Family Traditions at Thanksgiving — Thankful at Home

“You are my sunshine —

—– my only sunshine

You make me happy when skies are grey —

A song that my dad used to sing to us.

I miss that —

I miss him — especially at Thanksgiving.

We usually spend Thanksgiving at my sister’s house — in the Sunshine State.

Surrounded by family and extended family of 50 or more —

—– and an occasional person(s) who has no where to go for a Thanksgiving meal.

Thanksgiving 2013

If we had Thanksgiving at my home..

—– it would be at this table.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 2013

With the 5 of us..

Thanksgiving Tablescape 2013

No..the 6 of us..

—– As we cannot forget my “sweetie’s” pine cone turkey she made as a pre-schooler.

The one that is out all it makes me she was so proud of it..and gave it to me.

So maybe, for our “little immediate family” — Mr. Pine Cone Turkey is a little tradition.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 2013

And of course to always “Give Thanks” for our many blessings.

I had napkins monogrammed in a simply stated way..

—– As I want to use these throughout the “Give Thanks” everyday.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 2013

At my sister’s home — we would not be sitting at just one table.

—– There would be many patio tables with umbrellas ..

———- all around the pool/patio area..for enough seating for 50 or more.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 2013

There would be a simple centerpiece..

Thanksgiving Tablescape 2013

No Waterford candlesticks or glasses..

—– Just sturdy paper plates.

As the wonderful food that is served (my sister is a gourmet cook)..

—– Tastes just as good, if not better on “Chinet”

Thanksgiving Tablescape 2013

The food is served from large buffet warmers..yes, she has many of them!

—– And after the blessing .. we all cannot wait to enjoy the magnificent food..

———- that has been lovingly prepared by the family.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 2013

Thanksgiving was my Dad’s favorite holiday.

He said it was a time for family to give thanks for our many blessings, especially of family.

My dad would always say .. “if I won the Lotto, the first thing I would do ..

—– is to have a table made so all of us could sit together at one table at Thanksgiving..

———- or any dinner for that matter” .. That would be a really BIG table.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 2013

A table where there is always laughter .. much about reminiscing of the past ..

—– the many stories of us 5 siblings.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 2013

During the time when we are all preparing to place the main course out in the buffet warmers..

—– we are all munching on appetizers..

———-And participating in the traditional “Turkey Shoot”

Yes, we have a turkey shoot — Well we shoot at a large target with a turkey paper plate set in the middle.

My dad was competitive and always wanted to win — I remembered the day my sister beat him.

He was not a happy camper .. but usually it is my brother that wins.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 2013

My sister always has trophies made for the winners of the Turkey Shoot..

—– and when my dad passed away, the trophies have my dad’s name on them..

———-the “Memorial Turkey Shoot”

My dad always looked forward to that Turkey Shoot every year.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 2013

As I am enjoying my dinner with family and extended family and friends..

—– I get a little “weepy” as I look around and notice the missing family members..

———- that have passed on .. I miss all of them terribly .. but I know they are with us.


My little sister got married a year after my dad passed away..

She decided to get married on Thanksgiving Day.

A day she knew that was so special to my dad.

They got married in my sister’s back yard — among the many tables — of our family and friends.

It was a bittersweet day.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 2013

After the “main course”.. we all pitch in to clean up ..

Thanksgiving Tablescape 2013

And prepare to bring out the many wonderful desserts..

—– but between dinner and dessert .. we bring out the football.

And the game of rag tag football begins.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 2013

Weather permitting..there are also short plane rides..

—– My sister and her hubby live on acreage with a private landing strip.

Antique Tin Mold Floral Arrangement

After football and plane rides — we gather together again.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 2013

To eat dessert and lots of laughter.

Mom's 88th Birthday Party Invitation

My mom’s birthday usually falls a couple of days after Thanksgiving…

This year is a very special birthday .. she will be 88 years young (she can runs circles around us)

In the Japanese culture, your 88th birthday is monumental as it means “Double Infinity” 88

Thanksgiving Tablescape 2013

So I shall end this post with one of the many things I am thankful for..

—– Memories of Family.

