Thanksgiving Tablecloth Tradition

One of my most cherished family traditions is that of our Thanksgiving tablecloth.

Thanksgiving Tablecloth Tradition

Good morning. I wrote and scheduled this post  for today before the events of yesterday unfolded.  Now, it seems so trivial to talk about this when so many others are deeply hurting.  My heart is heavy today.  It seems like a violent event is playing out on the TV every time I turn around.  This world we are living in makes it challenging to keep your faith, especially in light of what happened In a small town church in Sutherland yesterday.  Still I pray.  I am praying for our world and especially for anyone who has been touched by yesterday’s violence.  I pray that the Lord will bring His peace and comfort to all those who are hurting.  And friend, I pray for you too, that you will continue to have faith and reach out to others in love.  We could all use a little more of that today.

 

Hi there!  I so glad you’ve stopped by today.  You know, writing this blog has not always been easy.  I don’t always have topics jumping out at me.  However from the first day of starting this blog, I knew I wanted to write a post about our family’s Thanksgiving tablecloth tradition.  It’s one of those things that I love about my family.  I also feel like it’s a tradition that could be so meaningful in lots of families.  So, that’s what I’m sharing today ~ my family’s Thanksgiving tablecloth tradition.

As a child I looked forward to Thanksgiving every year.  It wasn’t the food I was excited about ~ although it was really good ~ it was the family reunion that happened each year.  I come from a large, Irish, Catholic family.  My grandparents were from big families.  They had seven children.  Their children had large families.  You can imagine with all the aunts, uncles, cousins how large this reunion could be.  Sixty people would not have been uncommon.  Each year from near and far we would all descend on my great-aunt’s home for a day of eating, visiting, and football game watching.  It was awesome!  This gave birth to my cherished Thanksgiving tablecloth tradition.

One of my most cherished family traditions is that of our Thanksgiving tablecloth.

The tablecloth tradition has always been a  special family tradition.  I am not sure when it started.  I’m guessing it was some time in the 1970s.  We asked all guests to sign the tablecloth as they arrived.  You could only sign it once.  So, you signed as a child with your sweet children’s handwriting, that’s the one that you kept.  Some people would print and some would add their signature.  After the holiday, my great-aunt and others would then needlepoint over the ink to add that person’s name permanently.  You didn’t have to be family to sign.  Anyone who celebrated Thanksgiving with us was invited to sign.  Over the years the tablecloth became a record of who visited as well as a remembrance of loved ones that had passed on.  It is a treasure, to say the least.

In the picture above, you can see the hand print that my oldest son traced onto the tablecloth.  Nearby is my father’s signature.  He passed away earlier this year, so it is nice to have that memory.  Also, in that pic. is the signature of my high school boyfriend.  I wonder whatever happened to him?  It’s fun to see the kids’ names and then as years passed, the girls added their new married last names.  Don’t you think this is just so sweet?

One of my most cherished family traditions is that of our Thanksgiving tablecloth.

Well, my great aunt has long since passed, as has her daughter.  However, the tablecloth lives on and has been handed down over the years.  I loved this tradition so much, that I brought it to life in my family.  Now each year when my family gathers for this special holiday, we pull out our own tablecloth.   We have also asked loved ones to sign it.  And though we are not nearly as prompt at getting all the signatures sewn in, this tradition lives on.

One of my most cherished family traditions is that of our Thanksgiving tablecloth.

 

I have a lot of wonderful traditions in our family.  I think traditions are the things that endure and make special memories.  Perhaps by sharing this tradition from my home to yours, I might inspire you to carry on in your own family or maybe create a special one all your own.  And just so you know, yes, I’ve really started my own family Thanksgiving tablecloth.

One of my most cherished family traditions is that of our Thanksgiving tablecloth.

 

One of my most cherished family traditions is that of our Thanksgiving tablecloth.

 

One of my most cherished family traditions is that of our Thanksgiving tablecloth.

As a footnote to this post, there was an article in the Dallas Morning News about this tablecloth.  I wanted to give you a link to the article; however, I have not been able to locate it.  If any of you are subscribers, perhaps you can locate it.  John Davenport wrote the article.

 

One of my most cherished family traditions is that of our Thanksgiving tablecloth.

 

So, do you have any special family traditions?  I’d love to hear about them, so leave me a comment below.  Also, if you have any amazing recipe ideas, I’d really love those!

 

Until next time~

16 Comments

  1. I love this idea! You are good at keeping up with the embroidery part. I saw this on #TwinklyTuesday.

  2. that’s wonderful! my MIL has done this with their shore house with every new visitor, but so far we’re only at the signatures stage, not the sewing. even though it’s been over 10 years, lol.
    b

    1. Author

      Well, I have to admit..the sewing part is a bit of a chore. 🙂 However, you can’t really wash it until you get them sewn.

  3. Jennifer, these are wonderful. I am a little social media challenged. Do I follow or ? So I won’t miss any?

  4. This is such a lovely tradition. It is really a beautiful tablecloth! I will be celebrating my first thank giving ever this year with my American family in law and I have reading up on it and this post is just so lovely. Makes me look forward to it! Thank you Jenny! ~Sofie

    1. Author

      OH, Sophie, I’m so glad it could help you. Maybe you can start this tradition in your new family. 🙂 Thanks so much for your kind words. I wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving.

  5. What a lovely idea and tradition that you have! So precious!!

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful project with us over at Waste Not Wednesday!

  6. This is such a beautiful tradition. I love it. Thank you so much for sharing with My Busy Beehives this week. 🙂

  7. It’s such a lovely idea and a wonderful family tradition. Thank you for inspiring us.

I always love to hear what's on your mind. Please comment below!