Nut Cups & Servicemen

Turkey edited familybringsjoy.comI want you to think of your most memorable Thanksgiving.

I want you to take a stroll down (good) memory lane.

Close your eyes if you need to.

Who was there?  What made it special?

This morning I was remembering past Thanksgivings.  There is not one Thanksgiving which does not include me spending time with my family.  Isn’t Thanksgiving synonymous with family?  I believe so.

When I held Once Upon A Family “Celebrations” as a consultant I asked each person what their most favorite family memory was.  The majority of people said their most favorite family memories were spent around the table during the holidays.  It wasn’t the food they remember.  It was the TIME spent together talking, laughing and just being together.

One Thanksgiving that sticks out in my mind was when I was elementary school age.  I have fond memories of traveling to my grandparents for Thanksgiving.  My grandma always seemed to be the perfect hostess with a cheery disposition.  {I have a difficult time doing that as I’m always stressed out in the kitchen}  I remember sitting at the bar while grandma & grandpa were busy preparing all the food for our Thanksgiving feast.  My siblings, cousins & I would color in Thanksgiving coloring books while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade in our jammies.

Grandma making candy familybringsjoy.comMy grandparent’s kitchen was open to the dining room.  The bar I’m referring to shared the kitchen counter.  Even though many kitchens are designed similar to this way now, they were ahead of their time with this open concept.  Side note: this newly designed kitchen happened because a massive tornado tore through their home.  Looking back, this was a blessing for our family.  I don’t mean the tornado was a blessing.  I mean that because of the tornado, my grandparents were able to create a family conducive space.  Back to my Thanksgiving memory.

After a leisurely morning spent watching my grandparents cook, coloring in coloring books and watching the parade, it was time to get dressed for the day.  Then came one of my favorite traditions my grandma had at Thanksgiving…the nut cups.  Each person at the table had a small paper nut cup by their place setting.  Us kids loved helping grandma fill the cups with different nuts, m&m’s and dinner mints.  I don’t remember if her mom did this as well.  I will have to ask my Dad if he remembers.  It would be interesting to find out if this is a long standing tradition passed down through the generations.  It became increasingly difficult for grandma to find these nut cups as the years went by.  However, it didn’t seem like Thanksgiving without them.  It’s funny because it is such a small thing, yet it obviously meant a great deal to me.  That’s kind of the way it goes with traditions.

Airmen_Basic_in_column_formation_(Lackland_AFB)Anyway, I remember on this particular Thanksgiving the door bell rang.  In walked two young men dressed in military uniforms.  My grandparents greeted the young men and introduced them to the rest of the family.  My grandparents volunteered to have two Air Force men eat our Thanksgiving meal with us.  Here’s the deal…it was weird for me.  I kept thinking, “why are these 2 strangers interrupting our family Thanksgiving.”  I didn’t know them.  My grandparents didn’t even know them.  They weren’t family.  They were strangers.  I can only imagine what came out of my mouth.  I say that because I’ve witnessed my own kids ask questions that weren’t quite appropriate or might come across as offensive.  It was just different to have these 2 men there.  Grandma explained to us kids that these young men were stationed at the local air force base and weren’t from here.  They weren’t able to go home and spend time with their own families for Thanksgiving.  To be honest, I still didn’t like having them there.  They stole some of my grandparent’s attention and it bugged me.

Grandma cooking familybringsjoy.comAs an adult, I now look back and see how my grandparents were fully participating in Thanksgiving.  I don’t mean the holiday.  I mean they were giving thanks…really in so many ways.  They were giving thanks by inviting the service men into their home.  They were giving thanks by serving them a meal.  They were giving thanks to God by sharing what He had blessed them with to others.  As I have mentioned before, my grandpa served in the military.  I believe he was showing thanks to these men for serving our country as he did.  My grandparents taught me a lesson that day.  We are to give thanks by sharing with others.  Almost every Thanksgiving after this one, my grandparents welcomed the air force men into their home.  It was easier to accept this new tradition each year.  I enjoyed learning about where the servicemen came from and what they did in the Air Force.  I am so grateful for my grandparents’ example.  I think of all of our men and women who are serving in the military on our behalf all over the world.  I pray someone will give thanks to them on Thanksgiving this year.

Writing this post reminds me…the people who shared the “First Thanksgiving” were not all members of the same family.  The Pilgrims and Indians were strangers, yet they celebrated a bountiful harvest together too.

Now it’s your turn.  I would love to hear about your most memorable Thanksgiving.

Who was there?  What made it special?

Thanks for SHARING,

Family Memory Board Link Party

My Teen Daughter's Memory Board

Thank you for coming to the Party!

If you are new to Family Brings Joy, welcome & check out my initial post about the BENEFITS {for your family} of having a Family Memory Board by clicking here.  But make sure you come back, please 😉

This summer my daughter had the idea to make this huge memory board for her bedroom.  It’s made out of all kinds of different square boards: cork, dry erase or magnet.  3 of the cork boards are covered with bandanas.  Two were personalized with spray paint.  The 4 dry erase/magnet boards, 4 blue cork boards and 1 pink cork I found on clearance at Staples for 50 CENTS several months ago.  The butterfly and flower designed board was given to her as a birthday gift.  We had all of these boards in our home…I love that we didn’t have to go purchase them!  Shop at home!

She drew & cut out the letter & heart from scrap paper

Of course I had to take a photo of this!

Letting the boards dry after spraying.

Personalized Memory Board Included

Side view

Wonder where this girl gets her creativity??

Bedside View

Another Family Memory Board in our home:

Photo Booth Memory Board

Here is the Photo Memory Board I whipped up for my craft room.  I happened upon all these photo booth pictures and had to display them!  The ones of me and hubby were taken on our honeymoon. {Ahhhhh….sigh…young and in love}  The “be” buttons are pins that attached effortlessly to the round magnets I used to hold up the photos.  I also used paper flowers with brads on top of the magnets…just to dress it up a tad.

Photos on far left are of us with my 16 year old daughter when she was a baby

Back side of an old metal sign & placed a frame on top without the glass

Now it’s your turn!

Let’s see your Family Memory Boards.


1. Please put the following button or a link somewhere on your Family Memory Board post back to this post.

2. Please visit & comment on at least 2 posts linked up to the party.
3. Party will be open to link up for one week.  Ends at 11:59 on Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Also joining:

Celebrating Memories Today,