Thanksgiving is such an exciting time for our family mainly because of the traditions that we have created over the years. Traditions bring so much more meaning to the holidays and bring families closer together. There are 4 traditions that we do every year that help us really embrace the Thanksgiving holiday. Most of these traditions all focus around food. As many of you know I LOVE FOOD and memories for me have always been connected with an amazing meal!
1. We hit the store together.
This really does make a normally tedious task so much more fun! This is a new tradition for my mom, sister and I that we have done for the past few years. It is the only time we all really get to go the store together so it’s a special experience for us. We make our lists together and head out. We always go to Giant, because it’s a one-stop shop for us. We can get everything we need there from paper products and decor to our Organic Nature Promise Turkey and all our sides. It is just fun to walk the isles together and have that bonding time. Giant provides great deals on so many items so we don’t have to spend a fortune and we split it three ways. It works perfectly. Click here to get a $5.00 OFF load to card coupon for all new online registrants!!
2. Our families spend the entire day together.
We literally wake up in the morning and all meet at my sisters house to start the day with breakfast together. This usually consists of pancakes we throw on the griddle or an easy egg, cheese & sausage casserole. It’s such an amazing feeling to have everyone in the same house all day. My sister has two children and I have three so, it’s a lively, loud and fun day. The kids play together all day and even nap at the same time. We let the day just be free with no schedule. The only requirement is everyone has to relax.
3. We all cook our favorite dishes.
This is my favorite tradition. We start early in the morning, and take breaks to relax through the day. My mom, sister and I do most of the cooking but, our husbands and my dad chip in too. This usually is by chopping, slicing or carving but it’s still a family effort. Here is a simple menu that you can replicate if you are looking for a stress- free, easy Thanksgiving meal! I will put tips below each item, if you would like to make it yourself!
This year Giant has Organic Nature Promise Turkeys! One thing I have become obsessed with over the past few years is feeding my family well and that means less hormones and more “readable” ingredients. I have been able to do this on our budget by just searching out deals. I was amazed when I saw how cheap this Turkey was! I would have assumed that an Organic turkey would of cost twice the amount of any other brand but it was actually cheaper. There are no hormones, no antibiotics in this turkey which gives me so much peace of mind about feeding it to my family. These turkeys are available on pre-order right now through November 11th.
The KEY to a moist bird is mayo! Yes.. mayo! You make a mixture of: mayo, sage, thyme, rosemary, oregano, coarse salt and pepper and you coat the turkey. Add a stick of butter inside and place the cut up onions and celery in and outside of the bird! Cook normally and you will have the perfect turkey.
Macaroni & Cheese:
For this show-stopping mac & cheese, all you need is : can of condensed milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1 egg and loads of sharp cheddar cheese. Mix with the cooked noodles, top with more cheese, and bake on 375° for 30 minutes.
Southern collard greens are a staple for every holiday in our house. I start by frying bacon and cooking the greens and onions in the bacon fat. I add some chicken stock, chicken bouillon, and a little bit of crushed red pepper. Let it cook on low for hours and you will have some amazing greens.
We bought the cranberry sauce and frozen rolls that we just needed to pop in the oven to save us some time! Don’t feel bad about cutting corners and focus on the dishes you really want to “shine.”
Lastly, we finish off with….
Sweet Potato Pie: (Here is the full recipe)
4. Play games after dinner.
Aw it’s awesome how you make it an all day family event!
Thanks! It’s such a special day for us!
What a great post and I love the idea of everyone shopping together! I usually do it alone, but I think I will bring my boys this year.
Thanks so much! Yes, it’s fun to bring the kiddos!
We have a pie party the evening of Thanksgiving. The kids and I bake 12 different pies and have ice cream and cool whip. People drop by for a quick piece of pie or end up staying all evening. Games are played and kids have a blast.
What a fun tradition!! Wow that is some impressive baking! I’m sure your making amazing memories!
Awe these are great traditions and so easy to incorporate!
Rachel | The Confused Millennial
Thanks! I hope you can use some!
I love these traditions! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. We always watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade together in our pajamas, sipping on coffee, and snuggling on the couch. We too like to play games that day!
Elizabeth Ann // http://www.lovedoinglife.com
Aww that’s such a fun tradition! We do turn on the parade as well! I would love to go!
This post just made me all the more eager for thanksgiving to get here! This will be the second year I’ve hosted it at my house and I’m just so excited. While shopping together might be a challenge for us, I love the idea of making it all day long. We tend to gather around a football game or two, but I always try to push for games! We played charades last year and it was so. much. fun!
Aww that’s awesome! Sounds like so much fun! My husband loves to watch football that day as well! Games are the best part! Lol
I love all of these! Such great ideas
Thanks so much!
I love to play games after dinner. One of our favorites is apples to apples.
Yes! We love that game as well!
Those might seem to be such simple ideas, but that doesn’t take away from home meaningful they are. Some of my favorite memories are of helping my mom cook or going shopping for a holiday dinner with my own daughter.
