I could help decorate it. The past few years they weren't able to get it until the first part of December.
11. The Christmas music playing begins. Either Thanksgiving night or the next day, my mother has my father's blessings to start playing her Christmas music.
12. My sister Martha and I watch It's A Wonderful Life together at some point during the weekend. We always watch it for the first time of the "holiday season" with each other. Yes, we can quote it word for word. If the Texas weather cooperates and it's actually "cold" outside (cold to us Texans is anything below 60 degrees), we'll drink hot chocolate while watching it! If our sister Mary is still at our parents' house, she will watch it with us (Martha lives next door to our folks).
Me and my sisters last year at the holidays. They put me on the bottom step so they look taller! :) Oh yes, even a whole step lower, I'm still almost as tall as Mary!