How do YOU celebrate Thanksgiving?

I have been thinking for a while about what I wanted to write as it got closer to Thanksgiving and this morning something popped into my head that I decided to go with. Instead of writing a post where “I” do all the talking… how about you tell me what your family does for Thanksgiving. You can leave your comments below, and if you read my blog posts through your email…the post where the title is in blue? You can just click on the title with your mouse, and it will bring you directly to my website so you can see all the comments below the post…and leave one yourself if you like. If you chose to leave an email instead of coming to my website, I’ll transfer them to the bottom of this post…

This will be fun for everyone to see how others do things… what traditions they follow, what recipes they use, how far in advance they plan their menu, how they set their tables, if they play any games, if you do it at “Mom’s” house or do your rotate where it is each year…and more… Inquiring minds want to know!!!

I know many of you will be cooking today, as I will be, but I’m still hoping you find a few minutes to let me know how you make your Thanksgiving Day “special!”

I’ll start:
We are having Thanksgiving Dinner at our house… and will (hopefully) eat around 1:00 a.m. It will be my hubby and me, our son Kristoffer, my mom, Sara, and her parents ( our dear friends from Columbia, South America). Rebecca will be missed at our table this year as she’s up north at her boyfriend’s Naval Graduation. (Oh, and of course, Reuben will get a paper plate on the floor with what my hubby thinks he’ll like!)

We are having a lot of food for only 7 people… Turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, parkerhouse rolls, corn casserole, 7 layer salad, broccoli/cauliflower salad, sweet potato souffle, and Kristoffer is making his stuffing, a green bean casserole and a made from scratch cheeseball. I am making a 4 layer Chocolate Delight dessert and a crustless pumpkin pie. (My pie is done… and so is my chocolate dessert.)

crustless pumpkin pie 003

Do you think that’s enough food? Oh, and Alba and Edgar said they wanted to find something special to bring over too…so we’ll have plenty of food.

We will eat at our dining room table, on unfinished plywood floors, but still being very thankful to have our “fixer-upper” house to call home. My hubby will give thanks for the blessings we have had come our way this year and we’ll probably go around the table asking each person what they are most thankful for this year. It never gets old to me and even though I usually say one of the things I’m thankful for is my family, I still mean it every year!

I’m still trying to come up with a little game to play with my guests… it’s always fun to have a game or at least a little gift to set on or near their plate.

When dinner is over I give each person a container and tell them they can take home whatever they want. It’s always fun to see who liked what the best!

Well, that’s the shortened, condensed version of what we do around here on Thanksgiving Day! Now it’s your turn…

See you tomorrow, Happy “almost” Thanksgiving!
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. As we celebrate Thanksgiving at our house we also celebrate 4 November birthdays. I was born on Thanksgiving and my birthday falls on Thanksgiving day about every 10 years. One of my daughters was born on my birthday and my other daughter and my husband also have November birthdays.
    One Thanksgiving I planned an activity for my grandchildren to bless someone else who was less fortunate. I hid food items ( non perishable) all through the house and then had a scavenger hunt. When all the items were found we put them in a basket and the children wrote notes and drew pictures for the family that would receive the basket. I don’t know who received the basket, I gave it to our pastor to give to whoever he thought needed it.
    This year I am having 20 people at my house and my oldest granddaughter(16) is coming to help cook the meal with me. Today we are making pumpkin pies ( one from your recipe) mini carrot cupcakes and banana pudding. Also she wants to learn how to make “Grandma’s potato salad” so we are making that too.
    Tomorrow I will roast a turkey and my husband is smoking two turkey breast in his new smoker he got for his birthday. We will eat around 1:30 and enjoy the afternoon together.

