Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Thanksgiving Tradition

Gibson style. Neither my Mother or Father had a large immediate family, (both my Mom and Dad were the youngest of three) He had two sister and she, two bothers. But from a time before I can remember my Mom and Dad hosted the family's Thanksgiving day dinner. Relatives from near and far would gather at our house to eat turkey and duck and all the trimmings that my father cooked. My Mom was in charge of the sweet stuff. The pies and the cakes, the cookies for the kids, but the main event was all my father's doing. He made the best oyster dressing.
As the years went by and the family grew. (there were nine of us kids) New sons and daughter by marriage and the children born added to the numbers. Soon the growing number of Aunts and Uncles and Cousins, both first and second and some who just claimed to be had Mom looking for larger and larger places to host the meal. As time went by all the adult children, (my siblings and in laws) began to pitch in with the making of the meal (pot luck style) of course my Mom was the one who assigned the dishes or other responsibilities; such as the ice and the soda drinks or the alcoholic drinks for the adults and the parching of the pumpkin pie to some and cranberries to other. As the family grew so did the menu. I always made the sweet potatoe casserole. That was until two years ago when I moved. This year, I contributed a Honey Baked Ham. At times in the past there have been upwards of 100 in attendance who could lay claim to being a Gibson or having married one or being just the current love interest of one of us. And once a Gibson, always a Gibson, so even divorced spouses remain dear, feel welcomed and participate. This year along with the joy of seeing those who I get to see only at this time of the year I was also a little sad. The older members of the family are slowly leaving us but their memory remains.
Here is a photo of one of our elders; my Aunt Helen, the oldest sister of my late father'. and to balance it out here is a picture of one of the youngest in attendance this year.
The family is still growing. And the meal is still as grand a feast as it ever was.

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