Thanksgiving Stories

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For most of us, Thanksgiving memories are full of warm family gatherings, spending precious time together and celebrating a day of giving thanks to the Lord for all our many blessings.  For others, it may be a painful time without those warm and fuzzies that many of us take for granted.

And then, there are those very humorous stories of Thanksgivings gone bad and those are probably the ones that you remember the most.  I can’t think of a time that our family had a really bad Thanksgiving or a disastrous one either, but while listening recently to a Moody Christian radio broadcast of Midday Connection (love listening to this, btw), callers were calling in recounting funny Thanksgiving stories and sharing them with all of us listeners.

And I was driving around, laughing out loud at some of them.

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So, enjoy these picture perfect snapshots from magazines of what a perfect Thanksgiving table might look like.  I didn’t really grow up with anything really fancy on our table. It was filled with love and lots of food and a simple tablescape.  Actually the food was always the tablescape. 🙂  We didn’t do a lot of fancy at our house. BHG Thanksgiving

(Above 3 pics from Better Homes and Gardens)

How about you? Did your table look like this or was it a bit more simple, like my family had?

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These are some beautiful examples of Thanksgiving tables to be proud of.  Wouldn’t you love to be sitting here?

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At a place setting this special.

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Giving Thanks!

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(Above 4 pics from Country Living online)

Now, this is a great idea for serving.  A plant stand complete with clay pots to hold all the utensils.  Of course, you’d want to be sure they were nice and clean for this use.

So, let me share that very funny story I heard on Midday Connection with you. This caller relayed the story that they usually deep-fried their turkey every Thanksgiving (maybe in the South, we sure have loved our fried turkeys?!) and so the husband had just taken the fried turkey out of the fryer and placed it on a metal draining rack on top of some newspaper on the asphalt driveway.

He went inside for just a minute to retrieve something, when the in-laws arrived.  They promptly ran over the turkey, jamming it underneath the car.  The husband came back outside and had to direct them in backing up their car to get it off the turkey, since it was jammed underneath.

They cut the tire marks off and I’m sure the gouges too and ate the good parts of the bird for dinner!

Isn’t that hilarious??

I can’t say we have ever had anything quite that disastrous happen, but that one sure cracked me up.

How about you?  Do you have any turkey disasters to share or any other funny Thanksgiving stories?

We’d love to hear them!  C’mon and share.

I’m linking up with Debra over at  Bungalow today, who is having a Thanksgiving party.  Go on over and join in the fun and add your own Thanksgiving story.

- Rhoda


  1. This is beautiful. I can’t wait to set our own family table.

  2. I have no funny stories but driving over the turkey is hilarious. I thought maybe a dog ran off with it.
    Our family has always just done a simple traditional Thanksgiving & I can’t wait til next Thursday.
    Enjoy your Tuesday.

  3. Love that serving idea with the planters! So cute!
    My best Thanksgiving story is was one year when I was around 12 and my bro was 8. We had finished dinner and my mom was cleaning up and asked us to take the platter with the food scraps and the rest of the turkey carcass out to the trash can. I took the platter and my bro came to open the trash can. When we got out there and went to dump it in, the bag had fallen in the can. I asked my bro to pull it out and rested the edge of the platter on the side of the trash can and leaning over ever so slightly to watch him do it. When I leaned, the greasy turkey slipped off the platter into the trash can and unto the back of little bros head. To this day he swears I did it on purpose! I didn’t, but it was REALLY funny!

  4. When my oldest son was 3 years old, we were going around our table of about 30 and everyone was expressing for what they were thankful. Ever so serious, he said “I am thankful for my bones because without them, I would be a puddle of skin of the floor.” We laughed so hard but he really did not see the humor in it, which made it even funnier! Happy Thanksgiving to all. Diane

  5. Thanks for those inspiring pictures! Lots of ideas-the plant stand is fun. When I was growing up I remember that my Grandma would buy pretty paper napkins – now I know paper napkins don’t seem fancy or special but back then I remember thinking them so beautiful and making the table look so colorful.
    My best Thanksgiving memory is not humerous – one year we had no plans for the holiday and when my brother saw there wasn’t even a turkey he went to the end of the driveway and shot 4 partridge -, cleaned them and mom cooked them. Since he was very young my brother was very traditional.

  6. My cousin was hosting her first Thanksgiving for our family as a new bride. Never cooking a turkey before she was so proud to present the beautifully browned picture perfect turkey. ( The stuffing was cooked separately by the way) As they turkey was being carved on the table and served, paper was revealed. She had no idea that giblets were placed inside. She has not lived down the story of baking giblets to make gravy is her specialty.
    Enjoying the stories.

  7. Growing up our Thanksgiving table was mostly about the food. We always had paper Thanksgiving serviette and my mother would put two candles on the table (but they were never lit). Funny thing to remember … they were decoration only!!!!!!! (actually she still does that … put candles on the table and not light them)

  8. Love the table inspiration. Our tables were always simple growing up as well. Up until about 9 years ago, every Thanksgiving day was spent with my Mom’s entire family (there were nine children in her family). It got a little crazy with all of their kids getting married and having children, so now we have the reunion on Iron Bowl Day which is quite entertaining to say the least!

