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Thanksgiving Isn't Thanksgiving Without . . .

Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving without dessert first! We started a tradition long ago to make sure we had room for pie and any other desserts on the table by having dessert first! My children all expect it now, even as teenagers and young adults, and anyone that joins us loves the idea. Some like it so much, they have started their own tradition!

Krista Morrison Keller, Texas


Chinese food and family.

The smaller my family became, the less cooking I did. We gave up trying to do the full turkey thing for 2 people. Even a turkey roast didn't cut it.

My son and I started eating Chinese on Thanksgiving for several reasons. 1. We didn't have cook it, didn't burn it or undercook it. 2. We saved a lot of money. 3. We didn't have to clean up the mess from cooking. 4. We could still eat all we wanted and yes they do serve turkey at the Chinese buffet on Thanksgiving.

Only downside to this is no leftovers.

Verla Wall


Thanksgiving isn't Thanksgiving without FAMILY. In my life, I have always been taught that no matter what, there is always someone who needs us, despite the fact we ourselves are in need.

Growing up we were poor, but, I never remember going without. My mom would always see that we had something to donate when it was time to give. She was divorced, working two jobs, with no help from my dad, and she was raising two kids on 90 cents an hour. (Heck, she made in one year what I make in two weeks. Still puzzled by that one.) Yet, I never remember feeling unhappy or like we had nothing, because we always had something to give.

Peggy Bishop-Ackley Portland, Oregon


For our family, Thanksgiving isn't Thanksgiving without launching model rockets. The tradition started about 20 years ago when our oldest son was working on the rocketry merit badge. We live in Mesa, Arizona, and it's just too hot in the summer to be out in the heat shooting off rockets. We have no extended family in the area so we were trying to think of something fun to do with our kids on Thanksgiving morning. We hit on the idea of having everyone make their own rocket. It was such a hit that we have done rockets almost every year since.

Denise Young Mesa, AZ


This year we are away from home and are still looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving. In fact, we will celebrate it twice - once in October, with our fellow Canadians, and a second time in November with our American friends. There will be no turkey, as it is cost prohibitive in this area; actually, it is nonexistent, except by import from New Zealand. So, what will we serve? No matter. It's the spirit of the day that is important. We will give thanks for our eternal families and for our adopted families here.

Family, wherever they may be, on this or the other side of the ocean, on this or the other side of the veil, or adopted by love, is the essential ingredient for a joyous Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Isles of Fiji, Elder and Sister Larsen Suva Temple Missionaries


Thanksgiving isn't Thanksgiving without making the special dishes that our Mothers and Grandmothers made for us in our childhood. They created the memories for us and we carry on those traditions through out the years to our own families and keep the traditions going. The Thanksgiving table, the special dishes, the warmth of the family, and the thanks we give to our Heavenly Father for his bounty.

Sandra L. Gibson Miami, Florida


Thanksgiving isn't Thanksgiving without giving a little bit back. We haven't lived near family for quite a few years, so a big meal is a bit anticlimactic. What we really look forward to is delivering meals to shut-ins. Our children come away with a true sense of gratitude and are truly thankful for all they have.

Cindy Jensen Ballston Lake, New York


Thanksgiving isn't Thanksgiving without the gospel! Oh sure, the pumpkin pie warm from the oven with cool whipped cream, the smell of turkey, dressing and pecan pie make the senses feel such comfort. But we miss those who are not gathered at the table with us the most at Thanksgiving.

We lost our only son just hours after birth and just a few days before Thanksgiving in 1982. In April 2006 we lost my husband's older sister just after she turned 52, his brother at the age of 45, just a few months later. And now this year, our dearest, darling first grandchild, JR, left us just a week ago at the young age of 10 months. We miss them all the most when we gather together and are grateful for the blessings the gospel brings. We know they are not really lost - they are waiting with so many others for us to return.

What a time to be thankful for the gospel, our understanding and the blessings of the Atonement. With grateful hearts we will once again give thanks for the gospel this Thanksgiving season.

Sid Cartwright Kuna, Idaho


On one Thanksgiving my son and I were without food, a place to be and even people to be with. There has been one thing we can't and will not be without on Thanksgiving, and that is each other.

Family, and I mean immediate family, is very essential to us. I recall taking my three year old to Rockefeller Center and sharing with him a hot dog and drinking juice from his bottle. That day I will never forget. I had Heavenly Father and my son, that is all that matters.

Beatriz E. Izquierdo Newark, New Jersey

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