Updated: Jan 17
I love tradition and creating traditions, so I thought I would share some of my family's traditions with you! I am also going to share some traditions other people have, that you might want to incorporate into your own Thanksgiving holiday.
My Family's Thanksgiving Traditions and Other Great Thanksgiving Tradition Ideas
1. The most important Thanksgiving tradition to me, is being thankful to God and others for my many blessings and having a heart of gratitude. That is my family's most important Thanksgiving tradition.
2. We have a special way of cooking our turkey. We cook the turkey, in an old fashion, large, brown, paper, grocery bag. My mom has always cooked the turkey that way, she learned the technique from my grandma, I learned it from her. When the turkey cooking task, is imparted to me, that's how I will cook it too. The turkey turns out moist on the inside and golden brown on the outside...perfect!
3. We have a family cornbread stuffing recipe which is the most delicious stuffing, I have ever had. It's probably the most important part of our Thanksgiving meal, second only to the turkey, my whole family loves it. The recipe was handed down from my grandma, my dad's mom. I don't know how many generations before her, the recipe was made in our family.
4. Cellery and pimento cheese
5. Cranberry jello salad. This is a special recipe from my grandma, my mom's mom.
6. Pumpkin pie and all the usual thanksgiving sides. I love my mom's pumpkin pie!
7. Leftover turkey and cranberry sandwiches with stuffing. Sometimes my sister and I have stuffing for breakfast with yams. 🙂
We watch the dog show, football and The peanuts on TV and sometimes play games.
I read about a great idea on Our Simple Homestead, that I would like to add to our family's Thanksgiving traditions when we have enough people with us to make it fun. This tradition has you make or buy, a paper turkey or pilgrim place holder with each guest's name on it and write a bit of Thanksgiving history on the back of it. Then have each person read what it says, during the dinner table time. This family has nine people in it and this is what they have each person share.
"I cut out nine turkeys from construction paper and write one of these key Thanksgiving history points on each. I also use them as name settings, I write each person’s name on the front and write the history point on the back. After our prayer, we go around the table and read each point in date order.
Turkey #1 – In 1620, the Mayflower came ashore in the New World.
Turkey #2 – In 1621 Thanksgiving was held as a three-day feast to celebrate the first harvest and to thank the local Indians that had helped them to survive their first year in Massachusetts.
Turkey #3 – In 1623, the Plymouth colony had a terrible drought and they prayed for rain. After the rains had come, they celebrated Thanksgiving with a day of prayer.
Turkey #4 – In 1676, the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts, proclaimed a day of thanksgiving on June 29, to express their thanks for the good fortune their community had securely established.
Turkey #5 – In 1777, all 13 colonies celebrated Thanksgiving for the first time; however, it was a one-time affair commemorating a victory over the British at Saratoga.
Turkey #6 – In 1789, George Washington proclaimed November 26th to be a national thanksgiving day for the adoption of the Constitution.
Turkey #7 – In 1846 Sarah Hale begins advocating a national Thanksgiving celebration, believing this spiritual means would unify and preserve the nation.
Turkey #8 – In 1863 President Lincoln, declared the last Thursday of November to be set aside as a “day of Thanksgiving and Praise”.
Turkey #9 – In 1941, Congress changed the holiday permanently to the 4th Thursday of November."
I really like this idea because so many of us have forgotten the story/history of Thanksgiving and it is a good learning opportunity for kids. It gives each person an important way to contribute and be heard during dinner time. It helps kids get comfortable with reading out loud.
I would personally like to add to that tradition, by having my guests place their table place holders, in a basket at the end of the meal. When it is time for the guests to leave, have them select two ornaments one from each basket at the door. They will then place the ornament from the first basket, somewhere on my tree. They can take the ornament from the second basket home with them, to use or give as a gift.
I would love to hear about your Thanksgiving day traditions, so feel free to email me and let me know what Thanksgiving is like in your family!
I will leave you with this unique, thanksgiving cookie recipe from Live Eat Learn.
Sweet Potato Cookies Need a healthy cookie recipe that's just as moist and delicious as your old favorites? This Sweet Potato Cookies recipe with chocolate and oats has you covered. Time 45 minutes or less Prep Time 30 minutes Cook Time 12 minutes Total Time 42 minutes Servings 24 cookies Calories 189kcal Author Sarah Bond Ingredients
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 cups all-purpose flour 240 g
1 ½ cups rolled oats 130 g
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp each ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground ginger
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature 1 stick, 112 g
½ cup brown sugar 110 g
½ cup white sugar 110 g
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract 5 mL
1 ½ cups chocolate chips or chunks 250 g
Mash Potatoes: Peel and chop sweet potatoes into chunks. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add sweet potatoes, cooking for about 15 minutes, until fork-tender. Drain water and mash potatoes, then set aside to cool some.
Dries: In a medium bowl combine flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
Wets: Combine butter and sugars until smooth, then add egg and vanilla. Once the sweet potato has cooled off a bit (should be warm, not hot) add it to the sugar mixture.
Dries + Wets: Stir flour mixture into sweet potato mix, then fold in chocolate chips.
Bake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Scoop dough onto a greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until slightly crisp on the outside (do not overbake! They may look soft in the center; that’s perfect!) Let cool on the pan for 20 minutes before transferring to a container.