From Mike McCurry’s “Talk of the Town” column in The Clarendon Courier, November 26, 2015
The squeak of a table, the taste of cornbread dressing and the Chicago Bears playing on TV. There are so many memories about Thanksgiving that are stored between my ears. Believe it or not, I don’t remember the outcome of many of the football games I’ve played … but I must have good auditory memory because I can still remember the exact squeaking noise coming from the blue formica table at my grandparents’ house. I’m sure you have seen the one — it’s a retro style (that is now very popular!) and has a metal edge around the outside. Love that table! The cornbread dressing presented in the middle of that table just says “Thanksgiving” to me. But the most important memory to me now is having had three generations of family around that table: grandparents, “MomaCurry and DaddyCurry,” aunts, uncles and cousins.
Who is sitting around the table is important, of course. But sometimes what we do around the table is what makes those relationships even more memorable. The turkey, ham, all the fixings and pies — countless time and energy is spent on the preparation of Thanksgiving, but the time it takes to eat it goes by so quickly! To make the most of your time this year, consider a new activity to stir up interaction while also creating new traditions and memories.
How about these ideas?
Candy Corn — Put three pieces on each person’s plate. Starting with the youngest child, have each person hold one piece in their hand and name something for which they are thankful. They love the part where they get to eat the candy! Continue until you reach the oldest and all of the candy is gone. You will enjoy hearing the reflections from one another as you go around the table. This certainly sets the pace for a wonderful day. You never know … the dishes might even get cleaned by those who didn’t cook the meal!
Guess Who — Ask guests to jot down a thought of thanks on a piece of paper. Make them specific and creative! Then fold each one and put them all into a jar. The real fun begins when the jar is passed around the table and you get to guess who wrote each note!
Charades — I too usually roll my eyes when I hear that word, but I always find that my initial reaction was wrong. Playing charades provides a platform for interaction and is not age-restrictive. Seeing multi-generational ages laugh and carry on is simply priceless.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words — Give the children paper and crayons and invite them to draw pictures of the things that they feel most grateful for this year. You might end up with a few “Michelangelo” to frame!
Pray — There is nothing more important than to invite the creator of the universe to your table. Ask everyone to give one blessing of thanks to God as you go around the circle.
Football! — If you want to get the blood flowing, join the group of guys from Clarendon Hills and Hinsdale who are playing a game of football for their 6th annual “Old Guys Turkey Bowl.” Yes, about 20-30 old guys (lead by Jim Morris, the event’s founder) can be seen strutting their feathers at Prospect Park on turkey day. If you’re not much for playing, don’t worry; they could always use some cheering on. Or, if you’re in the medical profession, you might consider stopping by to give them an ice pack! The pain begins at 9 a.m. They are also collecting food and money for People’s Resource Center in Westmont.
Of course, another (warmer) option: you can be an armchair fan (and rest your muscles) while watching the Bears and Packers continue their rivalry at 8:30 p.m.
Build some memories today. Be thankful for the opportunity to be around a table. By the way, I recently found Moma and DaddyCurry’s old formica table in my shed. I took it out and set it up in our new house. We’ll hopefully use it for years to come, always cherishing the times spent there — and the people who have sat around it with me.
Mike is a village of Clarendon Hills resident; husband; Indian Princess; Indian Guide Dad; a Coach; an “old” football player and a real estate broker. Mike’s columns are usually crafted about the buzz in and around the area. It sometimes has a spin on real estate or cultural information, highlight a new business or announce school happenings. He might include a “get-to-know” about some of our interesting residents and even a little about history. Whatever it is, it is sure to be about the “Talk of the Town”. Mike McCurry has been selling real estate in the western suburbs for over 25 years and his office is located at 5 S. Prospect Ave., Clarendon Hills, IL 60514. His blog can be found at mikemccurryhomesblog.wordpress.com 630-325-2800 or visit his website at www.mmccurry.com