Thanksgiving about so much more

Published 9:00 pm Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Other than Christmas and Easter, Thanksgiving is only other holiday that I truly look forward to. And I look forward to it for much different reasons than Christmas and Easter, which both have strong spiritual meaning to me.

Thanksgiving, on the other hand, means spending time with my family, close friends and gobbling as much football as I can stand.

Unfortunately, that won’t be the case this year since I will be spending “Turkey Day” in Vicksburg and won’t be home. It is also the case with my two younger brothers who are also both working the holiday.

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It is a new dynamic for my family. For the first time that I can remember, we won’t be together for Thanksgiving and that saddens me.

In the past, I’ve spent the night at my parents’ home the night before Thanksgiving because I’ve always enjoyed the smell of Mom cooking the turkey over night. My Mom is one of those “traditional” Southern cooks who makes every thing from scratch — often without a recipe.

In the past, Mom would begin making her cornbread dressing days in advance of Thanksgiving because she would cook up and crumble the cornbread. She also began making the crusts for her half dozen or so pies a few days in advance. Those pies usually include two pumpkin, two chocolate, a coconut and a custard.

She also includes side dishes, such as sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and her incredible yeast rolls, which arguable are my favorite item in the entire meal.

My Mom is now in her 70s and she’s had some health issues this year that includes a shoulder surgery she is still working hard to overcome. She’s now had surgery on both shoulders and this one may prevent her from cooking up the huge meal she traditional makes. But there will be a Thanksgiving for the Sigler family on Friday when my brothers are off and they will gather together for a meal.

It makes me wonder if this is the transition year, where Thanksgiving moves from Mom cooking up a storm for the family and now the family cooks for Mom and Dad. I think she’s earned that opportunity for her sons and their families let her take a rest and enjoy the break.

If only my Mom were that way. Her happiest moments are when she is cooking for her family, which now includes a great-granddaughter that she adores. Maybe my brothers can convince her it’s time someone else cooked for a while, but I kind of doubt it.

As you can tell, Thanksgiving is all about family for me, which I’m sure is the same with many of you. It’s about making those memories of tossing around a football in between NFL games or after a big dinner. It’s about putting up the Christmas lights on Mom and Dad’s home and picking out a Christmas tree at the Christmas tree farm years ago. It’s about enjoying on another’s company. It’s about so much more than a great meal.

Happy Thanksgiving and cherish the memories and moments spent with the ones who mean the most to you.

Rob Sigler is editor of The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at