(CNN) -- From secrets whispered at the kids' table to favorite toasts among the adults, Thanksgiving is a time to make memories and merriment, and each family celebrates the holiday a little differently.
Virginia Graeber sent this 1958 photo of her grandmother, whom she'll visit on Thanksgiving.
CNN.com asked readers to share some of their favorite Thanksgiving traditions. Below are their responses, some of which have been edited for length and clarity.
Brandi Hofmann of Minonk, Illinois
When I was 40 weeks pregnant with my first son, I visited almost daily at my grandparents' house. Mainly I would just visit with Grampa who was sick at the time so Gramma could get some things done around the house.
One day he told me about a Thanksgiving morning back in the mid-60's. He had just let their dog Caesar outside so he could do his business in their small town. Usually the dog came right back but on this morning, Grampa had to yell for Caesar to come home. After a few minutes of yelling for the dog, it finally came home carrying an entire Thanksgiving turkey in its mouth. Someone must have baked it and set it outside to cool off. My Grampa took the bird and buried it in the yard and never told a soul (my mom and her sisters would have told someone and it would've been all over town) until he told me more than 35 years later. He died a few days after he told me the story and each Thanksgiving I am asked to retell the story after dinner.
Colleen Santoro of Franklin Park, New Jersey
In our family we celebrate the Thanksgiving day tradition of receiving our "Christmas Pajamas" from Grandma after dinner. Every year the grand kids would look forward to new PJ's to wear on Christmas Eve and while unwrapping gifts on Christmas morning. Grandma has since passed, but all the grand kids still open "Christmas Pajamas" after dinner. I'm 27 and STILL getting Christmas pajamas.
Anita Scheer of Arena, Wisconsin
Holidays in themselves are very special to me. I was raised in the military. Navy. I also married into the Navy and have two children in the Navy.
My only wish for the thanksgiving and Christmas holiday is to have my entire family around me but sometimes that isn't possible. I have 3 children and will only have one home this year. You take them as they come and cherish every second you have with them. I want to send a special holiday wish to every family who has a family member in the military home and abroad. Don't take anyone or anything for granted and live every day as if it was your last.
Karrin Sprankle of Allen, Texas
I remember Thanksgiving with happiness and sadness. My mother LOVED the holidays. She was this amazing cook who would do the homemade rolls and everything. I remember getting up early and the smell of roasting turkey filling the house, helping set the table with the china, eating homemade Chex mix ... I miss you Mom, more than I can say.
Joe Durika of York, Pennsylvania
My family has a journal that we started the year before my wife and I got married. While we're gathered on Thanksgiving Day, each family member takes a few minutes to write down what he or she is thankful for. This extends from the three-year-olds (they dictate and an adult writes) up to our 80-plus-year-old grandparents. It's always a treat to read over the entries from past years and to read what others have written this year!
Jamie West of Johnson City, Tennessee
When I was a young boy, my father would take my brother and me squirrel hunting after our HUGE Thanksgiving dinner ... We tromped through the woods; crunching through the fallen leaves and talking loudly. It's no wonder why no animals were ever harmed in this tradition ... Just a good way to bond and walk off all that great food!
Kathleen Barr Blaess of Snellville, Georgia
We have a funny Thanksgiving tradition that started with my mom and my uncle in 1933. Every year someone gets surprised with the pope's nose of the turkey hidden under his or her mashed potatoes! You know, the last part of the turkey to go over a fence! Most of the time it's my mom that gets the surprise; but, no matter who gets it, it's guaranteed a scream and laughter afterwards!!!
Bernadette Sobkowiak of Cheektowaga, New York
My eldest sister Marie started a tradition over 10 years ago of giving a gift to each of her sisters on Thanksgiving to begin our Christmas decorating. Now we all do this for each other and it's wonderful to look back on the items when we decorate for the holiday season and recall when we received and from whom. It could be a collection of ornaments, or a special table to decoration, but each means very much!
Darcie Olson of Waleska, Georgia
My husband started a tradition when we first got married where the whole family (all three of us) sits down and watches [the movie] "Planes, Trains and Automobiles." He started this because growing up he never had a family. Now this tradition has grown to include our extended family and now instead of three of us, it is around 20 of us sitting down to watch. It is now the ENTIRE family's tradition, including my family in Florida. We watch this as a reminder of what we have to be thankful for and to teach our children that they are lucky and things could be a lot worse than having to sit at the kids' table on Thanksgiving.
Vicki Boston of Tucson, Arizona
We get together -- have a nice turkey dinner with some family friends.We love to hear "Alice's Restaurant" by Arlo Guthrie on CD and to watch "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" starring Steve Martin and John Candy.
Marilyn Guerin of Colorado Springs, Colorado
One of our odd Thanksgiving traditions is the Great Turkey. My husband and I do it for our four-year-old girl. We say that if you eat all your veggies, the Great Turkey will come leave you a gift. Our 14 and 15 year olds get into it a little bit, and make each other do a scavenger hunt to find their gifts. The gifts range from a yo-yo to a digital camera in some years. This is a fun tradition we've done for years and a great one to start up for your kids.
Kelly Easterling of Madison, New Jersey
My family and I really enjoy watching the Broadway musical vignettes as part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. We are very concerned that the unfortunate stagehand strike will keep them from performing this year. E-mail to a friend
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