    • HI Betty,
      Thanks so much for sharing what Thanksgiving IS and WAS like at your house! This was so much fun for me to read all your ideas…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Linda Doyle says:

    Jeanne, you have an awful LOT of food for 7 people!! This year is a bit different from the past, since it won’t be at my house, but at my daughter’s. What we are doing is having our own Thanksgiving, just Michael and me, here at home, then going over to her house for dessert, games and fun. She and her hubby have 3 children, ranging in age from 4 to 13. We have a little tradition of writing down our blessings on a piece of paper and putting into a small “Blessing Jar” after our prayer before meals. We have our dessert, pumpkin pie and red velvet cupcakes and brownies, then play their favorite, Apples to Apples. It’s something everyone can play and so funny! One tradition my mother started with the grandchildren is making apple turkeys out of apples for the body, toothpicks with raisins for the back feathers and a large olive with the pimento hanging down for the gobble, then taking pictures of everyone with their turkey. All the cousins do that now with their own families. It just takes apples, toothpicks, raisins, and olives.

    I’m making a turkey breast, stuffing, gravy, candied sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, spiced apples, tossed salad, Parker House rolls, I think that’s it. I’m not going all out this year, but think I will have enough for left-overs for a few extra meals! We aren’t really big eaters, my hubby is the PICKIEST eater on the planet, and I think he would do fine with hospital food!

    We hope to eat around two, clean up and go to Jennifer’s in the latter part of the afternoon. Just 3 years ago, both our kids were home (our son lives in Denver) with their families and I had 12 people to cook for, so this will be a piece of cake this year!

    • Linda Doyle says:

      Oh for heavens sakes, I totally forgot to add that the apple turkeys also need those little mini-marshmallows to alternate with the raisins! I’m going to send you a picture, Jeanne, of my oldest grandson, holding his turkey he made 3 years ago.

      And Paula, actually my hubby will need the “plain version” of everything I cook! It’s like a restaurant here, no one eats the same dish, or very rarely!!

    • HI Linda,
      We do have lots of food…but I won’t have to cook for a week afterwards…Maybe….:o/
      Your celebration sounds wonderful and I did get Jonathan’s picture of him and his turkey… adorable!
      Thanks for sharing your day with us…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. After retiring and moved to Florida from New Hampshire in 1994 we have had several Holidays spent without our family. The first few years we went north for Christmas. One of us would end up getting sick when we returned. We were fortunate that our Daughter and family would come down to visit us at least twice a year from Massachusetts after the Grandchildren were born. Our son would come down also two or three times for a visit. He liked the beach and boating. We would go north to visit them in the summer. We moved from Englewood (on the west coast) to Lakeland in 2007. Kids are now in college and busy but our daughter and granddaughter come down Easter time. Our son is building a home down near where we lived to retire to (in 5 years). So we will see more of them. We do skipe on holidays. For our Thanksgiving we get together with
    neighbors that are in the same boat (away from family). We take turns and will be going to friends. They will be having 12 neighbors. We bring food and also help with the dishes. Just like a family get together . Then we will call both kids at night. Christmas we do the same thing. It helps to be with friends when you are away from family. It took a few years to get use to. I hope that you and your family enjoy your Thanksgiving one and all! Thankful for our family and friends! Sylvia

    • HI Sylvia,
      I know how hard it is to be away from family and only see them once or twice a year. It’s too bad we can’t all be close enough to see each other more often… but that’s the way it goes sometimes.
      I hope you have a nice time with your friends…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Most of my family live in another state. It doesn’t take long to get there but I am having it here as I have for the last couple of years. 3 of my siblings have plans with other relatives back home and I have a brother and some nieces and a nephew and a great granddaughter coming to visit us. Some will stay till Friday and some will come on the weekend.
    We are having a non-traditional dinner. I won’t say what it is because no one would believe I’m serving this for Thanksgiving. Most of us don’t like turkey. ( We are picky eaters, I guess – Linda, we may have your husband beat! ) It will be a buffet style dinner and we do have many pumpkin desserts including the pies.
    I will dress my Thanksgiving table up like my mother taught me – always a white tablecloth with lovely Thanksgiving decorations on it, (one which will be my mother’s old horn of plenty). She is no longer with us but her style and lessons sure are! (Love you Mom)
    We are a family of traditions, but sometimes as the years go by, and depending on the amount of people who are together, we do different traditional things.
    We share our thoughts of thankfulness for the many blessings we receive and sometimes I put 5 kernels of corn by each place setting. It signifies what little the early settlers of our country had to eat when they first arrived.
    We play games…sometimes Bingo with little gifts for the winners. Always Euchre, Pictionary and Dictionary and sometimes charades. But the best part of entertainment is we enjoy each other. It is truly a “Merry” time.
    Blessings to everyone this Thanksgiving!