    I have made our Thanksgiving turkey for the last eight years which you would think I had perfected by now. But three years ago as I was removing the fully cooked, perfectly golden turkey from the oven, I dropped it and it split a part all over the kitchen floor. I just sat down and cried (downside of being a perfectionist), while my hubby tried to salvage the bird while keeping the puppy away and the kiddos “comforting” me. Looking back now it is quite funny at the chaos (reminded me of the Griswald family Christmas movie), but at the time I was just devestated.

    Such a fun post Rhoda! Thank you!


  9. Thanks for linking up to the party!

    Great stories here….I remember someone, not me, trying to cook her turkey with the oven on broil and wondering why it was raw on the bottom!

  10. What beautiful tablescapes. Our pipes burst one thanksgiving & about 2 years later my dad cut his foot, while sawing some wood for the fireplace. We’re always weary of something happening at thanksgiving b/c of these 2 incidents. 🙂

  11. Flowersnfelines says:

    Talk about a double whammy – I mean the poor thing was already dead and fried and then to run over it. It seems to me that after all that it should have gotten a presidential pardon!!

  12. We had so much fun during that program! If you want to hear the entire program, we have the audio available on our website (just click on the Past Programs tab and click on the November 5th program):

    Lori Neff
    Midday Connection Producer

  13. Adrianne Bow says:

    You’re never going to believe this, but it’s true. Last year, we were driving from North Carolina to Kentucky to visit family for Thanksgiving. Somewhere in the middle of nowhere in eastern Kentucky a wild turkey flew out and crashed into our front windshield. I’d guess it was about a 40 pound bird. It cracked our entire windshield, except for a tiny section on the driver’s side. We drove the rest of the way with it that way…even arrived with turkey feathers still trapped in the cracked glass. It was really scary at the time, but our friends had the hardest time not laughing when we told them. We can now share in the humor of it.

  14. Mother always made a table linen for thansgiving, something special that she designed. She like bittersweet that grew on the side of the fence from the neighbors yard and put that on the table. We usually had creme dishes and darker napkins. It was a great time and I miss her. This is our second thanksgiving without her.

  15. Perfect timing! I JUST posted our Thanksgiving Table 2009 (and kids table too!) on my blog. I went for the Rustic Simple theme. These photos you have are gorgeous! Love that last one from Country Living, it’s a spectacular buffet set up!

  16. We, like you, were a family who thrived on simplicity. I have carried on that tradition with my own family. Simplicity can be beautiful and elegant. It’s all about the family and the love we share!!!

  17. I’m SO glad that Lori from Midday Connection stopped by, great to hear from her!

    I did forget about one Thanksgiving that took at bad turn for our family. I think it was about 6 yrs. ago, when my niece, Lauren, was about 21. We were all over at my cousin Brenda’s house (where we are going this year again) and her kids had a treehouse outside with a zipline that went from the treehouse down across the yard and then you could just jump down when it got closer to the ground. Well, my niece took off on it and lost her grip, fell to the ground and broke or fractured (now I can’t remember) her elbow. We all had to leave early and my parents took her to the emergency room to get it taken care of. Sort of put a damper on the rest of the day, for sure.

    And me, I was 40-something at the time and I climbed up in that treehouse myself and flew across the yard. Loved every minute of it! 🙂

  18. I just read that same funny story on another blog. I guess she heard the same program as you. Very funny story!

    Loved all of your pics. Like you, I don’t remember our Thanksgiving tables being decorated too much…there was too much food on the table and not much room for anything else. It’s still the same way now when we go each year to my sister’s house.

    I wish for you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving.


  19. Oh my gosh! That story with the turkey in the driveway was too funny!

    We have always decorated our table with lots of food. It seems like there’s never enough room for all of it so the decorating is minimal. I do have a beautiful set of china that I use on Thanksgiving, my mom’s silverware, and cloth napkins. I don’t think my boys really notice. Ha!

    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


  20. funny story

    obviously from my side of the water I have no stories, but I have often wished we celebrated thanksgiving, always thought it such a nice tradition


  21. That was a funny story!!! I don’t have any turkey disasters. But I watched the outakes from one of Martha Stewart’s Thanksgiving specials & she dumped a turkey out of the pan onto the floor. So that made me feel better about everything. If Martha Stewart can do something like that, we shouldn’t feel bad if it happens to us.

  22. Very lovely tablescapes, Rhoda. We didn’t do fancy at our house either. The table was filled with food, the room was filled with love and laughter. Perfect! Personally, I don’t care for a lot of stuff all over the table; in the wrong hands, it looks too contrived, too artificial, too much like a retail store or catalog instead of a comfortable, loving home. (Some people’s Christmas decor looks very commercial instead of home-like, too.) Give me loved ones gathered around and I’m happy.

