Years ago, my sister and I started our own Thanksgiving ritual. After Grandmama’s enormous dinner, we’d go out to the big southern red oak and wait for the wind to blow, which it almost always did there on Thanksgiving. Then we’d tear out after the leaves as they twirled to the ground. According to Appalachian folk wisdom, catching just one was sufficient to ward off a cold for the winter, but we figured the more we caught, the healthier we’d be. These days, after my husband and I clear our table, we take our sons outside under the big red oak and wait for the leaves to dance. —Lenela Glass-Godwin. Make sure you know these Thanksgiving etiquette tips for hosts and guests.
Go for the gold
My father organizes what we’ve come to call the Thanksgiving Olympics and all 25 family members and friends who gather at my parents’ house that day participate. Dad plans the games, such as shooting a basketball, pitching pennies in our yard, or doing a word scramble. Everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving Olympics memory is when my mom, who never played a game of basketball in her life, sank all three of her shots. We cheered like crazy. And let’s not forget the prizes. We cover the table with goodies such as a tin of popcorn, a box of chocolates, stationery, and toys for the kids. I am so thankful for my family, but especially for my mom and dad and for everything they do to make the holiday so special. —Kathleen Sturm