Thursday, November 27, 2014

Do you have any Thanksgiving Day traditions?

Sarah: As a kid, every Thanksgiving my family drove from Pittsburgh to my Gramma's house in the Marcellus countryside of upstate New York. We watched the Macy's parade on the small black and white TV, ate McIntosh apples with New York cheddar, and listened to the adults talk all day. My dad was never as alive with words as when he was at home with his Ma and Pa. He and my uncle would fire up the rusty Farmall tractor and I'd sit up top, let the vibrations tickle through my whole body, test out my voice. The day after Thanksgiving we'd drive over to Skaneatles and walk along the lake. My dad would huff and puff about the rich folk, but he never complained when we stopped at Doug's fish fry.

Kristan: Oh Sarah, your family memories are so sweet! And your answer was like a little story. ♥

My family's Thanksgiving traditions are a bit more generic. Last-minute invites to friends to join us for dinner. Scrambling to get all the dishes made. Slightly over-cooking the turkey. But that's OK, I prefer the ham anyway. ;P

Mostly what I love -- besides my mom's candied yams -- is the lively gathering of people. We talk, we laugh, we reminisce. It's so full of heart.

Ingrid: By the time I was nine years old there were eight people in our immediate family, so every day was pretty much a party. On Thanksgiving, our numbers grew ever larger with the addition of aunts, uncles and cousins... but somehow I remember those childhood Thanksgivings as quiet, peaceful days. Instead of racing around to get someone to basketball practice and someone else to a piano lesson, we all stayed home, watched the Macy's parade, and played football on the front lawn. Oh, and ate, of course.

Now that we live across the country and can't travel back east for every holiday, my husband, sons and I always try to do something outside on Thanksgiving--a turkey trot, skiing or hiking--before meeting up with friends for a big turkey dinner.

Stephanie: What I remember most from my childhood Thankgivings is waking up to the whole house smelling like cinnamon candles, eating "dinner" at like one in the afternoon, watching the parade on TV, and everyone taking unintended naps all over the house. Then we'd unpack all the Christmas boxes and put up the tree.

This year, though, I'm watching most of those traditions fade away. This is the first year that my brother and sister and I are all coupled-off with in-laws to divide the holidays between. It's also the first Thanksgiving without my mom, who passed away earlier this year. Now suddenly Thanksgiving has a bittersweetness that it never had before.

So here's to making new traditions and cherishing the memories of what was. We'd love to hear about your traditions, if you want to share them with us.
We'll be doing giveaways throughout December, so watch our twitter for opportunities to win books!


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Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.



on the shelf

The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
The Fault in Our Stars

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