Those of you that read my ghost story at my grandma's house (Ghost Story: Summers at Grandma's House) will remember my grandma as a no nonsense kind of woman. My grandfather was equally a no nonsense type. But, he never tried to lock horns with grandma. As I said in that story, my grandma's house was an old two-story home they bought not long after WWII. My grandpa worked at a shipyard about 20 miles away. But, they also had a small farm that my grandparents worked as well. They both never lacked for money. They both had their own cars which was not a common thing to see in a home back in the 50s and 60s. Summers were great at my grandma's house. But, holidays were something special. Thanksgiving was a treat all into itself. Grandpa, who was normally cantankerous when we were there, seemed to always be on his best behavior during Thanksgiving. I suspect grandma read him the riot act before we arrived. That was what my father said anyway. Regardless, it was a very wonderful time of the year. Even though it was not Christmas, grandma had a present for each of us as we arrived at her home. It was usually a theme with Thanksgiving, such as small pumpkin flavored candy of some sort.
Thanksgiving dinner was usually served around 2PM that day. We would have a light breakfast of cereal or pancakes. So, we were sure to be hungry when it came time to eat Thanksgiving dinner. Grandma always had candles burning on the table. Grandpa didn't like that. But, he knew better than to say anything about it. Grandma knew how to cook, especially turkeys. It was never dry and it was cooked just right. The dressing was just out of this world good. It was Thanksgiving with all the trimmings as you can imagine. Everyone was expected to at least have second helpings. As grandma always said, "If I can get up at 6 in the morning to cook this and slave over that stove for four hours, you can eat second helpings." Everybody ate second helpings. No one wanted to offend grandma for any reason. Dressing always fills you up quick. So, we learned early not to eat much dressing even though it was delicious. Of course, there were the usual pecan pies, pumpkin pies and cake. After eating my share of that, I didn't think I could eat the next day. Thanksgiving leftovers seemed even better the next day. So, I still found a way to put away more turkey and dressing somehow. Of course, we would then retire to the living room, grandma would want us to tell her what we wanted Santa Claus to bring us for Christmas. My dad and grandpa tried to watch football on TV while this was going on, of course. It was always tough to leave the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Grandma would always cry and then we would cry also. We all loved our grandparents.
Holidays are never quite the same after you leave your childhood. I mean, I look forward to the holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. But, it's just not the same as a 63-year old man.