As anyone who knows me can tell you, I love decorating for all the holidays, and this includes Thanksgiving. Don't get me wrong, I'm as excited about Christmas as anyone else (Christmas music flows freely in our house and car), and we'll be one of those crazy families you see out on "Black Friday" with a Christmas tree tied to the top of our car...but let's not forget about all the fun things associated with Thanksgiving.
There are so many things that you can do to establish traditions and make Thanksgiving more than just "the holiday we have to get through in order to get to Christmas". Here are a few of the things that have always made Thanksgiving special to me - thanks in large part to my mom and her excitement about every holiday.
Pumpkin pie with whipped cream, warm pumpkin bread with butter, turkey with stuffing, various hot dishes (my favorite is my mom's Carrot Souffle - recipe to follow), and all the yummy goodness that we stuff ourselves with on the last Thursday of November.
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - I'm a kid a heart.
Getting to see friends and family from all over, catching up, laughing, exchanging stories and recipes (I'd love to learn about some of YOUR favorite Thanksgiving dishes and recipes!).
Watching Thanksgiving movies - yes, they exist.
- A classic, "must watch" in our house is "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving". The first story is about Charlie Brown, Linus, Snoopy, and Woodstock trying to prepare and host a Thanksgiving meal for their friends - popcorn, toast, pretzel sticks, and jelly beans! The second story is called "The Mayflower Voyagers", in which the Peanuts gang are part of the Pilgrim group who have come to the New World. It's a fun way for kids to learn about the story of Thanksgiving.
- As a small child I used to watch "The Mouse and the Mayflower" because it came on TV, but it hasn't been on in years. I am hoping that someday they release it on DVD because it was such a fun story.
- "Garfield's Thanksgiving" is one that Peter introduced me to after we were married and now we watch it every year along with the Charlie Brown shorts.
Like all other holidays throughout the year, I decorate the house, which makes Thanksgiving feel more like a "real" holiday to me. Pilgrims, Indians, and Turkeys took over our house on November 1st and will sit there until November 27th when they are replaced with Christmas decor. From turkey salt and pepper shakers and Thanksgiving-themed mugs to pillows, blankets, and carved Pilgrims, our house is a reminder of why we celebrate Thanksgiving.
OK, I'll stop now before this post gets insanely long (too late!), but I hope that gives you some ideas for making Thanksgiving a holiday that you enjoy and your kids (if you have them) remember.
Count your blessings!