Traditions come in many forms. We have heard everything from families gathering together every Sunday for dinner, ice cream after the first day of school, making chili at the first of winter, and matching Christmas pajamas. Traditions create bonds and over time they help form an unbreakable sense of belonging.
We asked a few of our contributors to share their favorite Thanksgiving traditions. See what they had to say below!
Thanksgiving. It’s a season often centered around good food, spending time with family and, hopefully, a time full of thankfulness. As a mom of 5 young children, my desire is to help teach my children what being thankful really means in a fun and joy-filled way. This tradition is still fairly new to us (and let’s be honest, we may have skipped a few days last year) but our family has decided we will spend each day of November writing down all of the things we are thankful for on a thankfulness pumpkin. We gather round in the morning after eating our breakfast and each say one thing we’re grateful for; sometimes I get really thoughtful answers such as “my dad for working hard for us,” and sometimes I get answers like “paw patrol” or “football”. Either way, I am proud they are finding gratitude independently. My kids love having our pumpkin as the centerpiece in our house during this time and have even been known to jot something on the the pumpkin in the middle of the day – if they remember something they forgot to mention that morning. The holiday season is always such a crazy time for our family, so this small, simple, yet impactful activity grounds us. It reminds us of all the good and beautiful things we’ve been blessed with. I hope you and your family will implement a moment of gratitude each day – whether using a thankfulness pumpkin, or another method. You won’t regret the moments of intentionality spent remembering what you are thankful for!
– Bethany Romero Brown
My husband and I lived in Florida for a few years before having our daughter. We started hosting Thanksgiving because we often had to choose between going back to Texas for Thanksgiving or Christmas; we couldn’t make it home for both holidays back to back. We also had friends who weren’t able to be with their families on Thanksgiving which led us to adopt an open door policy for anyone who needed somewhere to celebrate.
One year my husband decided he wanted to fry a turkey. For me, that sounded terrifying as I had heard the horror stories of what could go wrong. However, it quickly became my favorite tradition.
When my husband goes outside to fry his turkey, a crowd always seems to follow. Usually all the cooking I do is done ahead of time, and family and friends joining us bring sides or desserts which are also already prepared. That means frying the turkey becomes entertainment. It’s a moment to step away from football on TV, a moment where the kids run around outside playing, a moment where we all gather to see the big reveal. As I write this I can hear the sounds of laughter, see the smiles on everyone’s faces and can smell that delicious turkey. It’s moments like these where you are reminded of everything and everyone you are thankful for.
That is why frying the Turkey will always be my favorite Thanksgiving tradition, because it’s so much more.
– Dani Stone
I grew up as an only child with extended family that lived a decent distance. This meant our Thanksgiving celebration was pretty small – just my parents and me. The idea of spending hours in the kitchen prepping side dishes from scratch or eating leftover turkey for days, even weeks, wasn’t appealing. This led us to start the tradition of ordering food in advance from local spots. Hear me out with this one … we enjoyed the day. There was no stress over an undercooked turkey or a burnt pie. Plus, there weren’t any dishes to clean! We watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, ate whenever we felt like it, then took a quick nap and capped off the day by pulling out a puzzle. Whether your celebration is going to be three people or thirty, consider ordering from one of these Waco restaurants. Implementing this tradition and grabbing something in advance from a local spot might just set the tone for a positively perfect day!
– Maggie Moore
Whatever tradition your family chooses to observe this Thanksgiving, we want to hear about it! Tell us in the comments below what your favorite Thanksgiving tradition is. You may just start a new trend!