Yes! Me too! It doesn’t take much to make awesome memories!
I love all of these traditions! We always cook all together and spend the whole day together, and my Dad and I always watch the parade on Thanksgiving morning!
Aww that makes for fabulous memories!
I’ve always wanted to have a game night after dinner, and it’s about time that we actually do it! I love the idea of everyone making their own little specialty dish as well. Such a great way to bring everyone into it. Great post!
Thanks!! yes do it! It makes the best memories!
I love thanksgiving and spending the entire day with family! I love vegging out on pie and football.
Yes! Pie and football are a must! LOL
Great ideas for bonding! Playing together definitely brings the family closer.
yes it really does! Thanks for reading
Great traditions! Holidays are such a perfect time to enjoy family togetherness.
Thank you! Yes they really are!
Definitely trying these this year!! 🙂
Awesome! I’m so glad!
I love Thanksgiving traditions! We always watch Elf every year after we finish our Thanksgiving meal as a way to bring in the Christmas season!
AWW I love that tradition! One of our favorite movies too! LOL
Awesome traditions. Both sides of the family are near us so we usually go to one place for lunch and one for dessert. It is a busy day but so much fun!
That is awesome! Sounds like a fun tradition!
I love that you guys cook together. I would find that hard, letting my kids have control in the kitchen. More power to yah, momma!
XOXO, Amaris // http://www.crumbsandglamour.com
LOL Yes the kids don’t do too much
Spending the day together is such a great tradition!
Yes it is!
Bridget @ Antics of a Nutty Hiker
We do those too! I love Thanksgiving! We spend the evening going through all the Black Friday sales and planning our shopping trip!
=) Bridget | http://nuttyhiker.com
YES! I do black friday with my sis and mom too!
Anitra | The Mom on the Move
Yes! We do all these things as well. Never considered that it brings the family closer because I always thought this is just what families do. I have learned as I’ve gotten older that it’s not. Thanks for sharing.
What a lovely post!!!! I love the idea of going to the store together, it is great to get the kiddos involved in the entire process! And incorporating everyone’s favorite dish is another great idea! Thanksgiving has passed here in Canada, but I will be taking these ideas and using them for Christmas!
Aww thanks! Yes, they work just as well during Christmas, including the recipes!
These are super great ideas for togetherness at Thanksgiving! We are intentional about spending time together…your sweet potato pie recipe looks fabulous.
Thanks so much! It is and super easy! Give it a try!
Karen - Sarcastic Parent
I love the idea of spending the entire day together. Our family has never been big on black friday shopping so we get to spend the day together, which I love.
That’s nice because sometimes that can add an element of stress.lol
Sounds fun! My kids would make that grocery trip a bit more stressful. 1 tradition we started a few years ago is to go on a nature hike. My menu can be prepped the day before, and it’s so nice to be out in the beautiful world with my beloveds, rather than feeling isolated in the kitchen.
That’s really cool! I love that tradition. Sounds so special for your family.
Such great and easy traditions to incorporate! Loved this post!
Thank you so much! Yes, they are.
I love how you make it about family! These look so simple too 🙂
Thank you! That is definitely the best part. They are super simple but meaningful.
I LOVE this post!! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays for this reason! We always make a paper turkey and everyone in the family writes the blessings they are thankful for. We then guess who wrote which one as we put together the turkey.
Omg I love that idea! Thanks for sharing! How special that is for your family!
Marlynn @ UrbanBlissLife
Love reading about your family traditions! We have our own as well, and it’s so wonderful to have these traditions to pass down from generation to generation. Hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving!
Thank you so much Marlynn! It is so special to have those! Hope you all do the same!
Those traditions sound like so much fun! I love the holiday season because of all the sweet memories and traditions that come with it.
Yes! exaclty! Thanks so much!
I love this! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and btw, I’m also the mom of three boys (what a crazy adventure! I started a blog about it this spring!). These Thanksgiving traditions are a great way to make it such a special family day. My parents have hosted Thanksgiving since before I was born, but it would be such a nice addition for my boys to make something special to bring there or cook it with my mom.
Aww that’s so awesome and special. I will definitely check out your site! That’s fantastic.
The mac n cheese and sweet potatoe pie look great. I dont use mayo on my turkey! I need to try this tip next time!
Thanks so much! Yea, last year I did it and it was the best one I ever made!
I love these ideas and definitely agree with the “readable” ingredients in our food! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much for reading!
Thanksgiving is pretty much my favorite holiday! I love the fun family time and how relaxing the day can be. We love to play games on Thanksgiving too! Thank you for sharing!
Yes! Me too! I love it! Games are such a great bonding tool as well!
Everything looks great, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and yours looks incredible. Love that you take the kids shopping with you.
Thanks so much!!
Sarah Marier/ Just Simply Sarah
What great family traditions!!
thanks so much!
You are making me so hungry!!
LOL Hopefully you can try some recipes!