As you probably know by now, I LOVE Thanksgiving especially the traditions. Most of my family is from North Carolina and they make the 14 hour trek to Tennessee to enjoy Thanksgiving with us. Since we typically only see our family once a year, we have a great time catching up. Over the years we have developed quite a few Thanksgiving traditions.
Preparing for Thanksgiving
My dad is a Whole Foods fanatic. It is rather funny to see my very country dad sipping on a green juice looking at quinoa and organic turkeys. When I was in college, he would pick me up from the airport in Nashville (about an hour away from my parent’s home) and we would take a detour to pick up organic goodies for Thanksgiving. We have kept this tradition alive and normally shop for groceries the Monday of Thanksgiving week. The night before Thanksgiving, my cousins and I enjoy a pre celebration at the family farm, which typically leads to mischief!
On the morning of Thanksgiving, we have coffee and breakfast early in the morning with yummy treats such as pumpkin roll, ham & cheese breakfast sandwiches, cinnamon rolls, and breakfast casserole. I am considering baking these pumpkin biscuits this year! No Thanksgiving morning is complete without mimosas of course, even my grandmother will get in on the action.
My mom and I usually cook Thanksgiving dinner together. I love this time to bond with her and do one of my favorite activities, cooking! If our timing works out we enjoy our meal in the early afternoon, giving the men of the family plenty of time to watch football. When we were younger to keep us occupied while dinner was being cooked, we made turkey cookies (similar recipe here). However, even though we are all in college or post college now we still ask to make these cookies every year.
We invite anyone in our neighborhood that does not have family close by to also join in. For a couple of years our neighbors, who are British, joined in on what they referred to as “traitor’s day”. My family hosts dinner at our family farm and the scenery is just perfect for the occasion. Before we dive into the delicious meal, we take a moment to go around the table and say what we are thankful for. Each year I find this part of the day to be difficult. It is hard to narrow down just one thing I am thankful for when there are so many reasons to be thankful.
All my family members usually dress up for Thanksgiving dinner and then immediately change into sweatpants. Once the food coma sets in, its nap time city! My mom and I will start putting up Christmas decorations, which can be quite a feat since she has four full size Christmas trees. I have never met anyone who loves the holidays more!
I would love to hear from you, what are your family’s Thanksgiving traditions?
It happens every year, I feel like I am ready for the holiday madness, but I become overwhelmed with stress. This year, I decided I would take the time to enjoy the season and not feel busy by preparing early. After all, the holidays are meant for enjoying time with family and friends not stressing over silly hostess gifts.
*My Christmas cards this year gifted from Tiny Prints
Tips to Not Become Overwhelmed this Holiday Season
1. Put the tree up early and take it down late. I put up my tree the second week of November and boom it is done. Even though I want to enjoy the season of Thanksgiving without Christmas intruding, this makes my life a lot easier. I typically take my tree down after New Years when I am exhausted from the holidays and just want to stay in. Also, my grandmother always said it was bad luck to take down your tree before the new year, this to me is permission to procrastinate.
2. Address Christmas cards in November. I ordered my Christmas cards through Tiny Prints beginning of November. I then went ahead and addressed them. I will wait until a more appropriate date to send out, but this way its done and I can worry about other pressing matters.
3. Purchase hostess gifts now. I know I will be attending a few holiday parties this year. I purchased a few generic hostess gifts and keep them wrapped and ready for when I attend a party. This saves me time and I do not have to scramble at the last minute to find the perfect bottle of wine.
4. Set a date for holiday parties with friends such as friendsgiving ahead of time. Since everyone is so busy during this season, my friends and I planned out friendsgiving the first week of November. The date is set and we do not have to worry about other obligations not allowing time to celebrate with friends. I created a calendar category on my iCal that is for the holidays so I do not miss any important events.
5. Start Christmas shopping early. I began shopping in October when I would see things on sale or something I knew a friend would love. I hate buying a gift just because I need one and not buying something I know the recipient will love. For any last gifts I finish up on cyper Monday. I do not fair well with long lines and being patient in stores for black Friday. This takes a lot of stress out of holiday shopping and allows for thoughtful gifts.
With these tips, you will be kicked back enjoying Christmas movies while sipping on eggnog instead of feeling stressed over the holidays.
Do you become overwhelmed during the holidays? If so, what helps you relieve that stress?
It is my favorite time of year, I love Thanksgiving. It is one of the only holidays where gifts are not exchanged. We actually take time to be with friends and family and just be thankful. With Thanksgiving only a week away, I have been researching table decor. My family always has Thanksgiving at our farm in Tennessee. The rustic setting makes the day even more special. Last year, I made these calligraphy “I am thankful” placemats for each place setting. My mom and I typically handle the decor and cooking for our family. This year I am loving these rich textures and whimsical plates!
My absolute favorite holiday, Thanksgiving is around the corner. I love it because it is a holiday where presents are not involved and we take the time to remember to be thankful. Here are a few DIY Thanksgiving projects that have been on my radar lately. We made the “thankful for” placemats last year, and all of our family loved it. This year I am loving the chalkboard pumpkin for the menu, such an easy DIY that will make a large impact.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving DIY?
1. Kate Spade for Gap Kids Maybe I can shrink myself to fit into these adorable dresses and leggings. LOVE this collaboration with Kate Spade.
2. Pink Peonies Living Room Reveal Rachel revealed her new living room on her blog, Pink Peonies. The feminine touches and navy couch have me swooning!
3. J.Crew Factory Window Pane Dress The perfect versatile dress for fall.
4. Oh Joy! Holiday Collection for Target This is one of my favorite bloggers and her holiday line at Target is beyond adorable. You will definitely see a few items around my apartment for Christmas!
5. Comfortable: 50 People 1 Question As a supporter for positive body image, this video almost brought me to tears. We, as adults, try very hard to make our bodies look like everyone else with less wrinkles and smaller waists. Children would prefer to be different and have mermaid tails and cheetah legs. We need to have more child like thoughts when it comes to our bodies.
Happy Halloween!! My mother always made our costumes growing up, so the sky was the limit for creativity. From being a poodle to a worker bee, we always had original costumes. Mom would also dress up with us in matching costumes, I think she secretly loved the holiday more than us.
Here are a few of my costume throwbacks:
My brother dressed as Tiger and myself as a poodle.
Probably my all time favorite! My mother dressed as the queen bee (she was 7 months pregnant with my brother) and myself as the worker bee.
*Sorry for the terrible photography, cameras have improved significantly since the ’90’s!