Traditions are defined as the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation. Our Thanksgiving traditions are created from memories and gatherings of people sharing their blessings.
When I was growing up, I remember that my mother cooked and baked for days preparing foods for Thanksgiving. I believe that I can still feel the warmth in our home and experience the wonderful smells coming from the kitchen. One of the Thanksgiving traditions our family observed was that everyone came to our house to eat. This included grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends. The men in our family always liked to deer hunt so they were out in the morning doing that. After dinner we drew names for our family Christmas gift exchange. Over the years as my brother, sister, and I grew up and had our own families we were not always able to be together.
My husband and I have a blended family of 8 children. When they were growing up I cooked and baked for days preparing for the Thanksgiving feast. I remember them having friends over that whole week and many of them ended up in the kitchen enjoying the desserts being baked. Many great conversations happened while hanging out in the kitchen.
My husband is one of those men who counts down the days on the calendar for each deer hunting season to begin. He owns a hunting cabin with his brother and some friends. He hunts on Thanksgiving morning. He comes home around 10am and we usually have our dinner around 1pm. When the children were small, he would take the boys back to the cabin with him for a few days to hunt. The girls and I always went to a movie that evening. We would start some Christmas shopping the next day. The children are all grown now and have their own families. We are not able to be together on Thanksgiving so we talk on the phone or do FaceTime.
Last year I asked some of my friends what their traditions are and how they are passing these on to their own grandchildren. I really enjoyed hearing these so much that I decided to ask some more friends this year. HERE are the ones from last year.
I am loving hearing from different friends this year.
Dave and Beth have 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren. She said ” We have always gone to a movie on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The movies have evolved through the years, from when it didn’t matter what the movie was to rated G, to PG and then back to G, and now we are at PG again with the grandkids.
When we moved to Atlanta, we met a couple of newlyweds. Both sides of their family lived here but they loved this tradition.When they started their family, they asked if they could also join us at the movies.
Both Dave’s (the dads) had birthdays around Thanksgiving (Nov. 21 & 23), so we would go to the movie and then back to one of our houses for dinner and birthday celebration. The movies changed through the years as my kids grew. Many of the kids friends or boyfriend/girlfriend joined us through the years. Then came our grandchildren and the movies went back to Disney ones. Being together and thankful for friendship and love, was what this tradition meant to us. They moved to NC a few years ago, so now it is just our family again.
The circle of life and this year, we are back to where we started.”
Ethel and Tom have 5 grandchildren. She said “Each year I start searching the magazines for new twists on old favorites — I like for the kids and grandkids to be a little surprised at dinner time.
It’s difficult to fit everyone in the dining room, and each year I swear we are going to simplify the menu to doing a buffet, but the granddaughters begin sitting the table and we all end up seated in the tight quarters, pulling out extra table and chairs.
My daughter and I do most of the cooking and end up feeling we miss most of the conversations trapped in the kitchen. We are now rennovating the kitchen, and hope to have it completed by holidays.”
Danny and Linda have a handsome little grandson, Jack, who is heading towards 2 years old.
Linda is a 3 time Pillsbury Bake-off finalist, and the winner of many other cooking/baking contests. She is an artist, and creates hand-painted, embellished Christmas ornaments. She is always baking and creating recipes. This busy grandma is never too busy to spoil little Jack. She tells me that for Thanksgiving, her family always go to her sister-in-law’s house for dinner. She likes to bake a dessert to take along.
Christmas at her home looks like it came out of a magazine. If interested in the Christmas ornaments, send her a message on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/LBGlitterGirl
Cathy and Pete have a granddaughter 10 months old. They are starting new Thanksgiving traditions by combining their family and their son-in-law’s family to share a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
This lady is an excellent cook/baker. She is a 3 time Pillsbury Bake-off Finalist and winner of many other contests, so you know how good this meal would be! Their granddaughter has a little cousin a few months younger so there will be lots of joy in the years to come. You can visit her blog HERE. (The Dutch Baker’s Daughter)
Debbie and Rodney have 2 grandsons whom they love to spoil.
She tells me they spend Thanksgiving Day with a large family at one of her sister’s home. They share a traditional dinner around 2 in the afternoon and then talk, play games and hang out here the rest of the day. Debbie jokingly told me the adults may engage in a few adult beverages. Sounds like a fun day for sure!
One of the memorable family Thanksgiving traditions I shared was from Tom and Teresa last year.
Teresa and Tom have a big household with 7 grandchildren. They have a unique tradition. On Thanksgiving eve they all get together and make homemade noodles!
The grandchildren help. Many times it turns into a noodle battle with some being thrown at each other in fun. It makes a big mess but they all love it. She tells me that they argue over whose noodles are the best, but no one really knows because they all go into the same pot. This tradition will always be remembered by the grandchildren.
Mandee is one of Teresa’s daughters and is continuing to pass on the noodle making tradition. She and her husband John have grandchildren that live in another town. They visit them between Thanksgiving and Christmas and call it “Thankmas”. She has started making noodles with the grandchildren.
Mandee has this recipe as well as many other great ones on her blog The Kitchenwife.
I loved hearing from some of my friends and how they will spend this special holiday.
My daughters and granddaughters like the Black Friday shopping the day after Thanksgiving and have so much fun being together.
Some of my friends and family will be volunteering at churches and other facilities hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the less fortunate as their Thanksgiving traditions.
I think that each of us are thankful for the wonderful blessings we have been given and if we are lucky enough to have family to share it with, we can ask for nothing more.