Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE holiday. It’s the one time of the year when everyone on my mom’s side of the family drives in from all over Texas to spend three days eating, laughing, playing games, putting together the million piece puzzel and retelling stories of Thanksgiving memories from the last 50 years. Hearing old stories from the generations above me’s childhood is one of the best parts of us all getting together. I never met my mom’s parents (they died before I was born) but I honestly feel like I know them from all of the stories I’ve heard. Talking about my hilarious great-grandma “Grandace” always has us laughing until our sides hurt. She was such a character and we could write a book filled with the crazy things she said and did up until the day she passed. We used to catch horned-toads in her back yard in Midland and dig for rolly-polies in her flowerbeds.
At Thanksgiving, we cook the same recipes that our moms had growing up. My Aunt Becky makes her famous homemade dinner rolls and my mom makes her amazing brisket (that I’ve never been able to recreate even though I follow her exact instructions). We eat the same meal every single year and I wouldn’t change a thing. If you left out one side-dish or one dessert, people would notice and it would throw the whole day off. HA!! Not really, but we would definitely notice. Our parents have now passed on some of the special recipes to our generation. My cousin Crystal makes my mom’s delicious twice-baked potatoes (a labor of love) and her sister Bonnie makes ALL the pies. They are amazing and she makes sure to do an extra buttermilk pie because that is, after all, my favorite. I’m actually not in charge of any of the food items yet.. not sure what that means, but I’m not complaining.
After we’ve all stuffed ourselves to the brim, the little kids run around outside making their own sacred memories while their parents huddle around the puzzle in the dining room laughing at all of our “adulting is hard” stories. The grandparents watch their own children taking over some of the cooking and cleaning roles, I’m sure contemplating how fast time has flown. Every year seems to bring a new season of life for everyone and I love watching it all unfold. One of my favorite traditions is getting up early to make hot-chocolate for the little kids. I can’t sleep in when I’m with family because I’m too afraid I’ll miss a memory. My niece Ryan will even remind her momma to get hot-chocolate at the store when she knows I’ll be in town, because she knows that’s something we always do when I’m here. I love it! It’s such a little thing, making hot-chocolate for all the kids, but it has become a tradition and they’ll always remember that about Aunt Sara. Does your family have anything like that? If not, it is SO easy to start. These are the memories that the kids will look back on and reminisce when it’s their season of life at the dining room table putting together the million-piece puzzle and their own kids are running around outside.
There are so many other things I love about Thanksgiving, but I can hear kids running around upstairs laughing and I’m super curious to see what they are up to. So, enjoy your special day with family, eat SO much sweet potato casserole (my fave side dish) and try to stay awake for the Dallas Cowboy’s game, which is another of our traditions. After that, we’ll unpack the fridge of all the left-overs and start the grazing period. HA!!! Love you all, sweet Vista Family! I hope this is a Thanksgiving that fills your heart, your belly, and your memory journal.
Lots of Vista Love,
Sara Carter Kendrick