Sunday, November 28, 2010

history of hanksgiving

Dear lovely friends,

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving day full of turkey, mashed potatoes and, my favorite, cranberry sauce.

I know I've built up this whole Hanksgiving thing for a little while now and I promise I won't disappoint. For those of you who don't know what Hanksgiving is, here is the official history of our family Thanksgiving tradition.

When my sisters and I were younger, we would get together with my Aunt Ces and all of her kids for Thanksgiving dinner. To keep us kids busy, the adults organized games for us to play. Year after year, we'd get together with Aunt Ces and her kids to play games. Being the competitive family that we are, we created a scoring system and scoreboards to keep track of everyone's individual points. Typically, there's a couple of individual games to rack up points. For example, for the basketball throw, you have ten throws to make it into the basket. If you make eight out of ten baskets, then you write eight on the scoreboard by your name under the basketball column (yes, Hanksgiving is that organized... We are as meticulous as we are competitive). We also have a couple of team games that we play, like horseshoes and an egg toss. Since our Hanksgiving is an all-day, FUN-FILLED event, we've collected quite a large crew to come every year. Last year, the count was 41 at the dinner table. As people arrive, they know the drill and start playing games. Around 2:00 in the afternoon, we gather for a delicious dinner and then head back outside to finish up games. At the end of the day, we total up the points, sit in the living room and pass out prizes, white-elephant style. My family buys gifts for everyone for participating and wraps them in Christmas wrapping paper. This is also a way to celebrate the start of the Christmas season. Some gifts are really great and some gifts are really lame (giant bras, tampons, and toilet brushes are some staple Hanksgiving items). We start by announcing the person in last place to pick a present and open it. The next person can either steal a gift or pick from the pile. The whole present-picking process is hilarious. Once present-picking is over and the winner has been announced, Hanksgiving is officially over.

The reason we call it Hanksgiving is because my dad is Hank. He's the whole reason why we even celebrate Thanksgiving this way every year. He spends a lot of time, energy and dollars putting this silly, family event together. Hank literally is giving us the special Thanksgiving we are lucky to have year after year. I know- I have a pretty cool dad.

So now that you know all about Hanksgiving, here's a little recap of this year's Hanksgiving:

While our Hanksgiving is usually HUUUGE, we had a small 25 players this year. Next year should be a big year again.

Hanksgiving dinner: the head table with famous Hank himself (in the hat)

The rest of us.

Oh! We also have a football pool. This year the New Orleans Saints played, which was awesome because Aunt Ces and my mom's side of the family is from Louisiana. Everyone was glued to the TV at the end of the fourth quarter. Saints won!

This year we had a "Mystery Game," suggested to my dad and me by Ryan, my sister Page's new husband. We had a paper airplane throw outside! Everyone had to make their own paper airplane and throw it as far as they could. My other sister, Lauren, put two cigarettes on the back of hers to make turbo boosters. Funniest thing ever. Ryan, the mystery game creator himself, won the competition... Were we set up by him? I think so!!

Ryan, the champ.

We had our traditional egg toss. There's my dad, Hank, again in the hat, with some sweet egg toss action.

Tallying up the final scores... Don't you love the score board?!

Ryan ended up winning Hanksgiving this year! Here's a picture of the newlyweds:

He's come quite a long way since his first Hanksgiving. The very first Hanksgiving he won a pink toilet seat. Now, six years later, he got to sign a toilet seat (a new tradition we started this year... every year we're going to have the winners sign the toilet seat).

Like every year, Hanksgiving was wonderful. It is by far my favorite day of the entire year because I get to eat great food, visit with my family and play a ton of weird, fun games.

Did Hanksgiving disappoint? I hope not. Because it's awesome.


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