Thankgiving Cliffs Notes

Stuffing, wine, and pie are right around the corner, and I can't wait.

Here's a little peek into my Thanksgiving!

The Plans
When Ian and I were dating and engaged, we spent holidays with our own families.  It was important to me for both families to have "their babies" with them until we were husband & wifey.  Last year was our first married set of holidays.  We decided, based upon the fact that our families are several hours apart from each other, that it would work best to swap holidays and spend each one fully dedicated to one family.  Last year I spent Thanksgiving with Ian's family and he spent Christmas with mine.  This year, we'll flip-flop and do Thanksgiving with my family.  This will be the first time that Ian has been with us for this holiday.

The Family
We have a somewhat different arrangement that may seem strange to some; as my sisters (and the husbands) and I prepare to spend Thanksgiving with the family, my Dad travels to spend Thanksgiving with his brothers and their families.  We used to join this big group, but several years ago, we broke away from the extended family for Thanksgiving and just started spending it in our own home.  A big reason was that we were traveling home from college and Mom wanted us to be able to spend the holiday in our own beds and not have to hit the road immediately and stay in a hotel.  Dad still enjoys the opportunity to spend time with his three brothers, though.  So Dad is never with us for Thanksgiving dinner, but he'll come home on Friday to spend time with us.

The Food
This Thanksgiving, our plan is to have turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, sauteed green beans, and warm homemade applesauce.  We made our menu tasty but still health-conscious by choosing sauteed green beans over a casserole-style dish and doing the homemade applesauce to add in a fruit serving.  I am making chess pie for the dessert in lieu of the traditional apple pie, pecan pie, or pumpkin pie.  To me, chess pie is about as all-American as you can get.

The Traditions
One Thanksgiving tradition that we have, besides the quintessential Thanksgiving meal, is that we like to get outdoors during the day and do a big walk.  A "Turkey Trot" of our own, if you will.  Instead of joining in on a 5k, we lace up our tennis shoes and complete a 4-mile walk around our neighborhood.  It's a good time to chat and to make room for a big dinner.  We also have a seemingly-random tradition of going to Walgreens on Thanksgiving day, where we stock up on makeup and other items, and Mom pays ... I know, it's a strange one with a funny backstory.  Other than those traditions, we'll graze a bit during the day and then all gather in the kitchen to make dinner while we sip on some wine.  If it's cold enough, we'll have a fire.  We usually go around the table before we eat dinner and all mention something we are thankful for.

The Goals
My goal for this Thanksgiving is to get in a lot of relaxing time.  Since mid-October, Ian and I have filled up all of our weekends to the brim with lots to do.  I've got two books that are calling my name, and I can't wait to turn the morning alarm on my phone OFF.  I'd like to take a walk around the neighborhood on Friday and Saturday as well to make sure I'm getting in some exercise.  I am also going to do my best to keep the peace.  We all know that holidays with family can cause some, ahem, heightened emotions ... so I'll strive to be sans drama.

The Importance
What truly matters to me is the ability to spend this holiday with loved ones, with more than enough food to fill our bellies, and take the time to reflect on life's abundant blessings.

Source: via Lauren on Pinterest

I'd love to hear about your Thanksgiving plans, traditions, and goals ... what is your Thanksgiving going to look like?


  1. This Thanksgiving will be the first that my fiance and I spend alone together & the last before we are married next month! We will be doing a simple dinner at home with plenty of wine! Hope you & yours have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

  2. pretty much stealing that Emerson quote for my toast tomorrow, brought a tear to my eye

    I'm Busy Bee today prepping but I'm feeling good that all will go as planned!

    and for my sanity's sake, I am doing hot yoga this afternoon, a Soul "Turkey Burn" tomorrow morning, and have plenty of wine and Kalms within reach :)


  3. You might have inspired me to blog about ours. We use to do the rotation thing too but now it's ALL in the family!!
    Have a GREAT time!

  4. I love reading all of your traditions-even about going to Walgreens for makeup. ;) We're doing Thanksgiving with new friends we have made since we've been in Utah. I'm making a fall salad with pomegranates, bread pudding, pumpkin pie, goat cheese and mushroom queso and baked spinach dip. Have a wonderful time!!

  5. We do the same flip/flopping of holidays with our families. The first Christmas I wasn't technically with my parents they came over EARLY on Christmas morning, ate breakfast with Rob & me then got on the road to meet the rest of my family in Birmingham. They weren't out of my driveway when I started crying like a baby. I cried for 2.5 hours. I'm such a baby. We'll be doing the same thing this year & I think I'm prepared for my emotions this time around! Happy Thanksgiving to you guys! xoxo

  6. What a fun weekend you have ahead! I hope Ian enjoys the Walgreens shopping trip.

    What books are you packing?!

    Happy Thanksgiving friend! xo

  7. I thought mine was the only family that routinely includes a stop at Walgreen's as a Thanksgiving Day tradition. It's a good tradition!

  8. I like the swapping idea...we are doing that this year and it definitely makes everyone happier! Enjoy your holiday relaxing!!

  9. I love that you go to Walgreens on Thanksgiving! We send Thanksgiving with my family in Jersey and Christmas with my in-laws in VA. This year is bittersweet since we will not be able to have dinner at my grandmother's for the first time in 35 years. (She still can't get into her home due to flooding from Sandy.) But we will all be together - that's what really matters!

  10. My husband and I did the same thing: spent all holidays with our respective families until we were married. My husband's family doesn't have a traditional Thanksgivjng dinner so we decided to always do Thanksgiving with my family. Christmas Eve is spent with his family, Christmas morning is just us with our daughter and dog then we drive to my parents and finally Easter is always spent with his family!

  11. I love this peak into your family traditions--the walk is a fabulous idea! Bryce and I spend the big holidays apart as well, for now. It's hard being away from him on the holidays, but I'm also not ready to sacrifice my family time. I like the solution you and Ian have come up with. Our Thanksgiving is pretty casual, my grandmothers come over and we enjoy appetizers and then have a big meal around 4:00. A few years ago, we swapped salmon for the traditional turkey--we got a little turkeyed out every year and now have never gone back!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...