    • HI Paula,
      Well, now you have me really curious about what your “non-traditional” Thanksgiving dinner will consist of… I’m going to guess cheeseburgers or maybe spaghetti! That’s something most picky eaters might enjoy! :o)
      Thanks for sharing what you do on Thanksgiving, Paula… it sounds like you all have a wonderful time just visiting… That’s what I like to do most!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Jeannie Brandon says:

    What are we doing for Thanksgiving…. this set me to thinking through the year. All the ups and all the downs. I am sitting here feeling extraordinarily grateful that The Lord has continued to steadfastly provide all that we need each and everyday. And as He has provided in the past He will provide a path of hope for the future. For this I am grateful.

    Our plans this year will be to go to my stepson’s home for dinner. In attendance will be in-laws, out-laws, steps, halves, second cousins once removed, aunts and uncles, husbands-in-law and wives-in-law, grands with & without boyfriends, young Jack and old Jack, step grands and two empty chairs representing Great Grandpa & Great Grandma who recently passed within six weeks of each other.
    We have provided a ham and will take a pumpkin pie, a cranberry/jello salad, extra chairs and a card table for overflow. The old oak family table from Iowa will be stretched to the limit from the dining room to the living room with the hope that no one jiggles too much as age has taken its toll on the joints and center pedestal.
    It has been decided by the host and hostess that money, religion and politics will not be discussed in an effort to keep things comfortable for all attendees.
    I will take my knitting and keep my mouth shut as I am one of the “out-law” !!

    • HI Jeannie,
      I am grateful too, for what the Lord has allowed us to be blessed with this year!

      You are too funny…I can just see you sitting in your rocking chair, knitting…instead of spouting (off at the mouth…that is…)
      Enjoy your day, dear friend,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Marilyn Grotzky says:

    This is funny. Only two of my AGs are ready for Thanksgiving. They are standing next to each other on the couch, Lindsay in the red dress that was the first thing I saw Jeanne construct on this blog, to which she has added a white tulle petticoat from Jeanne’s Etsy shop, and Felicity is wearing Betty Atwell’s plaid, pleated jumper with lace trimmed white blouse from her Etsy shop. If you wonder who Betty is, see today’s first comment. Each doll thinks she has the prettiest dress ever on the Net, and neither is mistaken. Both have chosen their next dresses from Jeanne and Betty. Neither understands money very well.

    Thanksgiving. My worst was when I was in college and my dad woke me up, saying, “Your mother is sick. Go in the kitchen and start dinner.” In his defense, I think he put the turkey on. In mine, I’d made the rolls the night before. Fortunately, several hours later my mom felt better and could help. We finally got everything ready to go on the table just before I had to go to work. I was the one woman holiday crew at a huge underground switchboard. Several hours later, someone thought to bring me some food.

    A better memory — one of my former co-workers just emailed to say that another co-worker had given her my cranberry recipe. This is the first gesture of friendship between them that I know of, and the three of us have known each other for at least 25 years.

    • HI Marilyn,
      You better get those girls all dressed before company arrives!!! Thanks for the kind compliments to me AND Betty! I like your last line in that first paragraph… “neither understands money very well…” That made me smile!