  23. These are all gorgeous, but my fave is the rustic table with the red accents. I loooooove me some red, lol! I became a follower, would love to have you stop by sometime!!


  24. Oh, my gosh, that’s hilarious about the car running over the turkey. I’ve never had fried turkey, but I’d love to try it sometime (without the tire marks, thanks!).

    Love these photos. Such beautiful tables for Thanksgiving! We’re traveling to my in-laws’ for the holiday, so I won’t have a chance to do anything festive with my own table.

  25. I love that last table setting with flower pots and stand…how precious is that! I love it! (This sounds terrible but…) My family uses sturdy paper plates and plastic cups to make clean up easier. I don’t think we have ever used pretty china. My Mom and Dad have always hosted all the holidays and cook all the food themselves. My sister and I don’t like traditional Thanksgiving food, so we usually have steaks, potatoes & salad instead.

  26. Close to twenty years ago, I was helping my sister clean up after she hosted Thanksgiving dinner at her home. The electric knife slipped off the counter, and without thinking I grabbed it…by the blade. So, off to the emergency room we went. Here’s the funny part, I am sitting in the waiting room, my hand wrapped up in a towel, the door opens and a man comes out with his hand all wrapped up in a bandage. We made eye contact in that soul mate kind of way, and he softly whispered to me “electric knife?”. I nodded yes. We both started cracking up.

  27. Growing up, the only decoration was the food! That’ll be the same around here for now, unless I use a tablecloth! And where do you put the food if you have all the arrangements? In the other room? On the HUGE buffet? I like being able to all sit down and stay there. (yeah, right, I have three small kids, but still, the idea that I could stay … for a week … and not get hungry!)

  28. Rhody – i dislocated my elbow that one thanksgiving! i considered it a disaster.

  29. Your collection of Thanksgiving stories is priceless. Thanks for doing this. It’s just great! Here is a story told by Barbara Humphreys who lives in the Cape Cod area: “For a Thanksgiving disaster it didn’t get much worse but of course we were thankful to be together and now can look back and laugh about it. What happened was my sister Nancy decided to host Thanksgiving dinner and she was brave to do so since she is known to be the type who doesn’t cook – at all. She asked my other sister for assistance. Among all the other instructions Tricia gave to Nancy was to first wash the turkey to prepare it for stuffing and cooking. Nancy did just that because as we ate the turkey we could taste the soap that she used to WASH the turkey….. We ended up not being able to eat it and just had the other fixings.”

    You can also find some terrific Thanksgiving stories (both funny and nostalgic) at The one I like is about the kitten.

  30. Once when I was about three or four years old, my grandma was in her kitchen cooking Thanksgiving dinner. She had fresh collard greens in her sink washing them and when to baste he Turkey. My grandma’s sister in-law walked into the Kitchen, packed her mouth with snuff, and spit in my grandma’s collard greens. All you could hear was rumbling as my grandma’s fat sister in-law took off running toward the front door. When I looked up, my grandma was chasing her with the ax she used to chop the turkey and ham bones. It wasn’t funny then, but in retrospect, it became the joke of our Thanksgiving dinners.

  31. Rhoda-this is too funny–I would love to have you post this to my Thanksgiving Traditions party-it’s up till Thanksgiving.


  32. Thanksgiving 2010 is just around the corner. I hope you’ll be posting more Thanksgiving memories.

    Beverly Busher
    Carrville, Iowa

  33. Funny, touching, memorable short Thanksgiving stories about holiday disasters, family & friends.

  34. Ok I have to confess! I decided to make My favorite Elderly Uncle’s Thanksgiving Dinner.. Something special I had him name off everything he wanted. So off I go cooking up a storm. Everything looked great. I placed the turkey on the oven leaving the gas stove top on low to keep it warm, brought in the pies, made a pitcher of Tea he wanted, Gosh he was a happy man.
    Until I smelled something burning! The turkey caught fire, (I left the oven mitt under the pan, so I freaked out and grabbed the tea to put it out! After that he only wanted the pumpkin pie, I said ok.. Here it is. He looked at me like I was out if this world. I asked him.. What is wrong? He said I have never seen a pumpkin pie made with a lid on it ( I made it like a apple pie with the top crust) Heck, I didn’t know this was the first time I ever made a pumpkin pie! Needless to say he’s now pasted away but I’m sure his holiday food is much better that this one was.. Great times! And I learned a few things since then LOL

  35. I have a funny Thankgiving story (about my crazy family get-together last year) that is already written, but it was too long to post here (over 1 page). I also have funny pictures! If you email me, I can send it in a word doc. for your blog.

    Celeste Simmons

  36. I love the tablescape with the family pictures and golden yellows.


  1. […] one of my roommates the other day and the topic of Thanksgiving came up. While we were sharing our funny stories (like the on about my first thanksgiving….I’ll tell you about that later) I said that […]

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