Thanksgiving Traditions


Growing up in a very NON traditional house, there weren’t many things that we felt needed to be done every year, other than the occasional full blown dinner, which didn’t always happen. As a person that loves to go all out when it comes to the holidays, I vowed that when I have my own family I will instill family traditions into them, and give them something to look forward to every year. There were a few things that I took away from my time as a child when it came to Thanksgiving, and some new ones that I would like to start.

I need to have the Macy’s Day Parade on in the background. I love to have the sounds of the announcers, music, and most of all, Marching bands. And you know we all want to see a rogue balloon. Come on.

Let’s be honest, although Thanksgiving is about the day we give thanks and try to forget the fact that the Pilgrims and the Native Americans didn’t exactly agree on a few things (ahem… understatement) and it’s mostly about the food. Here are a few of my favorites.

  • Cranberry “sauce“. Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving unless the cranberry sauce comes out of the can still shaped liked a ribbed cylinder.

  • I must have sweet potatoes with marshmallows melted on top. This is a big one, I’ve always at least needed this dish, and I’m good. And it’s so easy too. I like to get the canned sweet potatoes, because it’s less work. You bake some sweet potatoes in the oven at 350 with 1/4 c. butter and 1/4 c. brown sugar (both super healthy) that have been melted together, and bake for about a half hour, then you throw some mini marshmallows (also healthy) on top and bake again for another 10 or so minutes, and voila! Perfect side dish. And only 4 ingredients.

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Other than the basics like mashed potatoes, and sweet corn, we also always did Stove Top Stuffing and French’s Green Bean Casserole. But this year, I’m a pescetarian, which means I don’t eat meats other than fish. What’s a girl to do about the main course? I’ll have to be creative. I’m not really into the idea of Tofurky, let alone do I know what it really is… So I’ll just have to load up on side dishes, and let’s face it, the best part of Thanksgiving food is that you can essentially mix ALL of the things on your plate together, and it still tastes amazing.

  • Why not try something new other than the regular old store bought Pumpkin Pie? This looks AMAZING. And easy. It’s called Pumpkin Dump Cake. Because you just pretty much dump a bunch of yummy ingredients in a dish and bake it.

We didn’t really have any other traditions aside from watching whatever football game was on the television. But why not start a new tradition? I’d like to maybe play some Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, or Pictionary. Favorite TV Thanksgivings? Friends, since they made a point to do a Thanksgiving episode every year.

Who could forget this one? Friends guest starring Brad Pitt, the episode that made us fall off our seats laughing, and helped Brad Pitt garner an Emmy Nomination for “Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.” Also, do you remember the Thanksgiving one where they had to eat grilled cheese because the food got ruined because they got locked out tying to see the run away Underdog balloon? Or the one where Rachel made the wrong Trifle desert?

Oh, and I MUST watch the How I Met Your Mother episode for “Slapsgiving“. That is a classic, and dare I say legen… wait for it… dary. If I learn anything from these shows, it’s that they don’t have close family in town, they have each other, and still make a point to get together and share a meal. And be hilarious while doing it.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?

Try to think of at least 10 things you are thankful for, and thank everyone you know today for something you appreciate about them. Happy Thanksgiving!

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