Throughout this holiday week, I will share stories of Thanksgiving from radio listeners across the country. 

From New York:

Back in the early fifties my siblings and I would dress up in our parent's clothes and go out into the neighborhood to beg, "Anything For Thanksgiving?". Somewhat like "Trick or Treat" on Halloween, only not as scary!

One Thanksgiving my Mom dressed me in one of her two or three dresses. Meager times back then! Anyway the rule was that I was to be back home by 2:00 PM as we were having company for dinner and my Mom needed the dress to wear!!

Great memories and great times! Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!!!

Dennis Martin, New York

From Arizona:

The Thanksgiving that I will never forget was in 1997. Two days before, my Dad was taken from the nursing home to the hospital. The hospital called me at home to let me know that my Dad was in critical condition with a stroke. I raced to the hospital. On the way, I felt a presence of a spiritual being. But it was urgent. This being, was there to let me know that he was taking my Daddy with HIM. I remember driving the car and screaming to Jesus, saying, "You promised me you wouldn't take my father until he got saved!" I immediately had a peace that HE would leave my Daddy on the earth and I would get to talk to him once again.

When I got to the hospital, my Daddy was on life support, even though his records stated that he was not to be put on life support. My Dad kept motioning to me that he wanted the respirator off. I mentioned this to the Doctor and he said that they put my Dad on life support because the family had not come to the hospital yet. My father had to sign a waiver stating that he knew that he would probably die if they took the life support off. They weaned him off of the respirator and placed him in a room. He kept trying to talk to me but his throat was so sore. I told him to rest and we would talk in the morning. I spent the night in his room with him. The next morning was Thanksgiving. When my Dad awakened, I felt the need to ask him if he had "made peace" with Jesus. He said, "YES, that is what I was trying to tell you last night. Your Jesus came to me and I "made peace" with HIM. I told him I was sorry for all my sins, HE told me that I would be in heaven when I died." I was so excited with my Dad's testimony. My Dad was the first one in my family to get saved. I had witnessed to all of my family, so many times that they had told me to NEVER talk about religion to them. My Dad always said, "I will make peace with Jesus when I am ready."

This was the best Thanksgiving I ever had. My Dad passed peacefully the following Sunday. I was sad to see him go, but I know where he is. My Dad and I were very close and I am so thankful that he accepted Christ before he passed on and that HE allowed me to know this. I have the peace that I will see my Daddy again when I join him in heaven.

Thanks for the opportunity to share this with your listeners. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Dottie Thomen, Arizona

From Kentucky:

After my mother passed away I always made sure to go to my father's home to prepare a Thanksgiving meal for him. My brother and sister would usually join us. Nine years ago I had pneumonia and really didn't feel like making the 200 mile trip but I knew he would be disappointed if I didn't come. I did let him know that we would change the tradition a little and have Thanksgiving on Friday. That would give me one extra day to recover. I had most of the groceries, made the trip and began preparation knowing, of course, that try as I might it wouldn't be nearly as good as my mother's cooking. No one could step into her shoes! In the middle of cooking Daddy came in the kitchen and said "Do you think you could take a little time out and go for a ride in the country"? That was our entertainment when we were kids. We tried our best to find a country road we had never traveled before! Of course, I said yes, put everything on hold, turned the oven off and away we went. I think we really did find a road that day that I had never been on! Daddy pulled over and we looked off into the distance at a beautiful scene of Kentucky hills rolling into each other. Daddy said, "You can almost imagine the creation of earth when you look at something like this!" I agreed. It was breathtaking. He went on to say that he had been giving a lot of thought to how the Lord would take him, lately. I said I wished he wouldn't talk like that but he continued, saying that at his age it IS something that he thinks about and he just prayed that he would never have to suffer like my mother did (cancer) and he didn't want to go to a nursing home. I assured him that he wouldn't have to worry about that.

Eight days later I got a call from one of my father's neighbors. My father had gone to the post office, returned home, put the car in park and never got out of the car. The engine was still running. It took some time for my grief to ebb before I realized that the day of our country ride my father had said a prayer and God answered his prayer exactly as my father wanted. He never suffered and didn't have to go to a nursing home. I m so grateful that I put my illness aside and made the trip

Susan Raby, Kentucky

Comments 1-5 of 23

  • David Gibney Sr

    11/23/2012 10:47 AM

    I'm attaching the link to our local newspaper with a story about ThanksGibney...our family's Thanksgiving celebration in Reading, PA:

  • Vincent J.Abramo

    11/23/2012 10:39 AM

    Yes I remember Thanksgiving morning in Brooklyn New York with some of the kids dressing as hobos....but that wasn't all. I lived on 54th between 7th & 8th Ave.. Bay Ridge in the years 1950-1959. As young boys from OLPH or St. Agatha we were probably the youngest tranvestites in the U.S. on Thanksgiving morning. We dressed up in mom's clothes including high heels... and put on lipstick and rouge. We did all of the same things you described in going door to door " anything for Thankgiving?" ...but we were in drag...Never thought a thing about it. In fact some of the boys really go into it. Wonder where they are today..... and would dressing as women be accepted?

    Arlington Virginia

  • George

    11/22/2012 06:32 AM

    The Thanksgiving Day that I never forget was on November 27, 2008. First, Obama won the election; second, it was just exactly the same day I refused to dispose of two cases of fresh blackberries and 12 cases of fresh Irish mushrooms at Sainsbury's Supermarket in London!What a Thanksgiving on November 27 2008!

  • Polly Turpen

    11/21/2012 05:18 PM

    Beautiful testimonies of salvation....just in time!

  • Teresa Wheeler

    11/21/2012 11:27 AM

    My fondest memories go back to growing up in Southern Mississippi. The entire family would go to Grandma & Grandpa's for Thanksgiving. The family was really big due to my Grandparents having adopted 23 children over their lifetime, not including 3 of their natural children. So I am sure you could imagine what it was like to be surrounded by Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and of course family friends.

    I can still smell the cooking, and the scene of all the women in the kitchen busily making cornbread stuffing and too many pies to count. The men would convene and usually go hunting in our woods or fishing in the ponds early in the morning.

    Grandma had a huge buffet, there the items would go to be set for the long line of people later. Once it was time to start, Grandma would round up everyone. I remember her going out on the porch and yelling "Cmon in ya'll". When everyone was inside, we would all stand with our heads down and she would perform our prayer of gratitude and Thanks. I will always remember what respect everyone had, young and old to be completely quiet and attentive as our wonderful Lady would talk about how grateful she was for having all of us in her life.

    Time to eat! It could be overwhelming. I recall 8 different pies and having a hard time choosing as a kid. We ate until we would nearly bust. I fondly recall the conversations all over the house, you could go from person to person and listen in on conversations about so many different subjects. I especially loved my Grandmothers stories about her life, I would listen for hours.

    After our feeding frenzy, it was typical to start napping time. We were a traditional family for sure, the men and children tended to nap while the women finished cleaning the kitchen up. I recall walking around from room to room seeing people sleeping on couches, floors and upstairs in bedrooms. Grandma would always come around to check on you.

    I think that most of all on that day each year we could feel the complete love and respect this family had for one another. It warms my heart when I think about it and I am grateful that I had the honor of being a part of it.

    Grandparents passed a long time ago. We children have moved on and live across many different states. I know we do our best to pass on those memories of a time long ago. I become acutely aware how much I miss it when the Holidays come around, that time cannot be duplicated. I do honor them by remembering fondly what we all had together as a family and passing those stories on to my children.

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