#BestThanksgivingYet – The Traditions

Wow, how is it already time for Thanksgiving next week? November is going by too fast, so it’s time to get with this planning

I’ve decided to tackle the “easiest” part of the prep process first. Except that nothing is ever quite as easy as I think it will be.

I really get a lot of joy out of creating memories and starting new traditions and all that “sentimental stuff’ as my husband would probably refer to it. The problem is that once you start trying to find the “perfect” tradition to begin or the “perfect” list of activities to enjoy on Thanksgiving day, it starts to become stressful…

So I’ve decided to keep it pretty simple — and begin some traditions that can be easily repeated over the years without a bunch of hassle.

1 – Plan the pictures – Taking pictures is a big deal to me (years ago, I was blessed to be a professional photographer), but even though I am well aware of the importance of photographs, I will confess that it can be challenging to make time to take the pictures that capture the memories I want to remember

This is a simple pic from our Thanksgiving one year, but what makes me laugh is my plate on the top left. Since I don’t really love traditional Thanksgiving food, my family made me a bowl of cheese – which I do love 🙂

To help simply the photography part of the day, I have a few ideas:

  • I have a list (a short list!) of pictures I want to take. Being intentional about what memories I want to capture puts it at the forefront of my mind — and I’m keeping the list short so that it doesn’t get overwhelming. Some ideas for your own list (Thanksgiving decor, setting the table, cooking in the kitchen, everyone around the table, playing outside after the meal, fun candids).
  • Enlist a trusted family member or responsible child to help with the pictures. If you don’t feel comfortable letting them use your camera or phone, consider a disposable camera. Give them your list and tell them to have fun!
  • We like to take our Christmas card pictures on Thanksgiving day. We typically have all of our family together, dressed up, having fun. It’s a good time to check that off the list as well!

Pictures are vital — they are so worth the effort in the long run!

How could I not have this precious pic of my Luke’s first bite of Thanksgiving food? He feels the same way about it as I do 🙂

2 – A tradition of gratitude – I wanted to start something (simple) that we could do every year and look back on many years from now with fond memories. Here’s my idea…we are going to start a gratitude jar. I will have blank, unlined index cards on hand with pens and (throughout the day before the meal), anyone can write something on the card. The only rule is that they need to write what they are thankful for and why. (Not just “Mom” but “I am thankful for my mom because she always thinks of everything and gets me to all my events on time ” — in my dreams, right?) 🙂

I plan for the kids to read a few during dinner, and then to continue this process over the years…I’ll let you know how it goes!

3 – Family fun – We love sports in our family, and it makes sense to start an annual Thanksgiving Bowl game in the backyard. I’ll let my husband help me sort out all the details (baseball or football? how should we divide the teams? should there be a “trophy”?) — so that he can feel included as well!

So that’s it — short and sweet, but a start, right?

What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?

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