      Well, I hope your day tomorrow gets put in the Good Memories category and not the worst! It seems like there is never enough time to get all the stuff done for Thanksgiving Dinner… well, at least when you’re doing it “alone!” Glad you finally got to eat that day back in college!
      Thanks for sharing your memories with us Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Pretty quiet at our house. A simple meal, no turkey. Nurse daughter, just back from a mission surgery team in Haiti, is on call at her hospital. Other family in another state. Usually they visit and also for Christmas. Don and I used to make dinners for aunts family” When we were laying new floors and the carpet and pad removed, we had brown paper on the floors . Tricky moving from kitchen to table in front room. Strange what we remember from past hollidays. Mostly
    i remember how full we were as kids, retiring to the bedroom with cousins. I was the picky eater and it amazes me that I once ate so much to be uncomfortable. I was very thin and constantly told to eat more.

    • HI Jan,
      Sometimes simple is better…it certainly is “easier”… ask me how I know?
      I hope your day is very nice and full of visiting if your daughter ever gets to come join you!

      I’m not looking forward to the “full” part of tomorrow…I’m going to make a conscious effort to be “good!”
      Thanks so much for sharing your Thanksgiving comments with us…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Heading down to our daughters this year. About an 1 1/2 hour drive. Kind of hard for daughter and family to travel here with three kids under 5, one just 3 months. So, we’re bringing the artichoke dip, broccoli casserole, and mashed potatoes. Our son in law’s parents and his sister and family will join us. They’re bringing stuff also. Will be fun to see the grand kids and everyone. Next year, probably have Thanksgiving here. It is nice to alternate the big day.

    • Thanks so much Joy,
      I hope you have a wonderful day with all your family…especially those grand kids! Have a safe trip to where you are going…
      Thanks for sharing your plans with us, Joy,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. I grew up where my mom would always have a hissy fit if everyone didn’t make it to dinner and when you have 6 kids and the in laws, it was really hard to have a nice dinner together with everyone.. So I told my children that they could always go eat with their in laws because I hated how that made everyone feel.. They just pic a day they would like to have dinner together and that is our holiday dinner.. It works out great for us, but also helps that I have just 2 kids. This year my daughter will be here with 2 of her girls and the girls asked if I minded that their father come. My daughter is divorced from him.. So I asked if she minded and so he will also be here for dinner.. I have always welcomed him into the house because he is their father.. I usually see him more than my daughter..
    We will sit around the table naming what we are thankful for then after dinner we play games.. one of my grands fav game is “Scene It!” we play the Disney version so they always beat us.. and we play other games but that is their fav.

    • HI Kath,
      It sounds like you have it all worked out so it works for everyone the best way possible. Sometimes it can get tricky when you have to be at one dinner and then go to another one later on in the afternoon or evening. By the time you get to the second one, you don’t even want to look at food, you’re so full!
      I hope you have a fun day with your game and just visiting!
      Thank you Kath,
      Blessings to you, Jeanne

  10. Thanksgiving is normally ‘low key’ for me. This year, since having my mom move in with us in July – I’m doing more meal planning that I have in a LONG time… a friend of hers gave her a turkey, so, it’s going in the oven in the morning…along with green bean casserole, & sweet potatoes. We have deviled eggs, rolls and cranberry relish planned also – with pumpkin pie for dessert… all for Mom and my brother. He’s coming to visit/eat with her while Freeman and I head out to eat at his daughters home, nearby. (Mom didn’t want to try to ‘go away’…) We’ve gone to his daughters place since they began their family 14 years ago…. other guests will be there as well. I’m taking pies … both pumpkin and dutch apple – with plenty of whipped topping.

    What I remember about family dinners in the past is… clearing the table together – getting the dishes all washed and put away – together as a team…. then, we’d all sit down and play games. Monopoly, Parcheesi, Rack-o, Flinch…. these days, it’s Dominoes, Yahtzee, Scrabble, or Uno…. but, we still play games. The dishwasher normally takes care of the dishes, now, too. We never had a ‘supper meal’. If anyone got hungry – we’d just head to the kitchen and fix a turkey sandwich on our own.

