Pat Wahler

Penning stories to savor.

Have Yourself a Flour-Free Thanksgiving

We are now less than one week away from Thanksgiving, and I’ve been scrambling to prepare for the big day.

Menu (same as last year). Ingredients (a work in progress). Decorating (check). Housecleaning (are you kidding?) I guess you can see which of these tasks appeals to me most.

At least I won’t have to deal with costumed children banging on my door, handing out treats, or watching for unpleasant tricks.

No, I don’t have my holidays mixed up.

Around the turn of the century, Thanksgiving looked a whole lot like Halloween. Children dressed up in costumes, begging for sweet hard candy treats or scrabbling for pennies. They were called Thanksgiving maskers, and, depending on your point of view, the day was either fun…or totally annoying.

Children ready for Thanksgiving circa 1910. Bain News Services/Library of Congress

Children ready for Thanksgiving circa 1910. The second goblin from the left is truly scary. Bain News Services/Library of Congress

More Thanksgiving hobgoblins. Bain News Service/Library of Congress

More Thanksgiving hobgoblins. Bain News Service/Library of Congress

Remember that scene from the movie, Meet Me in St. Louis? The one where the kids dress up on Halloween and throw flour in people’s faces? That’s what Thanksgiving masking looked like. The little darlings would even toss confetti or flour on pedestrians who were unfortunate enough to pass them on the street. Presumably the victims did not have a pocketful of sweet treats.

Imagine having to contend with such shenanigans along with preparing the Thanksgiving turkey.

Fortunately, this strange tradition died out in favor of the idea of shopping and Santa. You can probably thank the movie, Miracle on 34th Street for that favor. You know what? I’ll take Santa in a parade on Thanksgiving any day over a face full of flour. I already do that job quite nicely all by myself while slaving over a stove beating lumps out of the gravy.

So when you’re counting your blessings this year, remember to add the joy of no Thanksgiving masking. It’s something else for which you can be thankful. You’re welcome.

From me to you and yours, I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving celebration. And a nice long flour-free nap when it’s over.

Happy Thanksgiving! Bain News Service/Library of Congress

Happy Thanksgiving! Bain News Service/Library of Congress

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  1. Love it! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Pat!

  2. Pat Wahler

    November 20, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Hi Sally!

    I keep thinking about what fun the holidays are with grandchildren. I know you can relate to that. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  3. well this was quite a surprise. I thought you AND Lynn Obermoeller were on the no flour-no sugar diet. No not I!

  4. Pat–I can almost hear your post title, sung to the tune of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

    Thanks for the historical tidbit. I had no idea.

    (And I’m like you. I do a fine job of getting flour on my face without any help from mischief-making kids.)

    • Pat Wahler

      November 20, 2016 at 4:32 pm

      Hi Sioux!

      It was great fun to see you at the library event. Hopefully all us gals can get together soon.

      Thanks again for the fudge. I ate every bit of it myself. Delicious!

  5. Wow, I never knew that fact, either, so thanks for the info, Pat. My check list is similar to yours, except both Decorating AND Housecleaning would say: Are you kidding?? Have a fabulous Thanksgiving! I’m thankful that I met you and that we’re friends!

  6. I’d never heard of this before, Pat. How interesting! And, yes, I am very glad that tradition died out. Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving this year!
    At least that’s one cooking day I get out of, hehe.
    Lynne x

    • Pat Wahler

      November 21, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      Hi Lynne!

      We host the family at our house, but it’s a small group this year. I’m sure we’ll still overeat, though. Have a lovely and relaxing Thanksgiving!

  8. Oh wow. As if preparing all that food isn’t stressful enough. I think I’ll skip the flour this year!

    • Pat Wahler

      November 23, 2016 at 7:15 am

      Hi Stephanie!

      We certainly have enough stress around the holidays, don’t we? I’m so pleased you stopped by for a visit. Welcome!

  9. I’ve never even heard of it, but like you I’m thankful we no longer throw flour at each other. Goodness!

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