Monday, November 29, 2010


We had a lovely Thanksgiving. A house full of people and lots of food, laughter and fun.

Every Thanksgiving, I contemplate traditions and how to develop and create in them in our home. Being a military family, traditions seem somewhat harder to establish. We can't commit to going to grandmother's house every year. Or even Black Friday shopping with my sisters (despite how much I'd LOVE to do that). Next year, we might be living in a different state, attending a different church, and in fact, Nick might even be deployed!

So how do you make traditions when so many things change year by year? I'd love to hear your input, but this is what I (WE!!) have come up with!

  • Giving thanks- every year we share our thankfulness with our friends and family. There is no criticizing or questioning, we simply share what is on our heart and express God's goodness to us. The big "thank you's" on my heart this year were my 3 little boys smiling around the table, and my husband being safe and sound at home with us, and finally some cold weather to make it seem like Thanksgiving time (57 degrees and overcast!) 

  • Eating and making food- it is a day of feasting afterall!! And I always try to go all out with the food and trimmings. Regardless of whether we go somewhere for the holiday meal or host Thanksgiving dinner at our house, I always buy and cook a turkey, and cook and bake, and cook and bake some more. Favorite new side dishes this year were cornbread casserole and sweet tea. Can you tell this was our first Thanksgiving in the South?

  • Doing the dishes- my husband started this one on his own: every year he does the Thanksgiving dishes. And he always surprises our guests by telling the ladies' to grab a cup of coffee and relax and then ushering the men into the kitchen, handing out dish towels, and starting an assembly line. Can I even begin to express how much I LOVE this tradition. My husband is amazing.
  • Fellowshiping together- I'm not sure I can imagine a Thanksgiving day spent alone. I know that the "who" will potentially change year by year as we move, make new friendships, and occasionally visit family, but every year we've spent time talking, laughing, and enjoying a feast together with friends and love ones. This year we had friends over from church for the meal, and then later in the evening another crowd of friends joined us for dessert and games (about 30 people).

  • Playing games- there is something about time off work, coupled with food and fellowship that just makes the perfect atmosphere for game playing. Favorites this year were Hill (a Canasta type card game), Catch Phrase, and Chutes and Ladders.

I do so love Thanksgiving.

And what about you? What Thanksgiving traditions do you have, and how did they come to be?


The Eskestrands said...

we do the same things you do (except the dishes thing - i may have to tell Scot about that one!), and our traditions are more centered about what foods are made. having grown up in a military family, when i think Thanksgiving I think friends, going around the table and saying what we're thankful for, and a very specific menu! :)

Tettelestai said...

yes, being a military family means 'traditions' don't quite look like the old familial things we grew up doing. but i love what you have chosen to do. this year my husband reminded me that within our home, we must make our family of 7 important and worth making traditions with. i was feeling a bit blue not being with family yet again this year. but my kids and hubby are more than worth the cooking, the clean up, the family games, and decorating for Christmas. we make them ourselves and we cherish them during our migrant lives :-)

Kathryn said...

Isn't that dish duty idea, great? I'm still amazed that Nick came up with that one on his own.

Kay, I know just what you mean about doing all the work for the holidays "just" for your own family. Especially when the kids are little and might be as content with mac and cheese as with a turkey dinner. But these are the things traditions are made of right? Someday they'll look back and say "wasn't that cranberry sauce good?? I remember watching mom stir it over the stove every Thanksgiving" At least I hope so! :)


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