American Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, and since I am going home to my ancestral land of Ohio this year, I got to thinking about the kinds of traditions my family has.
My family is huge. Some families can field a football team. We can field a football team, a marching band, and half the stands. My mom is the eldest of 9, you see. There are hundreds of us, and that's just on my mom's side. My dad's side is even bigger.
But we go to my mom's family for Thanksgiving, and it's always a zoo. I think the record number of guests was 94, because the doors are open to anyone and everyone who might wander in. Aunts, uncles, cousins, everyone's spouses, sometimes ex-spouses, grandkids, neighbors, friends, random people, you name it, my grandma will feed them all.
One very odd tradition is that we take a brick of cream cheese, dye it pink, and stuff it into celery sticks. Why, you ask? WELL! My great-grandmother loved cream cheese and celery together. It was considered a treat when she was growing up super-poor in the backwoods of Tennessee. Cream cheese and celery was a holiday food.
However, Great-Grandma hated, and I mean LOATHED white food. Any white food, the woman would ignore. Enter red food coloring, and the rest is history. Pink cream cheese in celery.
Great-Grandma has been gone awhile now, but we still do this every year. Even on the years when I'm hosting Thanksgiving at my house with my friends and other assorted refugees, I make this and put it out on the table. Everyone is all "ewww grosssss" until I explain the story, then they try it. "EWWWW GROSSSSS."
I know. But it's tradition, and that's why we do it.
Someone out there has got to have something weirder. Let's hear it!