Traditions are a fun part of every family's holiday season. The staff here at FamilyEducation would like to share some of our favorite family traditions, and the fond memories that come along with them!
Grill the Turkey
The kitchen can get a little crowded, but one member of our team found a different way to cook the family turkey.
"We have the tradition of grilling the Thanksgiving turkey on a kettle-style grill. It's actually really easy, it cooks faster, is WAY juicier and delicious, and it clears up space for all the side dishes in the oven."
Food is obviously the main attraction at the Thanksgiving dinner table, but this FE staff member knows how to make eating fun!
She says, "One silly Thanksgiving tradition that we had at our house was that we always served black and green olives. I don't think that is very unusual, but we ALWAYS picked out ten black olives each, stuck them on our fingers, and somehow found that to be the funniest thing ever. We would laugh while we ate them off our fingertips. This quirky tradition found its way back every year, and it's one of my fondest memories of Thanksgiving. I'm embarrassed to say that at least one of us still does it each year."
Watch Some Football
What is Thanksgiving without football? One sports-lover on our team makes watching the game a family affair.
He says, "On Thanksgiving my cousins and I sit around and watch football. This year, I may even go to my high school's football game."
Get in the Christmas Spirit
Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season, so why not get in the Christmas spirit, too?
One staff member says, "Thanksgiving night is the kickoff of the Christmas season in our family. We turn on the Christmas carols and watch Miracle on 34th Street (the original, of course), as we enjoy turkey sandwiches and other leftovers from the day's feast!"
Invite Others Over
One member of our team reminds us all that Thanksgiving is about sharing and being grateful. His family welcomes everyone to their table, with only one rule for their guests.
"We've made everyone uncomfortable by forcing them to say what they're thankful for before we're allowed to eat. We go around the table, and one by one each person shifts in his seat, frowns at his plate, imagines how great that first bite of gravy-laden turkey is going to taste, and mumbles something about being grateful for family, friends, good health, and so on. Then, he looks to the next person, at last truly thankful for getting this over with for one more year. Everyone hates this tradition, yet it persists. I think, deep down, we're thankful that it's never changed."
For some members of the FE family, Thanksgiving isn't about cooking a lot and traveling.
As one staff member says, "After many years of dealing with crowded airports and canceled flights, or fighting traffic and driving through blizzards, my spouse and I now have a new tradition: We never leave town for the holidays.
"We do touch base with as many family members as we can reach by phone on Thanksgiving morning. But we don't spend the day cooking and washing dishes. Instead, we make a reservation at one of the great local restaurants that are open that day. It has to be a restaurant we can get to on foot or by public transportation, and we always go in the early afternoon. That way it's still light outside when we leave, and we can take a long walk to work off what we've just eaten. It's also wonderful to be with lots of other people for the holiday. The waiters are jovial, and entire families are seated at tables around us."
Run a Race
One motivated staff member likes to work some exercise into the mix on Thanksgiving morning.
"Each Thanksgiving, my relatives and I run in a five-mile road race. This 'Turkey Trot' is great exercise, and we don't feel guilty about all the turkey we eat later that day! It also gives us something to be thankful for, because all of the proceeds go to local charities."
Take a Hike
Once the turkey is cooked and the food is eaten, everyone deserves a little quiet time, especially if you have little ones in the house.
One team member remembers, "When my cousins and I were kids, my dad and uncles would take us all on a hike through the apple orchards after dinner. It kept us from being cooped up in the house, and it gave my mom and aunts time to unwind and clean things up a little. Best of all, dessert was always waiting for us when we got back! Even though we're all grown-up now, we still embark on our annual Thanksgiving hike."