Thanksgiving traditions are as colorful as the falling leaves. Every kitchen has its own rules and recipes, but on each set table, memories are the main ingredient. The spirit of Thanksgiving is often characterized by the company we find ourselves in. However, there is something to be said for the quieter moments in which we reflect and discover what we are truly thankful for.
Founder Peter H. Reynolds shares one of these moments, “I remember taking a walk after Thanksgiving dinner with a family friend when I was about 11. We walked to the center of our town of Chelmsford, MA. That was my first experience and sensation of having the world come to a slow stop. No cars. We walked in the center of the road downtown. It was very peaceful. Years later, our friend became an abbot for a Trappist monastery in the Amazon. It seems his way to find peace here on Earth was with him early on.”
Peace of mind is a theme that goes hand in hand with the holiday. We stop and consider what we are grateful for, and what brings out the season’s serenity for each of us. We find peace in our families and friends, and we honor that peace in traditions new and old, planned and impromptu, hectic and hilarious.
Here at FableVision, we are an eclectic cornucopia of individuals with roots reaching far and wide. This holiday season, we asked some festive FableVisionaries to share the roots we’ve built in memories by telling a story about their own Thanksgiving routines—from food, to family, to furry football stars.
Sarah Ditkoff, Communications Director
Every Thanksgiving, my Pop-Pop is responsible for setting the table. When I was little, while my grandmother's kitchen was a hot clatter of pots and pans, he slipped into the quiet(er) dining room, took out the nice china, and arranged the place settings. I joined him when I was small and followed instructions, "knife faces inwards towards the plate, glasses on the right side." Now that I am older, I love setting the table. It is a calming exercise of preparing our home—a ritual for making loved ones feel comfortable and welcome.
Brian Grossman, Technical Director
I love food. Anyone that knows me knows this is true. So, it’s a pretty big deal when you learn that the thing I like most about Thanksgiving, the foodiest of all holidays, is actually my family. With busy lives, it’s hard to make time to see the extended family. But every Thanksgiving, I can count on seeing the aunts, uncles, and cousins I love. It’s always comforting to be seated around a table with a couple dozen people just as crazy as me.
Our extended family has been consistently getting together for Thanksgiving since 2014, which you can read more about here.
David Welsh, Marketing Intern
My favorite thing about Thanksgiving is the turkey. Even when traditions fade away or new ones don't stick, there will always be turkey. When the shape of the table changes or when different people are around the table, there will always be turkey. When you have to run between houses trying to make it to separate family Thanksgivings, well, in that case there will probably be MORE turkey. And even when I was a vegetarian for a couple of years, I still had the turkey. I really, really like turkey.
Samantha Bissonnette, Producer
Football has always somehow been a part of my family's Thanksgiving traditions. Whether it was playing football in the yard with my cousins or watching my brother's game for our local high school, we always found a way to get outside and play. Now our Thanksgivings change every year—last year my now-husband's family came to visit my parent's house, this year we'll be in Chicago but we still find a way to throw the ball around and play keep-away from our star running back, Kovu.
I didn’t grow up in the US, so I don’t have fond childhood memories of Thanksgiving. However, I have plenty of memories from my early years here. My college would shut down for Thanksgiving break, as all the students would go to their homes, and I had nowhere to stay. However, friends would always invite me to spend the holiday with their families, and share their meals and homes with me. Some of them were immigrant families themselves, and I always enjoyed seeing the cultural blend that Thanksgiving was at their houses—turkeys and pies next to dumplings, durian, kugel, blinchiki. It was the quintessential American experience!
Mitul Daiyan, Communications Strategist
I come from an immigrant home so Thanksgiving wasn’t celebrated with the usual western fanfare of pies, cranberry sauces, or even turkey. My siblings and I longed for the Norman Rockwell version of roast turkey we saw on television but during high school, when my family finally made the splurge on 15 pounds of poultry, they turned it into what they knew best—curry! We didn’t quite appreciate it back then, but now turkey curry has become a special delicacy as part of the Thanksgiving dinners I host, and sits proudly alongside those Rockwell-esque traditional pies and sauces.
Olivia Jones, Marketing Intern
Every other Thanksgiving, my family heads down to south Texas for a feasting extravaganza of epic proportions at my grandparents house. My mom's four other siblings and their families in tow, it's quite the social exercise as well. When "the younger cousins" want to get a break from small talk, a tradition we have is to head up to the attic and play the 1993 Aladdin game start to finish on the old Super Nintendo. Once Jafar's been taken down a notch—and hunger has kicked UP a notch—we follow the wafting scent of homemade rolls down the spiral staircase, and make a *beeline* for the honey jar (filled from the hive in my grandma’s backyard!)
Christina Kelly, Production Designer
Many major life events have caused my traditions and life routines to fall out of any kind of normalcy, but one thing that has never changed is getting to share Thanksgiving with my mom. Every year, my mom puts together an elaborate feast of some of my favorites: mashed potatoes, homemade chunky cranberry sauce, and stuffing with turkey liver chopped into it. My mom and her partner Bill always open their doors to neighbors, friends, family, and whichever loved one we can think of that might need a special dinner that day. It might be her grandmother's recipes that make me hungry the day before, but it's the company and the feeling of home my mom provides—no matter where each November has taken us—that make the holiday special.