Thanksgiving Scrabble

When I was growing up, my Mom had a Thanksgiving tradition of a game involving Scrabble letters. We would pass the velvet bag around the table and draw out one or two letters. Then you had to go around and say something you were thankful for that started with that letter. Literary concepts and thankfulness? My mom nailed it.

scrabble bag

Except I hated it. I had the dramatic teenage girl thing down (for years) and was quick to dismiss and roll my eyes. (Thank goodness I did not have to parent myself.) I thought it was cheesy. It’s a miracle my Mom kept me around.

Now that I have a family of my own, that is my very favorite Thanksgiving tradition.

My husband and I have been married for 6 years, but we’ve only spent two of them together. He has had to work every Thanksgiving since he started residency, so this is the fourth year in a row we are not spending Thanksgiving together.  I am not brave enough to embark on Thanksgiving travel alone with a toddler (even though I am totally supermom when it comes to traveling alone with a toddler) so for the past four years my son and I have had hod-podge Thanksgivings and one year we spent it completely alone, just me and a then one year old.

Still, I pull out my favorite memories from childhood on Thanksgiving. My mom’s amazing cranberry relish (no, really, it’s so good!), a turkey from Honey Baked Hams (because it’s so much easier and that’s what we always had growing up) and the Scrabble game.

My son loves picking out the letters, and even though we are still working on his letter sounds, he thinks it is a great game and associates the velvet Scrabble bag with Thanksgiving.

Even though my Thanksgivings as an adult haven’t turned out to be the family events I once hoped for, I am so thankful to pass down my favorite Thanksgiving traditions to my son. And I have so very much to be thankful for.

thankful letters

What are your favorite holiday traditions?



Our porch decorated for Thanksgiving


Welcome to our home!


Thanksgiving display in the dining room


Thanksgiving table with my favorite centerpiece; my little boy’s hand print turkey.


Decorations scattered the house, with welcoming scarecrows and pumpkins resting on the porch.

The kitchen was stocked with food and decorated with its own precisely placed decorations.

The living room was neatly arranged and filled with the laughter of a toddler and conversation of my in-laws.

The dining room, my favorite decorating spot, was arranged neatly, awaiting it’s time in the spotlight to host the turkey.

It was the 3rd year in a row that my husband and I were not spending the holiday together. For all the things I though I knew I was getting into, I didn’t know that being married to a medical resident would mean never having your husband home for the holidays.

My in-laws invited themselves up to our home for Thanksgiving, even though my husband would not be there. The stress and anxiety of that faded after they took over leaf raking and Thanksgiving dinner preparation. It’s easy to host Thanksgiving when all you have to do is provide the home.

As we all took our places around the table at 2:00, my sweet three-year old proclaimed “It’s a feast!” and instructed that we all must walk around the table to admire it before sitting down.

Which of course we did.

I introduced to my in-laws one of my favorite holiday traditions.

When I was little, my mom came up with the idea to bring Scrabble tiles to the Thanksgiving table. We would all draw a tile and say something we were grateful for that began with that letter.

It was a tradition that drew eye rolling from me as a teenager but is one of my most favorite childhood memories as an adult, and something I want to do just like my mom.

I went first, and drew the letter “M” and said I’m thankful for my mom.

As we went around the table, people were thankful for “Everything” and “Reunion” and “Turkey.”

My favorite moment was when my son drew the letter “N” and said, “I’m thankful for my mom. And Noah!”

My father-in-law said the blessing and we all enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner with a honey baked turkey and sides cooked by the in-laws.

It wasn’t the way I remember Thanksgiving growing up, when I got to spend it with my parents and siblings.

It wasn’t the way I imagined Thanksgiving would be when I got married, since I haven’t gotten to spend this holiday with my husband in so long.

But it was a feast and a celebration.

And thank goodness I didn’t have to cook.

Did you enjoy your Thanksgivings this year?

Holidays Stress Me Out

Remember how I told you NaBloPoMo was hard? Well it is. Very much so. And I’m not really doing that great of a job keeping up with it.

I’m swamped with show rehearsals, toddler talk, and most recently, dun dun dun….in-laws!

I love my in-laws. I do. They are nice and supportive and really would do anything for us.

They also do things like invite themselves up for Thanksgiving when my husband will be on a rough rotation and will not be around.

So I get to add things like “make the house spotless” and “learn to cook” to my list of things.

I did make the house spotless.

I’m ordering Thanksgiving from Honey Baked Ham. (Don’t worry, they make really good turkeys. And hopefully sides because I am not even going to try the whole preparing a Thanksgiving feast for the in-laws without the husband thing.)

And then after most of the in-laws leave, the mother in law would like to stay for an additional 7 days so that she can come to the opening night of my show. Seven days. For a grand total of 12 days straight of company, and 9 days with the mother in law. And remember, my husband will be on nights. A husband on nights = no husband, basically.

So right now I am looking up condos in Antarctica. They have those right? Please, please tell me they have those.

Are you as stressed out over Thanksgiving as I am?