When, at a recent staff meeting, our boss started regaling the table with a story of giving her Grandpa the heimlich during Thanksgiving dinner, we realized it might be a good idea to round up some of our favourite Thanksgiving memories and share them with you. The potent combination of family, wine, and turkey always results in an interesting long weekend, so whether it’s your favourite holiday, or you’re already counting down the hours ’til Tuesday, here are some heartwarming and hilarious tales. Happy Thanksgiving!

One-upping the Turkey
“I was born on Thanksgiving day, right before my family was about to sit down to an extravagant feast (as they often remind me).My Mum now calls me Butterball (possibly the worst nickname ever) as pay back for interrupting dinner. “Couldn’t you have waited?,” she jokingly asks. Never stand in the way of a pregnant woman and her cravings.”

Giving thanks
“My favourite Thanksgiving memory is the same every year. Everyone (at my demand, not request) sits at one table (it spans the length of our whole house) and joins hands as we all take turns in saying what we are thankful for that year.”

Hickey Thanksgiving!
“About 5 years ago, the whole family and I decide to go camping. We are all sitting around the campfire at dusk. My 6 year old nephew turns to me and loudly asks, “Why do you have a big purple bruise on your neck?! Everyone look!” To which my aunty says, “OOOOH! THAT’S why you’ve been wearing your scarf all weekend, eh? We all thought you had a cold!”. Smooth, kid. Real smooth….
I may or may not have given him a crappy birthday present the next year…. Kiiiiiiiiiidding!”

Stuffing the Turkey
“My most memorable Thanksgiving moment was actually a video tape I grew up with, and the moment that occurred every year in the week leading up to it (and sometimes on a random May afternoon when the tape would appear whilst spring cleaning). It was 1987. According to the 10 pound clock hanging from my uncles neck in the video, it was a time of Hammer. While I rest in my mothers teet, my aunt decided to make stuffing the turkey a bit more interesting. What started as a perverted joke became a 25 minute home video of amateur ventriloquism starring the turkey and the dirty mind of a 30 year old woman. This video basically summed up my childhood (and current) family gatherings. I love it because it reminds me the real reason we have these yearly festivities, and helps me tame my cynical attitude toward a society that seems to have lost itself to materialistic expectations of holidays. Nothing beats home cooking and good laughter with those you love – especially when you can eat the cast.”

Turkey Dance
“It had already been a long, long Thanksgiving evening, complete with extended family, a two and a half hour cocktail ‘hour’ that was, as family get-togethers tended to be, delightfully infused with alcohol (unfortunately not for me, as I was about 14…though I may have been knocking back the odd shot while getting parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents “just one more drink” before dinner). My mother began losing her marbles because the mashed potatoes hadn’t warmed through yet and the turkey was already drying out. I remember, once everyone had been served and was sitting down (for what ended up being a scene right out of Home for the Holidays), my older sister and I were still in the kitchen loading up our plates. I don’t know what got into me, but I took the huge carving knife, stabbed it into the mangled, picked apart turkey carcass, held it up in the air, and started singing/chanting, “I stab the tur-keeeey!”. I started doing a dance and treating the turkey/knife combination as though it was a placard and I was in a protest against family insanity. ”

Thanksgiving Fail
“My friends and I have a longstanding Thanksgiving dinner tradition, and in high school, we naively decided to attempt to make a Tofurkey. We forgot to defrost it, and decided to sit it in boiling water to hurry the process along. We ended up with something that felt more like jello and tasted like cardboard. Abandoning the turkey, we dug into the two pies we had on hand. As my friend started to cut into the whipped cream-laden pie, it flipped over, and landed in her lap. Across the table, another guest, holding the second pie aloft, started laughing so hard she dropped that one all over herself. I think we ended up going to Dairy Queen.”