I asked a panel of amazing moms to answer the following questions about their observance of Thanksgiving. I hope this is a blessing to you and gives you some ideas and encouragement.
Favorite Thanksgiving Memory.
- My favorite Thanksgiving memory is waking up to the smell of my mom’s pumpkin bread. When I bake pumpkin bread, and the smell carries through the house, I am instantly back at home with my parents and sisters!
- Big group get-togethers with my aunts, uncles, parents and grandparents.
- My favorite memory was our dinner time growing up. Due to our large family, we would have a long table full of food and family. It was a always a fun family day with great food and board games. I loved it
Who do you spend Thanksgiving with?
- It depends on where we are living. If we are home for the holidays, we alternate between my family and his. If we are on the road, we invite friends/neighbors who are not going home for the holidays to share in our Thanksgiving meal.
- We spend it with my husband’s side of the family.
- We have an open-house policy, so any of our friends, family and church family that do not have a place to go, come to our house. Everyone brings a dish so that makes it easy.
What do you normally cook/eat?
- We normally eat turkey and ham or cornish hens, cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole (with marshmallows), green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, Mac and cheese, corn (corn casserole, hot corn, corn salad, or just corn), rolls, pumpkin bread, fruit salad, pies (pumpkin, chocolate, pecan), and homemade candy!
- We go to DoubleTree Suites for their Thanksgiving buffet J When I was pregnant with baby #3 I just couldn’t handle home-school, kids and hosting it at our house. This has become our new tradition.
- We normally have ham and turkey with a variety of different sides like green bean casserole, corn, rolls and so on.
Do you have any favorite recipes that you can share?
- This is a new recipe…that will become tradition in our home this year. It is a spin off from our pumpkin bread. My 10 year old created it…and named it pumpkin spice cake!
How is your family intentional about making the holiday about Thanksgiving to God?
- Daily reminders, Bible verses related to praising God and giving thanks, or devotionals related to thankfulness. We also pray around the table prior to our thanksgiving meal. We take turns expressing our thankfulness to God for his many blessings! One year we created a turkey, and on the back of each feather was a bible verse about thankfulness. It was a fun way to count down to Thanksgiving, while discussing the Word of God with our children.
- One thing I do is read a book I have on Kindle every year in November called 365 DAYS OF THANKING GOD Each day’s passage is very, very short, so I can do so easily.
- We made a tree this year and the kids put up a new leaf every day with something they were thankful for.
- We read several Christian books to the kids about Thanksgiving during the month of November. SQUANTO AND THE MIRACLE OF THANSKGIVING, PILGRIM BOY (A Beka Press), BEARENSTAIN BEARS GIVE THANKS, and THANKSGIVING: A TIME TO REMEMBER, by Barbara Rainey.
Do you have any traditions that you do?
- We create our Thanksgiving meal together! It is fun to have the entire family involved in preparing the meal. We also watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade. The month of November, my children also create a “thankful tree”.
- During the 2nd winter that the Pilgrims were in the new world, legend has it that food was so scarce that everyone was forced to eat a ration of 5 kernels of corn a day. The day before Thanksgiving, during my kids’ snack time, that is all they get for their snack. We talk about how that is all the pilgrims got to eat for a WHOLE day. Yet, no one died of starvation. God sustained them. I also have the kids listen to an episode of ADVENTURES IN ODYSSEY that we have on a CD called “Stepping Stones” and it’s all about the pilgrims and how they came to the New World for freedom to worship God.
- We watch the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special on DVD which also includes a show called the Mayflower Voyagers and talks about how the pilgrims were come to the new world for religious freedom.
If you could give advice to other moms/wives about Thanksgiving, what would it be?
- Don’t stress over clean homes and a dinner to impress! Enjoy the day!
- For many years I felt like I had to be the perfect hostess and cook a bunch of food for Thanksgiving. I felt exhausted and almost dreaded it. Now that we eat at a lovely buffet, I really enjoy it and look forward to the day. I watch the Macy’s parade on TV with the kids, we sleep in a little, and we just spend the morning as a family. It also frees me up to put the focus back on thankfulness to God because I’m not spending the week killing myself with cooking and cleaning.
- Enjoy the day and let other’s help you. You don’t have to do it all yourself. Also enjoy your family. We have so much for which to be thankful, enjoy that instead of stressing.
How do you balance Thanksgiving and Black Friday?
- Thanksgiving is for time with family and friends. Friday is for shopping. If we miss the deals, it’s not the end of the world!
- The evening of Thanksgiving we go out as a family and do the evening Black Thursday sales and we get some great deals. Then on Friday we just stay home and do family stuff together.
- I think it’s all about your attitude. If you are going from thankfulness to greed in a matter of a few hours, there is a heart issue. Enjoy your family and enjoy the sales, but don’t allow the Black Friday sales to interfere with your time with your family.