Thanksgiving Traditions

[I shared this Thanksgiving post on The Coupon Project’s Thanksgiving Mr. Linky…did you share yours?]

We’re shaking up our Thanksgiving traditions a bit this year in the Jaye household, but not too much.  Mostly it just means welcoming more people to our usually very small celebration…my parents, my sister, her fiance, his parents and potentially his sister + potentially her boyfriend. Surprise, surprise, Em is the seventh or ninth wheel. What else is new?

We’ve actually been shaking up our traditions ever since my sister and I moved out of the house because growing up means more responsibilities, obligations and other distractions.  I’ve had to work on Thanksgiving, my sister has had to work on Thanksgiving, our parents have traveled and we’ve had Thanksgiving on a Sunday, one wonderful Thanksgiving, we had a three-course meal at a lovely little trattoria in Italy.

But, traditions are traditions damn it and when I think of our Thanksgiving traditions I think of: 

Cranberry Orange Bread.   My parents are of the mindset that on Thanksgiving you eat the Thanksgiving meal, usually around two or three o’clock and that’s it.  Maybe around seven or eight it might be time for more dessert or a mini-plate.  Little ones can’t NOT eat all day until two or three, so we would always wake up to freshly made cranberry orange bread.  Yes, it was from a box (obviously, there were much more important things to be making from scratch) so it’s not anything special, but any other time, it would be blueberry muffins, but COB is for Thanksgiving.

Please excuse the diatribe on healthy eating + Thanksgiving that follows…

I realize now this is actually pretty unhealthy.  It sets the precedent that it’s okay to starve yourself if you’re going to binge later. And that it’s okay to binge.  Thanksgiving is a meal of relatively healthy, at least more natural and wholesome foods than most of America eats on a daily basis.  That will not do for Americans.  They find a way to make this wholesome food unhealthy – marshmallows in sweet potatoes, deep-fried turkey, and A LOT of EVERYTHING. 

Even if the food is delicious, who really likes to feel STUFFED afterward? No one. That’s who.

Eat like a normal person, eat a normal breakfast, eat enough at “the big meal” to taste everything and feel satisfied and have leftovers to enjoy again. They’re just as good the next time around. Enjoy the people you are with.

Forced Family Fun.  Everything about Thanksgiving screams forced family fun, which sounds worse than it actually is.  I love my family and enjoy spending time with them, but during requisite events, I have no choice but to enjoy it.

Hiking.  We used to hike every Thanksgiving morning. I hated it. Now I’d love to get my family out there. My mom will be too concerned with making everything perfect, even though our guests are just as relaxed as we are, like us and are mostly stuck with us at this point. My dad might not be healthy enough for it and I don’t want to be the one responsible for trotting him around a mountain trail to find out. Oh, and my sister will no doubt have popped the champagne upon waking up, okay, maybe she’ll wait until she’s at least showered, but drinking and hiking just don’t mix.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  I love it.  I don’t think anyone else in my family does.  I sneak it on the TV.

Ignoring football.  Hate the Cowboys.  Enough said. (I find it funny that I managed to work in my distaste for America’s football team in back-to-back posts.  Go me.)

Being banished from the kitchen.  I’m the baby of the family and I’m just not as into food as the rest of my family is, so generally I get designated as the table setter.  I think last year I got to put the rolls in the oven.  This year we’re doing a quasi-potluck and I’ve been put in charge of appetizers.  I’m pretty sure they’re expecting a cheese tray and a bag of baby carrots.  Little do they know I’ll actually be busting out a smoked salmon and creme fraiche hors d’oeuvre and stuffed mushrooms!

Board Games.  Again, this might be just a me thing, but with even more participants this year, I am so making this part of the forced family fun.

T-minus four days.  Can’t wait!


3 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Traditions

  1. Ah, I love love love Thanksgiving! I’m lucky enough to have a great family to share it with and it’s just so nice to spend the day with them. 🙂

    For the past 4 years, my mom and I have done the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning which gives us a little activity before the meal. I tend not to go too overboard with the dinner part…it’s the desserts that get me. This year, we’re having: cookies, pumpkin pie, chocolate pie, pound cake, and pumpkin crunch. …Yeah, and I’m a sucker for anything sweet.

    But I’m excited! Just have to get through these next 3 days of work and school! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Thankful « The Next Moment

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