Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving, Just Like Old Times

My whole life I have heard stories of old from Holiday past before I was born and also been witness to the 'way of the Greeks' and the lively, rambunctious holidays of my childhood. My family is Greek. The majority of us are loud, opinionated, steadfast people who laugh loudly and argue passionately and love even more passionately.

When I was little I remember Holiday celebrations with my great grandparents whose couches and chairs were burnt orange and gold with ornately carved and sometimes even gilded embellishments. Throw pillows of the same colors were edged in
fringe and brown lace. There were portraits of semi-nude angels and goddesses swathed in beautiful flowing material. There was a wooden cuckoo clock that hung in the entry way and a little blue bird would pop out on the hour and sing a song. There were ruby red colored and clear hurricane lamps decorated with white curly cues with dangling crystals, gaudy musical cigarette holders the size of large urns with marble doors set inside gold plates that opened and shut as the music went on like obscure carousels.

The yards and yards of red, green and gold garland, the tinsel that was a staple on my great gramma's large faux Christmas tree. The Coca Cola plates and cookie tins with classical Santas and Reindeer and Christmas characters painted on their fronts. The foot tall Santa clause that I insisted on playing with even though he was porcelain  and must have been very expensive. The Christmas nesting dolls, the musical ice skating rinks where the ice skaters go in infinite magical circles as well as the village of Christmas houses with accompanying post office, dairy, bakery etc with little people and benches and lamp posts and Christmas trees that provide hours of play for an active imagination.The stockings that belonged to my great grandparents hanging on the gaudily decorated fireplace mantel. I remember the food laid out on the tables; black olives, bread and butter pickles, relish, cranberries, sliced beets, blocks of melting butter and the smells of all things cooking mixing with those of rich perfumes and colognes worn by the visitors as well as the faint aroma of pipe tobacco and cigars. The din of constant music and voices was only drowned out by the thunderous laughter that boomed frequently.

I remember moving among the adults as a small child, weaving through the throngs at hip level and
marveling at the beautiful chaos. Adults who I barely knew but were related to me somehow pinching my cheeks and remarking on how much I had grown. Feeling pretty in my new Christmas dress, tights and shoes that was bought for me annually. The smells, the sounds, the memory of what I saw as a child has always brought a heart clenching nostalgia to my adult self.

You see, after my great grandparents died the Greek portion of the family slowly melted into the world. They grew too old or too distant or too estranged to celebrate the holidays with everyone anymore and then my great grandparents siblings died and their children grew further and further apart from my grandpa and gramma (their cousins), until eventually the Holidays became more quiet, reserved, more bland without much to remember in the way of smells and sights and sounds.

But THIS YEAR, THIS YEAR WAS GREAT. I felt like a little girl again, especially experiencing it through the eyes of my little girls. This year some of the 'old family' visited us for Thanksgiving. THIS YEAR there was music, and laughter and booming conversation. The smells and the sounds and the sights felt RIGHT this year. It was
beautiful. The house was decorated. The tables were laid out just like when I was a kid with olives and cranberries and butter. The foods and the perfumes mixed just right and the kids ran around like crazy at hip level to all the adults wearing their holiday attire and laughing and screeching with obvious glee. And when I looked around, everyone was smiling, everyone was happy ... For that, I am truly thankful.

On that note, I follow the most beautiful blog over at "A Place Called Simplicity" where Lin has invited everyone who reads there to her 'virtual thanksgiving' and so I would also like to invite her and her blog readers to ours.

Breezy mooching some 'nibbles of turkey' off Great Papa 

And of course, if Breezy gets some, Sassy has to have some too

Cousin love
Breezy says one day she will marry him
(It's ok, they aren't related)

Awesome panoramic of almost everyone ...

Sassy says nom nom nom
Breezy just wants dessert

3/4ths of the whole (albeit blurry) family
I love them so
And I am thankful for them EVERY DAY



  1. Thank you for sharing your happy thanksgiving day.

  2. What a delightful celebration! So glad you invited all of us in from over at Linny's....God bless.

  3. I love that you felt a Thanksgiving like you remember from when you were little. Your daughters are beautiful and I love your kitchen {white like mine!}...Such a blessing to have been invited into your home. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving from Phoenix!


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