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Holladay Journal

Holladay residents discuss their Thanksgiving traditions

Nov 11, 2019 03:19PM ● By Sona Schmidt-Harris

The warmth of Thanksgiving draws Holladayites together.

By Sona Schmidt-Harris | [email protected]

It’s that time of year when things appear more gold than green and we cozy up indoors.  Retreating inward to our homes includes celebrating Thanksgiving.

The Holladay Journal asked a few residents to discuss their Thanksgiving Day traditions. The major theme was the spirit of gathering and family.

Artist and longtime Holladay resident Walt Clark said his favorite thing about Thanksgiving is “the family coming together, the interactions, the friendly, kind interactions between siblings.  It warms your heart.”

“The big tradition is turkey and having accompaniments to that turkey, but last year we had prime rib, and I don’t know, I think we’re going to have it again this year. It spoils you,” he said.

Holladay resident Pamela Call said, “Our Thanksgivings change a lot depending on the year!  The one thing that is always common is that it is all about family. We just want to be together whether we are up at a cabin in Timber Lakes, staying at a condo in Sun Valley or planning a fun-at-home dinner. Our focus is family time. We love making pies the night before and getting the grandchildren involved. Fresh flowers, place cards, a children’s craft, yummy homemade rolls, a large roasted turkey, making Christmas plans and happiness are just a few of our constant traditions.”  

“My granddaughters and daughters-in-law all help with the pies. A new pie we created last year will now be a tradition — raspberry cream pie. It turned out yummy!”

“At Timber Lakes, we had nothing extra fancy, but we had a fabulous time, and it even started to snow! We made gingerbread houses and went sledding on the Friday after. Kids had a ball. We took a photo of my husband and I and our eight grandkids for our Christmas card while up there too.”  

Holladay residents and siblings Evelyn Pollaehne and Harold Schmidt grew up in a German-American home. Their Thanksgivings typically had a German twist with “rotkohl,” or red cabbage, served alongside turkey. Also alongside the turkey was sausage-filled stuffing.

Initially, instead of pie, streuselkuchen and pound cake were served for dessert.  

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, their mother, the late Erna Schmidt, liked to invite a newly immigrated family from Germany to their Salt Lake City home. Often, these families had endured the ravages of World War II, and Mrs. Schmidt wanted to provide a sense of security and welcome.

No matter what is eaten, Holladay residents believe Thanksgiving is about the spirit of gathering and, where needed, reconciliation and healing.