As long as I can remember our family has always celebrated an Italian Thanksgiving; which always included lasagna and Italian wedding soup. Although this may seem weird, this was the norm for our Italian-American family.
A typical menu for an Italian Thanksgiving includes all the traditional food, like turkey, sweet potatoes, and stuffing. But throw in manicotti, lasagna, and Italian wedding soup, with some Italian meats and cheeses and you’ll have your own Italian Thanksgiving!
Gone, But Not Forgotten
Since the passing of my grandparents, our big Italian family has broken off and started having Thanksgiving with their own families. However, I will always have so many wonderful memories.
The house was never quiet but filled with the sounds of boisterous laughter, children playing, and a million and one simultaneous conversations all going on at the same table! I can still hear my Gram’s voice as she would direct the women in the kitchen on what needed to be done, while my Papa sat at the dining room table telling stories about his time in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and stories from when he worked on the B&O Railroad.
After dinner, we all would sit around the table having coffee, Crown Royal, and a massive spread of pies and cookies. Uncle Pete would tell us stories about his days working in radio. While the cousins would talk about work and the fun things they had going on at home.
The Tradition Carries On
Although these incredible days have passed, it doesn’t mean that the tradition of our Italian Thanksgiving is over. It’s just different now. This is my second Thanksgiving in Virginia since moving from Ohio. The decision to move here was the right one, but I do miss my family tremendously. I didn’t realize how hard it would be moving away from home but had I not, we wouldn’t have welcomed my beautiful baby boy into the world. I guess everything always happens the way it’s supposed to.
Although my family here is much smaller, it is still a special time. I have a lot to be thankful for. My oldest son is amazing on trumpet and he will be off to college next summer to study music. My daughter just received an offer to her dream job working for the Columbus Division of Fire. And my youngest son is celebrating his first Thanksgiving.
Our Italian Thanksgiving wasn’t about the food, but more so about family. When it comes to holidays, the most important thing is family. Enjoy every moment you have with them, and take every opportunity to be with them.