    Holiday celebrations have evolved over the years – with each addition to the family – other extended family need ‘their time, too’… It all still focuses on family, somehow, tho. This year, everyone is excited to try to watch for my nephews son in the Detroit parade – his marching band is performing…. we *hope* to catch a glimpse of him as they pass the cameras near the grandstand. 🙂

    • Hi Mary,
      Thanks for sharing with us your Thanksgiving traditions. It’s always fun to see what everyone does and how much food they plan to make… I got all mine made, except for the turkey and the potatoes… and the rolls and the gravy… Well, I did get a lot done…

      I like the visiting part the best too! Whether it’s talking at the dinner table, playing a game, watching a movie together, or doing the dishes…the visiting is the best part!

      I hope you get to see your nephews son in the parade… maybe record it so you can watch it in slow motion!
      Thanks for sharing Mary,
      Have a wonderful day tomorrow,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  11. Charlotte Trayer says:

    It’s been fun to read about what everyone is doing (or has done in the past) for Thanksgiving. But I have to ask, Jeanne, are you really planning to eat at 1 A m?! (running and ducking…)

    When my parents were still alive, and mom was still able to, Thanksgiving was at their house, although I think we hosted it a few times, too. Then, as she became less able, we’d go to my brother’s, or I’d bring all the fixings down and fix dinner at mom and dad’s house for them. I especially did this after mom went into the care facility and dad was alone; I figured he would enjoy the “cooking smells”, as well as my being able to stock his fridge and freezer with leftovers that would make easy meals for him. Daddy did a little cooking, but not usually a whole big meal like that.

    They are both gone now, and some years we are with my brother and his wife (sometimes at her parents’ home), sometimes we’ve been alone, and the last couple of years we’ve gone out for dinner with our pastor and his wife (they do family things the day after). This year, however, we have been invited to our son’s home; his girlfriend is cooking a turkey and trimmings, and his oldest son, Isaac, who lives with them, will be there, too.

    The Saturday before Thanksgiving our church has an annual dinner; the pastor and his wife cook the turkey, potatoes and gravy, and most other things (stuffing, salad, pie, etc.) are signed up for in the weeks preceding the dinner. This year, our son, his girlfriend and all three of his sons (the two youngest live with their mom) were able to attend with us. It was a special time, to be all together!!

    This year I have done something new (to me), and that is, each day of November I put up a “thankful post” on my Facebook page. Some days that is easier than others!! LOL

    It used to be we went to church on Thanksgiving morning, too, but our current church is very small, and we don’t do that–in fact, I think a lot of churches have gotten away from that, which is kind of too bad. I rather miss it.

    A blessed Thanksgiving to you, Jeanne, and your family, and all your readers!


    • Thank you Charlotte,
      I has been fun for me too, to read what everyone was doing (or has done in the past) for Thanksgiving. There is a wide variety of things going on and probably just as varied as the menu’s.
      Your family get together’s sound like they were really special and it’s nice when everyone can get together. I wish my brother and sisters lived closer on days like these!
      Thanks so much for sharing your special day with all of us…
      Blessings to you Charlotte,
      ~ Jeanne

  12. Kathie Welsh says:

    We have traditional food…my sisters Party Potatoes that the kids absolutely eat till they pop. Turkey, dressing, gravy….Sweet potatoes, Green Bean Casserole , Strawberry pretzel Jello, Deviled eggs, relishes, and I’m the pie lady…Lemon Meringue, Apple, Pumpkin, and pecan…something for everyone! What’s funny in our family is that my hubbly makes traditional Cranberry relish, with nuts, oranges, cranberries and sugar…best if it sets a day or so..and every year we forget either that or the whipped cream…well usually we are at my sisters and it is no problem to run get it….but this time we are 30 mins away and this year we forgot the cranberries….AGAIN! Drat it anyway! We’ll be eating them all week . MY DIL set the most beautiful table ever…right out of a magazine and her mantle and buffet were just as pretty. Love to see these young girls do holidays so well.

    • HI Kathie,
      It sounds like you had as much as we had today… just like your house… something for everyone! I was in the kitchen 11 hours yesterday… and quite a few today just getting last minute things done!
      My house was cleaned up and I had some candles burning, but it wasn’t like a magazine… I wish it was…
      Thanks for sharing Kathie,
      I hope you had a wonderful day!
      Blessings, Jeanne

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