Monday, November 4, 2013

Calling All Thanksgiving Traditions

This will be our third Thanksgiving together (second one since we've been married), and it occurred to me yesterday that I really want to form some good Thanksgiving traditions. It really is such a lovely and simple holiday, but I usually don't think much about it until the day of.

{these photos are from our first Thanksgiving together, when we traveled down to Memphis and hung out with my adorable cousin Noel and my aunt Marci and uncle Spiro. We had so much fun that it has become an every-year tradition since then!}

stopping in Bowling Green, to commemorate the place we met.

nail polish! love this girl.

this is at the Peabody Hotel, so much fun if you are ever in Memphis.

This year I spent weeks planning for Halloween, and I know that in December I will be listening to Christmas music all month long and kind of "gearing up" for that holiday. I have always loved Christmas traditions with my family--caroling to friends and family, delivering anonymous gifts, shopping, baking, acting out the Nativity on Christmas Eve. There is such a positive energy throughout the entire month.

But what about November? I would love to focus some energy on being a more grateful person. I am convinced that being grateful is key to being happy. Another great side effect is that being grateful often lifts other people's spirits--how great does it feel when someone says thank you?! After some preliminary brainstorming with Chad, we came up with a few ideas. Like, what about having some kind of advent calendar, only instead of for Christmas, for the days leading up to Thanksgiving? Each day could have some directive, like, "Call someone to thank them for something they've done for you," or "Choose a letter of the alphabet--now, list everything you can think of that you are grateful for that starts with that letter." The directives could be pretty specific or more vague, I guess.

{photos from Thanksgiving #2: Memphis, again! This time, Taylor, Jenny, and Carson joined us.}


I like watching kids play sports.

same tree, back at the Peabody Hotel. I'm telling you, this place is awesome.

I asked my mother-in-law, Pam, for some of her ideas about Thanksgiving traditions yesterday. She said her family would deliver homemade canned grape juice with little notes that said, "I'm 'grape-ful' for you because. . ." She also said that she would give each of her kids a special Christmas ornament on Thanksgiving that was meant to represent something significant that had happened in each of their lives that year. Cool!

Tell me, what are your Thanksgiving traditions? I am a blank slate! Starting fresh! A mere BABY in the forming of my own family's traditions. This is your opportunity to push your very favorite November traditions on a very receptive and eager audience. Let's hear 'em!


  1. We have no real traditions in my family, though it is my favorite holiday. I generally try to reflect on gratitude in the month of November. This year, I am writing a thank you note each day to somebody different. Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday- my second favorite. I just love to be with family.

  2. Sam's family has a little bucket and slips of paper set out throughout the month of November and throughout the month you write down things you are thankful for/nice things about other people in the family. Then on Thanksgiving they read them all out loud and sometimes try to guess who wrote it. They get pretty creative and silly sometimes with what they write. I thought it was a fun idea.

  3. We have this weird tradition where we cook a turkey and eat it

  4. You have to have a Thanksgiving pinata! Please tell me Chad has told you about this. I was at least 14 before I realized everyone in America didn't do a pinata on Thanksgiving.

  5. When I was growing up we always read the Christmas story and put up the nativity after Thanksgiving dinner. It was a great start into the next holiday and reminded us of the most important thing for which to be grateful.
    My family now always makes a list on the white board we have in the kitchen. We come up with at least 100 thing for which we are grateful.


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