May you all have a blessed Thanksgiving making memories that you will treasure forever.


Today is Day 5 .. the last day of this fabulous series of “Thankful at Home”…

I will be among these wonderful bloggers today .. hop on over to see them!

Mom 4 Real

Country Design Style

The Everyday Home

Unskinny Boppy

And if you missed the prior days .. here is the list of Day One through Five..

There is so much inspiration …


Savvy Southern Style

Finding Home

Lilacs and Longhorns

The Inspired Room

The Crafty Woman




Meegan Makes

Maison de Pax

Confessions of a Plate Addict


Thistlewood Farm

Eclectically Vintage

My Soulful Home

Cedar Hill Farmhouse

Southern Hospitality


The Lilypad Cottage

A Little Claireification

Fresh Idea Studio

Penny Wise Blog

The Rustic Pig


Housepitality Designs

Mom 4 Real

Country Design Style

The Everyday Home

Unskinny Boppy

I am joining:

Cuisine Kathleen for Let’s Dish

Ivy and Elephants for What’s It Wednesday

Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays

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  1. Sandra White says

    Shirley, love your thanksgiving story. What a wonderful post. It brought back memories for me of my own parents, who are no longer with us…So warm and heartfelt…thank you! Family is definitely the most important part of any holiday.
    As always your table is just gorgeous and so well done. I always look forward to seeing what you do with anything that you do, as it is always such an inspiration to me… Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family.

  2. Wow, so much eye candy! Lovely, Shirley, but I think the pine cone turkey is my favorite part. 🙂
    xo Heidi
    Heidi @ decor & more’s recent post…Quick Start Chicken SoupMy Profile

  3. It’s all just beautiful, but I am swooning over your plates. They are just the perfect artwork to complete the table.

  4. I loved this post. The pics were fabulous and I loved the Be Thankful cards. Memories are wonderful.

  5. Thank you for sharing your family traditions and your sweet memories.

    I especially miss my daddy on Thanksgiving, too. I will be a bit weepy, too.
    Beverly’s recent post…Blog Shop #45My Profile

  6. That was so nicely put. Thanksgiving is a tough one for our family because my dad passed the night of a Thanksgiving 1991. Our next Thanksgiving was the hardest. We have a group anywhere from 15 to 20 which seems big but compared to 50 we’re small! I love the turkey shoot tradition! Your table looks lovely and I love your story about the pine one turkey! Your napkins are pretty- that’s something we all need to remember to do “give thanks”. Cheers to a loving Thanksgiving!

  7. Beautiful table, Shirley! I love your centerpiece! The napkins are so pretty and I like that you could use them all year long, not just at Thanksgiving.
    Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions’s recent post…Wine Bottle Christmas Gift BagsMy Profile

  8. Shirley- Yes-everything is beautifully presented here and looks lovely but the most beautiful thing of all is the words between the pictures. Tears are rolling down my cheeks (and I hope my husband doesn’t come down the stairs and catch me bawling) because I share your exact sentiments. God bless you AND your Mom this special Thanksgiving- xo Diana ps. I miss my Dad, too, especially at Thanksgiving-it was also his favorite holiday!
    Nana Diana’s recent post…Be My Guest- Be My Guest- Put Your Bottom Down To RestMy Profile

  9. Shirley, this is such a heart felt post! I miss my mom so much! She made our holidays so special! As you know, I am blessed to still have my 94 year old dad! He’s such a special man! Thank you for such a precious reminder of the meaning of Thanksgiving! I have made many a pine cone turkey when I taught Kindergarten! Your table looks stunning and so inviting! Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories!
    Betsy(@coastal-colors)’s recent post…You Can’t Beat Free- Table Update At The BeachMy Profile

  10. STUNNING my friend!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that gorgeous centerpiece!
    Happy Birthday to your mom:)
    Martina’s recent post…Living room changesMy Profile

  11. Shirley, I am sitting here reading your wonderful memories, traditions and family Thanksgiving this and that and tears are streaming! What a beautiful post… filled with such love. And filled with a heart overflowing with thing to be thankful for!
    You made my day,dear friend!
    Beautiful table… beautiful post… beautiful you!
    Yvonne @ StoneGable’s recent post…THE VERY BEST THANKSGIVING TIP YOU WILL EVER GET!My Profile

