I know at some point, when our family grew large enough, we started having large family dinners and playing football on Thanksgiving afternoon. But before that, when I was really young and when I had only one brother, I also have those memories, they are just not as clear.
I know that before my parents had so many children that they had to move their bedroom downstairs to the dinning room (my house was large, but my grandmother lived with us) we had large family dinners in the dinning room. That is when my mother took out all the good silver and silver serving trays. The Sat. before, us kids helped polish everything. The good china was washed, the saw horses set up with boards across and on Thanksgiving day, we were ready.
We always went to church Thanksgiving morning, then came home and helped our mother and father with cooking and setting up. At some point, either Thanksgiving or Christmas, some of my fathers family came over for wine and beer, around 11am and to visit. I believe they then went home to a big dinner of their own, but maybe they were at our house for dinner also. I know my father’s mother was there and my mother’s mother, grandmother and sisters, husbands and our cousin came for dinner. I remember prayers of Thanksgiving and us three[and after my sister came along four] kids sitting at the “children’s table”, a card table set beside the big one with all the pretty things. I also remember us kids, making name cards, drawing turkeys, etc for the table. Then helping set the table, knives and spoons on the right, forks on the left, etc. It had to be set correctly and my mother made sure we knew how.
That was before TV so I don’t remember what the men did after dinner, I suppose they sat in the living room and talked about sports while all the women were in the kitchen cleaning up and washing and drying dishes. We are talking about probably 10 to 20 people in all. I know it took awhile to clean up, then the women joined the men and we all talked.
I know one thing, people talked a lot more then, people visited a lot more then, and no one had to text to find out how someone was, they called them on the phone, and when we all got together on Thanksgiving afternoon and Sunday afternoons we got caught up on everything that was going on. This is something that I hope the younger generation recovers, the joy of sitting in a living with family and just talking.