Do you have Thanksgiving Traditions at home? Here are some traditions to start with your family this year.
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Growing up, we would go to my grandma’s house for Thanksgiving lunch. We’d eat with aunts, uncles and cousins and take home enough leftovers for Turkey sandwiches with dill pickles, mayo and Worcestershire sauce on them.
For a few years after I married we would eat lunch with my family and dinner with my husband’s. Eventually that changed into eating dinner at his parent’s. After his mom’s death a few years ago, our Thanksgiving traditions changed again. We now spend Thanksgiving at home with just our immediate family. Although we do not travel or see other family, we have made our own Thanksgiving Traditions at home.
Making Thanksgiving Traditions at Home
Although we may miss seeing our extended family, the benefit of staying home is being able to celebrate Thanksgiving on our own time schedule and making Thanksgiving Traditions that are meaningful to our family. Here are a couple of traditions we have included in our Thanksgiving Day celebrations.
Thanksgiving in Our Pajamas
Now, we don’t do this every year, but a couple of years ago, when I was pregnant and worn out, we celebrated Thanksgiving in our pajamas. Just typing about celebrating Thanksgiving in our pajamas reminds me how relaxing and stress free that Thanksgiving was. It was the perfect Thanksgiving for a very pregnant momma with small children.
Pick Your Pie
We let each child pick the pie they want for our Thanksgiving feast and then help make it. It is as fun and chaotic as it sounds…we have seven children! This is a fun way for the children to actively participate in the planning and food preparations. It also gives us a chance to experiment with pies we may never normally make. We of course have the obligatory Pumpkin. My favorite is Buttermilk. We’ve tried, Cranberry, Cherry, Oatmeal (one of my favorites–it tastes like Pecan Pie), Pecan, Chocolate Chip Pie and Cheesecakes.
Get some heavy plastic wine goblets so the kids can drink from “grown up cupls”. Next to the wide variety of pies, this may be the child favorite of Thanksgiving. They love drinking from long stemmed glassware and I love that they can’t break the “fancy glasses.”
Another fun tradition has been what we drink in our lovely, long stemmed, fancy glasses. We normally buy a bottle of Sparkling Grape Juice. But we have also served punch. Punch! We decided one year punch was under appreciated. It’s only served at baby or wedding showers. So we made up a big batch and drank it with our Thanksgiving meal. Try this recipe for sparkling cranberry punch.
Family Favorites with a Twist
I would never mess with my grandma’s recipe for Cranberry Salad or the stuffing recipe everyone is used to. But having Thanksgiving at home allows us the freedom to tweak recipes. We’ve had Stuffing Muffins, a big ‘ol salad with Ranch, and rosemary new potatoes instead of mashed. We’ve had fresh peppercorn green beans instead of the traditional canned soup recipe (the family preferred the old standard). We’ve cooked our Turkey in the oven, a counter top roaster and even the crock pot.
I’m Thankful for…
The one constant we have year after year is a Thanksgiving Tradition we carried home from my sweet mother in law’s. Before we eat and even before grace, we go around the table and each person tells what they are thankful for. Even the littlest ones have great fun with this, even if they start out kind of shy. No matter how or where my children celebrate Thanksgiving when they are adults, I hope this is the one Thanksgiving Tradition they carry with them.
You can use our printable to make your own meal time thankful notes. Get it here.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? Are you starting any new ones this year?
author bio: Jenny is a homeschooling mother of seven age 16-2. In addition to quiet, she loves her husband of 22 years and the small farm they live on with 1 dog, 2 horses and 22 alpacas and 30 chickens. She blogs at The Littlest Way–a place to encourage and equip women to find their value and worth in Christ through daily affirmations, bible quotes, and book club time. You can find her on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter and Instagram.
Life changes so slowly then all at once, finding new traditions after big life changes is a treasure. Just the past few years I have really learned how much family traditions mean to me. Thanks for sharing your, I love them all! Especially Thanksgiving in your pajamas!
Angela Pea says
I love Jenny’s thoughts on Thanksgiving at Home. We shuffle from year to year between Thanksgiving somewhere else or at home. Last year, we spent the day at our dearest friends’ home…where they hosted an ENORMOUS potluck for dozens of friends and all the dancers from the Fort Worth Ballet who weren’t able to go home for the holiday! (The Nutcracker opens the day after Thanksgiving, so unless they have family in town, many of the young dancers are stranded on Thanksgiving.) It was so much fun, and the food choices were amazing.
Our regular at home traditions include sharing what we’re thankful for, too, as well as letting every kid pick a side dish and prepare it. I like the idea of PIES even better! There have been years at home when we opted to NOT have turkey, and smoked racks of ribs or a ham instead. Oh! And we always go to a matinee movie on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. We’ve been doing that since the kids were really, really little. On the day after Thanksgiving, we meet up with friends to have leftover Turkey Enchiladas and then go to the Parade of Lights downtown. Fun! Fun! Fun!
I love these traditions! We also have seven children, so we celebrate “Pie Week.” We decided everyone is too full on Thanksgiving day to try much more than a sliver or two, yet we all have different favorites we want to try. Our solution is to let each child pick their favorite, and we make one recipe each day during the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Our kids get so excited to choose a recipe and help bake it one on one with me.