Tuesday Topic: Favorite Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving is an odd holiday for us.  We’ve spent the vast majority of Thanksgivings celebrating in the homes of friends.  I’m not complaining, in fact, I really enjoy the rare times when we are invited to dinner; it takes a certain level of boldness to invite a family our size over and I always appreciate it.  We usually cook a Thanksgiving dinner of our own, since we want all the yummy leftovers, but we don’t have a long list of special traditions.  I love traditions, and our other holidays are packed with them, so I find myself casting about for meaningful and fun activities.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?  What does your family look forward to each year?

Will you share some of your ideas, big or small?  I’m sure there are lots of people besides me who would like to add something to this holiday.

Our marathon trip to Costco yesterday went well, thanks to music in the car, time spent looking at books, and strolling through the Christmas aisles – the samples didn’t hurt either.  When Sweet Pea took the girls to eat, I powered through the actual food shopping and got it done quickly.  We had three carts by the time we were done, although one had a huge poinsettia in it, a gift for one of Sweet Pea’s friends.

I ordered our Christmas cards from Costco in the morning and picked them up that afternoon; I love efficiency!  I need to write a short note with a few bullet points about each member of our family and then get busy addressing envelopes.  Each year for a decade I have intended to put the addresses into my computer and print labels, but I haven’t done it.  Maybe this year?

I’m working hard to plan ahead and make sure I have activities for Dimples each day. This afternoon the girls are going to do a craft with a friend.  Dimples also has two appointments that will fill some of her time.  We are having a smaller version of Thanksgiving dinner tonight since we are celebrating at our friends’ home on Thursday.  As you know, Dimples loves to cook, so I’ll keep her busy in the kitchen if we end up with time on our hands.  All in all, it should be a good day.

On another topic all together,with a small twinge of sadness it is finally time to say goodbye to the name A Bushel and A Peck and change it to One Thankful Mom.  Two years ago when I moved my website to www.onethankfulmom.com, Rusty told me I should change it, but I felt unsure.  I was afraid that people wouldn’t like the change or would lose me in the big world of blogs.  But I’ve found it doesn’t make sense to have my web address and the name on my site be different.  So tomorrow, if all goes according to plan, you will see that the name on my banner says, One Thankful Mom.

Last of all, I had to include the picture of my big kids  and our friend, Katie, on our way to Seattle.  Katie was sitting in the back reading the book  – while also being on the cover of the book.  It struck me as funny.  I don’t often get to have Mimi on my blog, so it is nice to have a picture of her, too.

#411 – 420 giving thanks

rain, yes, I am trying to be thankful for the rain – at least it sounds nice on the windows this morning

my rather ugly, but very fuzzy and warm bathrobe

food for the month filling my freezers and refrigerators

three big boys to unload the van when we got home from Costco

three fairly cheerful girls along on the shopping trip, and Sweet Pea, too

two Christmas gifts purchased

the large stack of Christmas cards sitting on my desk

cooking a turkey today – the house is going to smell so good

time with Sweet Pea before she heads out on two weeks of residency interviews

Andrew and Mimi here for dinner tonight

Have a great day – and please take a moment to share a Thanksgiving tradition – I need a bit of help.


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Captain Murdock
    November 22, 2011

    Two traditions … first, I make this thankful tree (http://www.godwilladd.com/2010/11/thankful-tree.html) All kids write what they are thankful for through September, October and November and post the leaves on this cute piece of fall decoration.

    Second tradition, which I stole from a friend and I will be starting this year: I am purchasing a fall leaf vinyl table cloth. Then, everyone around the table will have a sharpie and write one thing they are thankful for about their family and one thing they are thankful for from our good God. Every year – same cheesy (I've come to terms with the fact that it might not be "beautiful") tablecloth. Excited for this new tradition.

  2. Lauren
    November 22, 2011

    We are always at an extended family's home for Thanksgiving too. The only tradition we have (on Thanksgiving day) is for breakfast we make cinnamon roll turkeys. They are easy and fun and my kids love them. http://lifeasmom.com/2010/11/make-some-healthier-

    The day after Thanksgiving we bundle up and watch our city's parade of lights with a group of our international students. Then Saturday we decorate the International Student House with our students. It's always a fun time on sharing and meshing Christmas traditions from around the world. And finally, on Sunday, we go tree hunting as a family and then decorate our house. It's sort of our Christmas kick off weekend, I guess. Every year we do the same things and the kids look forward to our long weekend of family fun.

  3. Dawn
    November 22, 2011

    We decided to start a new tradition this year by taking a train trip. Amtrak tickets are ridiculously cheap on Black Friday and it seems like a great way to enjoy a trip with a large (if seven is large) family. We are headed to Albuquerque. We don't know a soul in New Mexico, but here we come.

  4. Hannah Tucker
    November 22, 2011

    Since Thanksgiving dinner is such a huge meal, we usually only have two meals that day: a large brunch (often hard boiled eggs, sausage, fruit, and cinnamon rolls or some other such make-ahead sweetbread), and dinner starting between 2 and 4. Having that much time after dinner really lowers the dishes stress aspect, and if anyone's hungry in the evening, it's super easy to slap together some leftover turkey and dinner rolls for a snack.

  5. Lauren at cOFt
    November 22, 2011

    Growing up it was always our family traditon to have family sleep over the night before Thanksgiving. We would wake up early to get the bird in the oven and always, always watch Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade – helps to stir up the Christmas spirit! 🙂
    – lauren @ confidentOFthis.com


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