The Ben-Ta-Ma Family Thanksgiving

My family is awesome, strange, silly, crazy, and wonderful. Example: We have 25 people coming for “Thanksgiving” on Sunday. Oh, yes. 

Ever since I can remember my ‘rents have hosted Thanksgiving at our house the Sunday before the “real” turkey day. We started this tradition so my Dad’s side of the family (the Beintema’s) could spend a Thanksgiving meal together since we go camping in the desert with my Mom’s side of the family. 

It gives us the chance to do the traditional fancy dinner, complete with nice clothes, a table setting, and real silverware. We’ve spent Thanksgiving day in Glamis (desert) since I was a little kid. As I’ve gotten older sometimes I would make the drive out solo and I’ve missed a few years here and there. Last year I was working on a movie in Atlanta, GA and I remember one time being in TX for a horse show and eating at a TGIF. Thanksgiving in Glamis is a special tradition, and people are always confused when I explain it to them. It’s a major desert camping holiday since it’s the first major weekend during “desert season” so it’s really popular. We potluck our Thanksgiving, and it’s delicious, and we eat off paper plates and spend the night around the campfire. It’s perfect. The day after Thanksgiving momma-son takes all the leftovers and makes the most amazing Turkey Noodle soup. Seriously. She’s famous for the stuff.  

Over the years the plans have changed slightly, for a time momma-son and I worked for a non profit mission and we served meals on Thanksgiving. My parents have been involved with the Fred Jordan Mission since long before I was born, and before they were married. Fun Fact: I took my first steps as a child on Skid Row in Los Angeles. If you are looking for a place to volunteer I recommend FJM. People often think of serving the “least of these” during the holidays when we realize how blessed we are, and how others are struggling. But, there’s a need 356 days a year. Thanksgiving is by far the most volunteer heavy event at FJM, but donations are always needed. Momma-son and Papa will be down there this Thanksgiving day volunteering. 

So, this Sunday I’m going to spend some quality time with these people (and a few more):

Lil’ Brother, fresh off the Baja 1000


Uncle Danny and Papa

Aunt Cathy and Uncle Mike:

Moops and Leah:

Kyle and Grandpa Don:

Heidi – You can see here that we’re related. 

My second family:

There’s going to be a lot of this…

And none of this :( You’ll be missed Stevie Louise. 

There will be many more people on Sunday than just those above. Our Beintema Family Thanksgiving had grown to include extended family, close friends, and many more. 

Happy Weekend and early Thanksgiving!