The little girl loved to be in the kitchen with her Momma. She loved to measure, stir and chop. This Thanksgiving Day was no different than any other. In fact, this was a day she loved immensely! She bounded out of bed and headed for the kitchen. She knew her Mom had been up for awhile already because she could smell the cinnamon rolls baking in the oven!
As she rounded the corner, she could see that Mom indeed was already busy at work. "Mommy? I want to help", she said. "Ok, here, you can help me with the stuffing. We need to hurry and get the turkey into the oven or he won't be done in time for dinner! Wash your hands!" .
The little girl quickly scooted up to the sink and washed her hands. As Mom held the turkey upright she scooped the stuffing into the cavity of the big bird. Laying the stuffed turkey into the pan her Mom reached for butter, fresh sage, salt, pepper, and olive oil. "What are you going to do with that Mom?" the little girl asked. "Well, we need to make him pretty!", her mom replied.
The little girl watched as her mom separated the skin from the breast meat and put pats of butter under the skin along with fresh sage leaves. Then, she poured olive oil over the entire bird. "Ok, you need to rub it in!" her mom said. The little girl, began rubbing the olive oil all over the turkey. This was fun! She rubbed, and rubbed and rubbed. "Ok, you're done!" her mom said as she reached for the salt and pepper to sprinkle on the top. "Let me do it!" the little girl pleaded. "Ok, but be careful not to get too much on there!" her mom said. Her mom covered the turkey with aluminum foil and slid the bird into the oven.
A few hours later, as the family sat down to enjoy their meal together the little girl was proud to see how pretty the turkey looked. "You did such a great job!" her mom said. "Look how pretty the turkey came out!" That turkey was the best turkey ever (in the history of turkeys).
The next year, on Thanksgiving Day, as usual, the little girl was in the kitchen with her mom. When it was time to "massage" the turkey, she asked if she could do it. "Well, you did such a good job last year I think you should!" her mom said. Again, the turkey that year was wonderful! And so, began the tradition of the "Turkey Massage".
One year, the little girl was sick and did not massage the turkey. That year, the turkey was dry and did not turn out well at all. The little girl (and everyone else) was sure that it was because she didn't massage the turkey!
Last year, the little girl was a grown woman who was looking forward to leaving the country to study music in Australia. She, and her mom knew that she would not be able to massage the turkey the coming year and both were saddened by the thought. However, God apparently decided that turkey massages were incredibly important because he brought the girl home (in plenty of time) to massage the turkey this year!.
And for that, we are very grateful!
Silly as it may seem, this is a tradition, along with many others in our family. Traditions are important. It doesn't matter how they start or why. They build memories that will last a lifetime and are chords that bind your family together. What traditions does your family have? Whatever they are, I'm betting you probably don't have a "Turkey Massager"!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. May your time with your family today be blessed.