Fiction Friday: Jessie Andersen!

9:44 PM Elizabeth Seckman 26 Comments

I'm off this weekend...got a college student to drop off and a football scrimmage to watch. The whistles and the heavy Morgantown traffic remind that fall is right around the corner. And after fall, we barrel full speed ahead into the holiday season. 

Now I know Jessie Andersen has a fabulous holiday tradition I wish I had thought of when my guys were little, so I asked her to guest post today. I will be back Monday and play super catch up. Till then...here's Jessie!!


Jessie and baby Gemma
When Elizabeth asked me to write about our family’s Thanksgiving tradition, I had to laugh. I’m pretty sure NO ONE has a tradition like ours.

It starts off pretty nice with warm fuzzies and all. Just as with any Thanksgiving feast, we gorge ourselves on great food then sit back and attempt to breathe with what little room we have left. My parents, brothers and their families come to my house for the non-traditional chicken cordon bleu dinner, made my amazing cook of a sister-in-law, Jeanine. She cooks; I clean up after her. It's a great deal we have going.

Then Mom pulls out the tablecloth. You might think I should do this before dinner, but this is a special tablecloth. We’ve traced babies and kids’ hands and feet. We’ve drawn pictures of turkeys and leg lamps (more on that later). But most of all, we write what we’re thankful for. It ranges from my sister in law’s pecan pie and my hubby’s coffee to new life in the babies that have come throughout the year.

There have been hard years for the family, but even those bring us thankful hearts. Each year, before we begin our thankfulness, we get to read through the old ones, laugh, and remember how God has worked in our lives.

The tablecloth signing is the sentimental portion of the night, but it’s followed quickly by the real ceremony.


 Let me back up just a tad and give you the history of what you're about to read: My husband is very difficult to buy for, so my sisters-in-law are always looking for something he might like.

He has his own "Major Award!"
For a while it was fleece pull overs. I finally got them to stop the fleece when we ended up with about 10 in our closet. Once that option was eliminated, they had to find something else. So one Christmas they called me up and said, "Jess, we've found the perfect gift for Todd." Oh great. This was sure to be interesting. "The leg lamp." "What?" was my response. "You know, from The Christmas Story. The leg lamp."


Now, I'm thinking a little table sized lamp. Okay. Ha ha. no big deal. NO. That's not how it went down. It's the full sized leg lamp, standing at least 3 1/2 feet tall. And get this, they want me to display it proudly in my front window! My reaction was pretty much the same as the mother in the movie, and every year I threaten to rid the house of glue just in case the thing breaks.


Jessie's son Ian...adoring and adorable!
 So now our tradition is to light the leg lamp, which does sit in my front window. I have to stay inside the house while my hubby and the rest of my family congregate on the front lawn and recite the lines from the movie. "Hey, what is that?" "It's a major award!" "Move it a little to the left." "You say you won that?" "Mind powers, Lee. Mind powers." They stand in the cold and cheer when it's lit. All I can say is, it's a good thing we live in a small town. :) Now, because there's no real way to describe the lamp in all it's glory, I'll add a few pictures.


As you can see, my family is insane. But we love each other. We can laugh and cry and thank God for his work in our lives, year after year.   

The leg lamp crew admiring
“The soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window.”
Now before you leave...check out Jessie's amazing book trailer. It's very impressive...like most everything Jessie does!

At What Cost Book Trailer from Travis Carlson on Vimeo.

Then Check out the book! "At What Cost"

26 comments:

  1. Very unique tradition indeed. I think the dwarves would have a field day with a lamp like that one.

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    1. There is nothing to compare with our leg lamp, that's for sure!

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  2. What a great post! I'm British, so no Thanksgiving for me, but I adore the tablecloth tradition, that must be an amazing chronicle of your family, Jessie.

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    1. Well, you'll have to pull out the tablecloth tradition for another holiday. Christmas, maybe. :)

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  3. Good thing I read the full story or that leg lamp/little boy picture would trouble me. Fun traditions Jessie, I love the table cloth signing best.

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    1. We didn't even tell him to do that the first time! Now that he's seen the movie, he thinks he has to do it every year! He's our little Ralphy. :)

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  4. Yes, the tradition is a great chronicle of the family. I think the most fun is reading through all the old posts. Especially to see the kids' posts as they grow. If you by chance haven't seen the Christmas Story movie, do so. :)

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  5. Hi Jessie,

    Thank you for taking over Elizabeth's site for the day. Ah yes, Thanksgiving, way back in October, eh. Wrong country? Oops. Nice to read of your tradition. I shall check out your caravan, um trailer.

    Thanks for this, Elizabeth. You can read my highly collectable comment after the weekend. "Football" as in that football and not "soccer" :)

    My best to Jessie and Elizabeth. A leg lamp goes well with foot stool and an arm chair :)

    Gary

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    1. Our leg lamp gets proudly displayed in the front window every year! This year it stayed up till almost August. (My laziness) But we always have to take it down or else we won't have the tradition of putting it up!

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  6. Oh, the table cloth tradition is such a wonderful idea. Love it! And I love everything about The Christmas Story, so fun.

    Great to meet you, Jessie!

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  8. What a super idea to have that tablecloth at each T'day celebration. We have a 50's plaque that goes to each member of the family when he or she makes that birthday milestone. They add a picture and a note on the back and keep it until the next birthday rolls around. I love family traditions.

    Oh, and I'll take the leg lamp any time!

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    1. When we first got the leg lamp, I hated it. I mean, it's literally 3 1/2 feet tall! But over the years it's grown on me!

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  9. That's awesome! It reminds me of a restaurant around here that uses giant sheets of drawing paper as tablecloths and supplies a cup of crayons. :)

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    1. I love those kinds of restaurants!

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  10. The tablecloth idea sounds great to read over the past and document new memories.

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  11. I love this tradition. If you don't mind, I'd like to implement that in our home. And Ralphie's Christmas Story is the best!!

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  12. These sound like great traditions. I love the tablecloth idea. :)

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  13. I love the tradition. It gives me ideas to do something similar.

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  14. I support any tradition that allows us to express thanks. So cute!

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  15. That's a super tradition and fits into the holiday so well. As for the leg lamp, my brother got one a few years ago for Christmas - a smaller version. His wife does not let him keep it in sight :)

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  16. I want to start a tradition like that! Thanks for sharing!

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  17. Super awesome. I'm totally going to start doing that table cloth thing. Already have the markers. Thanks for sharing, Jessie.

    Elizabeth, when you get back I've got a blog award for you. =)

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  18. beautiful & fun tradition! so glad you stopped by for elizabeth!

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  19. Hi,

    Yes, I'm late... sorr-ee... but it's not my fault... there was this family down the road there and they had this weird 3.5-foot leg lamp sitting in the front room window... it was a little strange, but you know it's-

    (Liz whispers...)

    OMGosh, I *love* that leg lamp It's so Roarsome (as Henry Hugglemonster would say :)

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