The idea was simple: everyone who joined the family for Thanksgiving dinner would sign the tablecloth with a colored permanent marker. It would be there year after year, documenting the people who were there to share in the festivities and remember those who couldn’t make it from one year to the next – and each year would be signed in a different color.
This family started their tablecloth in the year 2000, and the names were traced with embroidery to keep them in case the ink faded. The color-coded years are documented along the edge, and the tradition is carried on each year as the family grows.
I am so grateful to have the signatures of those who have left us. . . mom, David’s dad, our daughter Mary. It has scribbles of grands and special messages.” Deb Mills writes about her family’s incredible tradition.
And it turns out that this tradition is kept by thousands of families, year after year.
Some people have revealed that their family’s Thanksgiving tablecloth has been around since the 80’s, collecting signatures to be embroidered over the holidays for decades. Others have been inspired by the tradition and have gone out to purchase a clean white tablecloth to start their own in 2016!
Do you have a tradition like this one, or does your family do something else entirely? Keeping a record is important, and in 50 years, the family will have a tangible piece of a yearly tradition to pass on to their own families.
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