Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Traditions and A Return to Simplicity

This year will be pretty different from Thanksgivings past. Mostly because I get to do the hosting this year (woo hoo! Any excuse make too much food and drink too much wine!)

Thanksgiving 2011.
A picture of a picture, because I am so full of technology.
Last year, when all we wanted more than anything in the world was to go home and to sleep by 7 PM because we had been in the car ALL DAY, Denny and I vowed that next year we were going to stay home. I would cook and if anyone wanted to come over and join us that was a-OK with us.

So this year, I am cooking my very first turkey (!!!) and hosting 12 people at our home.

For the first time in 10 years, I get to be home on Thanksgiving. I get to watch the parade while I prep the turkey, sit down and catch some football with a glass of wine if I get a 10 minute break in the cooking, make sure Peyton gets a nap in her own bed on her schedule, and not put a single mile on my car.

We are taking it back to simplicity this year and I am pretty darn stoked about it.

Thanksgiving 2011.
Our sweet girl on her first Thanksgiving.
And with that in mind, I'd like to talk traditions. Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that tugs on my heartstrings because it really reminds us to be aware of our blessings and to have a thankful heart.

I also like this holiday because so many people celebrate it in so many different ways.

For some, Thanksgiving is all about parades, football, and turkey.
Or you can say, "Turkey is gross and I hate football, so I make a ham and call it a day."
Or, you can enjoy a movie at the theater and come home and eat lasagna with your family.
You can drive all over God's creation visiting with family and friends all day.
You can take the time to give back to your community by volunteering at a local food bank or shelter.
At dinner, you can have each person at the table share what they're thankful for (which always turns me into a misty-eyed sap. I feel like the Grinch when his heart grows ten sizes since I have so much to be thankful for.)
You can create a Thanksgiving "tree" and have family add what they're thankful for as the leaves.
You can spend your time after dinner playing games and chatting with your family.
You can spend your time after dinner taking a nap.

Stole this from my momma. Thanksgiving 2012.
In case you couldn't tell from the date stamp.
As for me, Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks, counting our blessings, and being with those you love and hold dear (and parades, football, and turkey). Being stressed on a day like this kind of takes the fun out if it. It also doesn't really matter how you celebrate it, and that's the beauty of this holiday.

I am curious, though...what are some of your Thanksgiving traditions? Feel free to share them in the comments!

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