Guest blogger: Jackie from Purple Monkey

Hi everyone!
First of all, a huge thanks to Jaime for letting me guest post today!
My name is Jackie and I write the blog Purple Monkey.

Sometimes I think Thanksgiving gets the shorter end of the stick. 
I mean, it's the precursor to the holiday season and everyone is so focused on the holiday spirit that sometimes Thanksgiving gets overwhelmed by food and black Friday shopping.

I, however, love Thanksgiving and have acquired quite a few amazing memories that I would like to share with all of you!

 My earliest memory of Thanksgiving was when I was 5 or 6.  My Grandma and Grandpa would have my mom, dad, sister, and all my aunts, uncles, and cousins over to their apartment.  The adults would spend the entire day cooking, while my cousins, sister, and I all "pretended" to cook in the living room.  We'd all sit down and eat dinner together.  After dinner, my Grandma would drag out her huge fake Christmas tree and we'd turn on some music and spend hours decorating it with her thousands of ornaments.  Seriously, this tree ended up slanted by the end because we'd always pile them up on one side.

 By the time I was 10, we started having Thanksgiving at our house, because it was bigger and meant that my grandparents didn't have to cook as much.  I remember from that age on, every Thanksgiving morning my dad and I would wake up early and go for a run outside together.  This is one of my favorite memories, because then entire world was silent and the crisp fall air was amazing.  It was great quality time with my dad.  Then, we'd go back home, and I'd turn on the parade and spend the entire morning crafting!  I'd paint garland and make place settings.  I'd create center pieces and color fake leaves to be scattered everywhere.  It was such a festive tradition.

Fast forward to the teenage years.  By the time I was 13, my grandparents bought a house in Florida and moved down there for the winter months, which meant they weren't here in New Jersey for Thanksgiving.  My uncle lived there with them, but school and hectic schedules prevented us from going there, but we would still celebrate with my Aunt, Uncle, and two cousins.  My dad stopped running thanks to a bad knee, so I would always run on the treadmill while watching the parade.  I would always stop as soon as Santa Clause came on, and quickly called my grandmother on the phone.  We'd watch the last remaining minutes of the parade together.  When my family came over later that night, we began start going around the table and saying what we were thankful for.  We would put the phone on speaker, with my grandparents and uncle on the other end, and all take turns speaking.  It made it seem like they were really there.

When I was 14, my aunt, uncle and cousins went away for Thanksgiving.  We had planned to spend it just the four of us, but my mom met a new girl in school's mom and the gym, and invited them over.  I was so mad at her at the time.  I mean, inviting a girl I barely new to spend such a family oriented holiday with us was completely unheard of.  But it was that Thanksgiving that I truly realized the meaning of the holiday.   

When I was 15, I became a vegetarian.  That first Thanksgiving was hilarious in more ways then one, but one memory sticks out at me.  My mom bought me to-furkey in a can, and I was so excited to try it.  Let me just say, when a can shaped blob of tofu rolls of the baking sheet onto the floor after coming out of the oven, it is not too appetizing.  {I have since found some other alternatives}

This year, my 17th Thanksgiving, it is just the four of us again. It's my last Thanksgiving in high school, and I intend to make the most of it.  These past two years I have acquired the baking gene from my mom.  We always make way too many pies, and end up donating half of them to the local food bank.  It's something really special we do together.

This year, I'll wake up like every other Thanksgiving, and go for a run.  I'll bake pies, make my vegetarian feast, and sit down with my family.  We'll put my Florida family on speaker phone, and say what we're grateful for.  We'll take the time to remember my grandpa, who died last year.  And we'll pray for those a lot less fortunate.  

The Thanksgiving memories I have acquired are some of my fondest.  I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my past Thanksgivings and I wish you all a joyful one of your own! xo

Thanks, Jackie!



  1. That's an awesome way to give back! Who doesn't love homemade pie?

    Thanksgiving totally gets the short end of the stick. All decorated in browns, and nothing sparkly. Poor Thanksgiving.

  2. Aww, that is so awesome! Great post :)

  3. I loved this post! And totally identified it, because it reminds me of my Thanksgivings with my family. I became a vegetarian a few years back and have since come up with interesting alternatives, too. It's a great opportunity to get creative with the cooking! This year was my thirteen-year-old cousin's first vegetarian Thanksgiving, and it was so fun and exciting for me to share the holiday with a family member who gets my views! Not to mention, she was so cute about helping me create vegan gravy! ^_^


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