This family tradition started in 1997, when my mom created a plain white linen tablecloth that she then instructed all of us (both friends and family) who ate Thanksgiving dinner to autograph and date it any where we wanted to. After the meal was completed, my mom hand embroidered every one's 'autograph' in their favorite color to permanently showcase every one's name for that year. This tradition has happened every year since then for all holiday gatherings; Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas and will happen again in a few days on Thursday afternoon.
Each year we look at the names and remember fun times with the person who signed it. Some of the autographs are of family members who have passed away, couples that weren't married at the time of their first holiday meal that has now become a family tradition, signatures of parents who now have little ones of their own signing the table, and friends who have stopped by for a bite of turkey or dessert to celebrate the holiday with us. Below are just a few of the pictures of this keepsake.
A full view of the tablecloth with all of the signatures from '97-'09.
A close up of some of the original signatures two of my sisters and one of my brother from '97, and my cousin's from '00.
My signature from '97 and later my husband's from '01, and also a family friend from '01.
My grandfather's signature from '01, my daughter's, aunt and uncle who visited from Missouri this past Easter.