Holiday Tradition - Judy Heimsoth
When it comes to holiday traditions, Judy Heimsoth enjoys spending time with a crowd. And this year, the crowd gathered last Sunday for Thanksgiving numbered 150 or more.
"Most years we have at least 150, but we've had as many as 200 people get together for Thanksgiving," she said.
The crowd of people of which she speaks are all descendants of Eric and Hanna (Joanna) Heimsoth. The couple had 11 children, and three daughters are still living today. Heimsoth, whose husband was the late Harvey Heimsoth, has six children, 12 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
"It is so nice getting together with so many family members," she said. "We don't get together for Christmas or any other time during the year, s this s the only chance t see each other and spend time together. Every year the family just seems to grow and grow."
Each year, she said, there is a donation plate set out and everyone puts their money in to help pay for the room where they gather.
"We meet at the Lutheran Grade School in Higginsville," she said. "We take up the collection, and when the expenses are met, we take what money is left and give it to a charitable cause. We always sponsor the Lutheran Hour radio program in honor of Eric and Hanna, and this year we are donating to Blake Heimsoth who was in an accident and is now paralyzed from the waist down."
Heimsoth said the gathering is well planned, with a different family putting things together each year. Others attending bring dishes and the meal is complete.
"We have all the traditional Thanksgiving food," she said. "Turkeys, pecan pies, pumpkin pies, all kinds of desserts, potatoes, gravy, casseroles ... you name it, it's probably there. And there is just so much food."
It didn't take long for Heimsoth to decide what her favorite dish might be.
"Oh, I just love the pumpkin pie," she said with a smile.