  12. Oh Shirley,
    All your photos are gorgeous but your story is beautiful and gave my heart strings a tug. What wonderful memories. Thankful indeed!
    Hugs, Cecilia
    Cecilia’s recent post…OuchMy Profile

  13. Such a beautiful post! Thank You!
    Patty Rumaker at Home and Lifestyle Design’s recent post…That’s Fresh Friday Link Up PartyMy Profile

  14. Absolutely wonderful post. Love the beautiful pix and hearing about your Thanksgiving traditions. Our family also shoots targets after our Thanksgiving dinner. Is that a southern thing?

  15. Linda Miller says

    Wonderful post with beautiful sentiment, Shirley. Thanksgiving is definitely a time for us to be thankful for all of our many blessings, especially family and extended family. That’s what it’s all about…memories, traditions old and new, spending time with those we love the most. Oh, and some good food and football to top it all off! Your Thanksgiving table is lovely, and the centerpiece is gorgeous.

  16. I loved reading about your Thanksgiving tradition and memories. I bet that turkey shoot is something to behold. You dad was a very smart man!

  17. Such a precious and loving post. I hope this Thanksgiving is just as perfect and special as all the rest and Happy Birthday to your mom. Hugs, Marty
    Marty@A Stroll Thru Life’s recent post…Show Off & Inspire-Atta GirlMy Profile

  18. Oh Shirley, what a beautiful story to share with us. You are truly blessed to have such a wonderful family. Sounds like a terrific Thanksgiving with your family.
    Your tablescape is very very lovely. Love the turkey that your granddaughter made.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving dear sweet Shirley.
    Mary Feguson’s recent post…FALL GARDENMy Profile

  19. Shirley, I LOVE your table! I would suggest bring home leftovers and eating them around your stunning table. That little turkey pine cone your daughter made is so sweet! I would keep it out year around too! Thank you for sharing everything! ~Jeanette
    Jeanette’s recent post…Simple AbundanceMy Profile

  20. Everything looks so beautiful…..I would love to come to dinner at your house! The festivities at your sister’s house sound like so much too though :o) It was fun hearing about all the memories of time spent with your family. Have a great weekend!!!
    Des’s recent post…Thanksgiving table settings…….My Profile

  21. Shirley…I never wanted your post to end. Loved every word & picture in it. Another thing this tour has brought me, and I am thankful for, is new blogs to savor & new blogging friends to get to know better. I hope our paths cross again soon.

  22. Shirley, What a beautiful post! What a fantastic tradition your family has. You are truly blessed!!
    And, I feel blessed that you agreed to be part of this tour! It has been such a wonderful week reading all of these wonderful stories and seeing everyone’s beautiful pictures. Thank you so much!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  23. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post, and learning about your family traditions. What wonderful memories you have shared. I like the idea of double infinity very much.
    Tracey steele’s recent post…Aldbury Nowers at NightMy Profile

  24. I can’t wait for Thanksgiving and the Beiju 88 celebration. This is a wonderful story of big family traditions. We are so lucky, this year and every year. Thanks for writing about it so beautifully.

  25. What a pretty and heartfelt/sweet post. Happy Thanksgiving and may God bless and keep you safe as you travel.

  26. I love your display. LOVE the plates with the birds, etc. Where did you get the printables. I also love your embroidered napkins and pillow…So loved your pine cone turkey you kept for so long..

  27. Pat L Toler says

    Shirley, as usual your home is warm and cozy and beautifully reflects your
    friendly, charming personality. What wonderful memories to keep forever of
    your family and especially your Dad. Double infinity for your Mom is quite an
    accomplishment and I wish her many blessings. Thank you for your sharing with
    all of us!

  28. Shirley you out did yourself on this one. So gorgeous and I would love to be a part of your families festive Thanksgiving!! 50 people, WOW and your mom, 88 another WOW!!! Good health and happiness to her on her birthday!!! PINNED!!

