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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

THANKSGIVING // TRADITIONS

Thanksgiving table

I have always been a big fan of holiday traditions and Thanksgiving traditions are no exception. My boyfriend and I are at a point in our lives now where we are trying to start our own holiday rituals and traditions. This means figuring out what traditions we want to retain from our own families and what new traditions we would like to create that are special for us. Here are some Thanksgiving traditions that I would like to keep going with my family and continue when I have a family of my own:

My sister and I started a tradition a few years ago where we wake up early and drink cranberry mimosas (or poinsettias) while we watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in our pajamas. We have since gotten most of the family involved and we have a fun time, sitting around making fun of the cheesier performances and out-of-step high school band members or getting a little too excited about our favorite floats. After the parade, we usually watch the dog show on the upstairs TV while the football fans go downstairs to watch whatever game happens to be on. And sometimes, if we're lucky, we can find the movie Best in Show airing on TV (SO FUNNY).

Prosecco & Cranberry Mimosa recipe from A Beautiful Mess

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Our meal is pretty traditional...turkey, mashed potatoes & gravy, various casseroles, sweet potatoes, rolls, cranberry sauce (fresh and canned) and pie. We always go around the table and take turns saying something we are thankful for before my father blesses the food. On years when we have an extra large crowd at the table, we usually write our gratitudes on paper and do something fun like read them out loud and have others guess who wrote it during dinner.

Thanksgiving grub
Printable Thankfulness Cards from Lovely Indeed
At our last big Thanksgiving, we had a backyard bonfire the night before. This year I suggested we do the bonfire on Thanksgiving night, after dinner and naps and board games. It's a nice way to end the busy day - staring into the fire, roasting marshmallows, and bonding with the family. This is definitely a new tradition that I would like to continue.

Thanksgiving backyard bonfire

On the day-after Thanksgiving, we usually go on a hike or do some other outdoor family activity. One year we played bocce ball in the yard for hours and last big Thanksgiving we went on a hike to a local waterfall. One year, on the day-after Christmas, we went clay pigeon shooting, which was WAY more fun than I imagined and would also be a fun post-Thanksgiving outing. I like this tradition because I think it's important to get outside and be active after a day of rich food, naps and coziness.

Anna Ruby Falls
my shootin' pose

That being said, a few years ago, my oldest sister made banoffee pies for us on the day-after-Thanksgiving and we ate this incredibly rich but DELICIOUS dessert while we watched Little Women (one of my favorite movies that I associate with this time of year). I would definitely like to carry on this tradition as well. Spend most of the day out-of-doors, doing something physically active, and then come home to a turkey + leftovers sandwich, a decadent dessert and a great family movie.

Mini Banoffee Pies
scene from Little Women
That's about it for my Thanksgiving traditions, new and old. What are some of YOUR Thanksgiving traditions? Isn't it fun to combine old family traditions with new personal ones?

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