Cristina Ferrare
Thanksgiving is without a doubt my favorite holiday for many reasons. I look forward to it the minute the leaves start to turn and you can detect ever so slightly the cool air coming down from the north. It's a time for all kinds of activities that involve home and family, along with a happy anticipation of things to come.

Every year, our Thanksgiving dinner gets bigger and bigger, as our family has grown over the years, along with many friends who join us. There are at least 50 people for dinner, and I love it!

I love planning the meal, setting the table, baking and freezing desserts three weeks before and looking in cooking magazines for new and interesting ideas for the meal. I have to make sure not to stray too far from the traditional recipes, otherwise I never hear the end of it!
Thanksgiving is a time of reflection, gratitude and traditions never lost as we pass them on to our children and our grandchildren.

I remember as a child the anticipation of watching the Macy's Day parade (my computer screen is way larger than our TV screen was back then!) so I could watch my beloved Bullwinkle as he floated on by, dwarfing the buildings as he majestically sailed in the air with antlers that reach all the way across Time Square!

I could hear my mother and grandmother running up and down the basement steps all day. That's where the Thanksgiving table was always set—never in the dining room; always in the basement. We had a second kitchen in the basement for large family gatherings with all the relatives and friends. The long table was set up from one end of the room to other, in order of birth. Starting at one end were the toddlers, ages 2 to 4, with the young mothers looking after them; the "kidlets," 5 to 8; the youngsters, 9 to 12; the teens, 14 to 16; the older teenagers, 17 to 19; the young adults; the young married (and back then everyone married in their early 20s); the adults; middle-aged adults; the grandparents; and the great-grandparents.
I remember sitting down in the almost middle of the table with the "kidlets" and being really annoyed and mad. All I wanted to do was to be with the adults at the "adult table" because that's where all the fun seemed to be—a lot of laughter coming from that end! I couldn't wait to be all grown up so I could be there and laugh too; there's nothing funny about 8-year-olds.

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