    Cynthia’s recent post…New Items – So Excited!!!My Profile

  29. Shirley,
    What a wonderful post. I loved every word you wrote and every beautiful picture you added to your story. Lovely just lovely. Loved reading this. Thank you.
    Kris’s recent post…Shabby Fu Fu ThrowMy Profile

  30. Oh my gosh, Shirley! This post is just…..beautiful! I loved your heartfelt sharing of your family’s traditions and how you added the photos to help tell the story. A sign of an excellent writer is when the reader’s emotions are moved, and your post certainly stirred my memories of past Thanksgivings. Well done, Shirley, and please tell your mother happy birthday from me!
    Jane @ Cottage at the Crossroads’s recent post…Little Red Cabinet RedoMy Profile

  31. Gorgeous centerpiece. It is such a blessing having family to enjoy the holidays with. Happy Birthday to your mom!!!
    Cindy’s recent post…WEDDING DAY ~ FATHER and DAUGHTERMy Profile

  32. Such a sweet post, Shirley. My dad has always loved Thanksgiving (and Christmas, too), so they were always a big deal at our house. Your tablescape is lovely, but I also love the table itself. Such pretty wood! I enjoyed reading about your family Thanksgiving traditions, and I hope your mom has an extra special birthday this year.

    Have a great weekend.

    Denise at Forest Manor’s recent post…Goodbye MacDuffMy Profile

  33. What a gorgeous and oh so heart warming post. I know that your father will be at the table that you are at on Thanksgiving…no matter where you are…that is where he will be…I know that for fact because mine is always there with me too…sending hugs and warm wishes to you and your family and may all your days be filled with thanks and heavenly blessings…hugs…

  34. What a wonderful heartfelt post Shirley! Whether you dine on chinet or beautiful china plates, it’s all about gathering together! Love your beautiful centerpiece and your harvest of silver, pumpkins and floral material! Wishing your mom a Happy Double Infinity Birthday 🙂
    Mary’s recent post…A Potting Shed Happy HarvestMy Profile

  35. Beautiful words and Beautiful table! just a delightful post! A Happy thanksgiving to you and yours and very happy 88 to your Mom!
    Christina’s recent post…Thanksgiving LightMy Profile

  36. What a beautiful post, Shirley! Full of such lovely sentiments! I can feel the love of the traditions in your words. I can also imagine many lovely Thanksgiving meals being held around your table! It is absolutely gorgeous!
    Shenita’s recent post…~Let The Fun Begin~My Profile

  37. Beautiful post, Shirley. Your family sounds very special and close and your father sounds like he was a wonderful man! What beautiful memories you have! Enjoy your Thanksgiving!~~Angela

  38. Enjoy time with your family – and wish you mom a very happy double infinity!
    Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage’s recent post…A Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree (and My Pet Dust Bunnies)My Profile

  39. Your table is beautiful! I remember singing that song myself when I was a very young girl. It has always brought back memories to me as well! Thanks for sharing!
    Tammy’s recent post…Fall DecorationsMy Profile

  40. So beautiful…and the pinecone turkey is my favorite part of all!
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  41. Thank you for sharing these beautiful family memories. Your table is gorgeous and the centerpiece is over the top fantastic!

  42. What a lovely post…the tablescape is amazing!
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  43. Love your post… Also, a happy birthday to mom…

  44. Oh Shirley, this post has touched my heart! What beautiful memories you have and just that is a blessing. I LOVED seeing the pictures of your beautiful Mother. Please tell her happy birthday from me, even though I don’t know her she has reached this milestone birthday. I wish so much we had 50 people to have at Thanksgiving. Our family is dwindling rapidly. It IS bittersweet to be together but remember those who are gone. However, this year we will have LOTS to be thankful for as our daughter and SIL are adopting a baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am over the moon excited!!!
    Your table setting is EXQUISITE!!!!!!!!!! You have such BEAUTIFUL pieces and put it all together so beautifully. Have a blessed Thanksgiving my friend. XO, Pinky
    Pinky at Designs by Pinky’s recent post…~~~Turkeys at the Table and in the Dining Room!!!~~~My Profile

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