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With 73% of the votes, the winner of last week’s “Favorite Cragun’s Memory” poll was “Last Thanksgiving–Best Weekend Ever” from Stacey.

Our family Thanksgiving weekends started way back in the 1970s when my cousins, brother and I were young. Our grandparents, Harold and MaryAnn Moll, gathered their four daughters and families together for the whole weekend. It wasn’t until college where I found out other people just celebrated on Thanksgiving Day and actually cooked a turkey! No, not us, we had a huge buffet dinner at each hotel we went to and had too much fun to only spend one day together.

The past six years we have returned to Cragun’s because of the amenities and special events Cragun’s provides its guests, the buffet is really good and it has an expansive pool area for our 50+ family members to gather. We truly take in all the resort has to offer!

Last year, I think was one the best weekends we’ve had. We enjoyed the magician, the horse drawn ride, the kiddy’s carnival, bingo, the Thanksgiving buffet, Sunday breakfast, the pool and the gymnasium, but it was the family gathering that touched our hearts.

When we were kids, we would put on performances for our parents. As we aged we were coerced to keep the tradition going. And now, we have the joy of watching our own kids perform for us. What is really special is having great grandma and great grandpa in the front row watching each one of their 21 great children perform (well almost all of them). The Cragun’s wagon in the pool area was a perfect stage for the little ones to get up and do their thing.

The highlight of the weekend was a new addition, a Chinese Auction. We all brought items to auction off; YES, to our other family members. We knew of a family that lost their home and would be homeless. It was determined that all of the money raised would be donated to help this family. Again, we used the wagon in Cragun’s pool area for the auction area and away the auctioneer went. We started with the children and then to us big kids. If you’ve never seen a Chinese Auction at work, well, it’s quite amazing and exciting. So exciting, we had other people, not family, who were in the pool area and wanted to join in on the fun. When all the money was totaled we raised $619 to pass along to this family.

These few words only touch a little bit on how incredible this family is. Our time together is so limited, but so special. Cragun’s makes it easy, affordable and inviting for us to return year after year. Thank you!