Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thanksgiving Traditions

I love Thanksgiving. I always have.

Maybe it's the food, maybe it's just that feeling of hope, thankfulness and family togetherness that makes me feel so warm and cozy on Thanksgiving...even when I am working my tail off to make a huge dinner.

It's the one day a year I really go all out and do everything from scratch....the old fashioned way. Except my pies, I do not make those from scratch, I'm too busy with turkey and homemade stuffing.

And I am very big on tradition. Coming from a tiny family (me, mom, grandma) I hold onto the few holiday traditions that we had and I've worked at creating my own with my family that the kids will hopefully always remember and pass along to their children someday.

One of the biggest Thanksgiving traditions is getting up early and starting the turkey and stuffing. The whole family gets involved. The kitchen is a flurry of movement, chopping, cutting, preparing... it's wonderful.

Even the smallest have their kitchen duties. I think that the kids' favorite part is helping with the stuffing. They break up all the bread-ripping and tearing all the bread slices down to small pieces and throwing them all in a big bowl. Then I even let them season and toss in the celery and onions. They love it. I know I always did when I was young. Even my (almost) 18 year old (b-day the day before Thanksgiving this year) still loves to help make the stuffing.
And it's a family recipe passed down from my mom. So that even adds to the feeling of family and tradition.

Another Thanksgiving family tradition is watching the Thanksgiving day parades while making the dinner preparations. My husband isn't really into the parades but I love them and so do the kids. For as long as I can remember that's what was always on every Thanksgiving morning at my mom's while we were preparing dinner.

Our third Thanksgiving tradition is one of my own creations. Every year the kids make hand turkeys. And not just any hand turkeys but we use finger paints, smear it all over the hands and put hand prints on paper. Then the kids can decorate (and date) their turkeys however they wish and I have a record of how the kids have grown from year to year. It's a wonderful way to create memories and traditions that our family can look back on fondly.

This post inspired by the Target Thanksgiving Traditions Sweepstakes. Thanks for the great contest . It really made me think about the importance of holiday traditions.

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