Thanksgiving Traditions

Holiday Table

I absolutely love the holidays. Particularly, Thanksgiving and Christmas (well, duh!). Every few years, my birthday lands on Thanksgiving so, naturally, Thanksgiving was always my favorite. Now, it’s a toss up. I love the building excitement for Christmas before Thanksgiving and the freedom to finally let loose the day after! I haven’t decorated yet, even though lots of people have, but I am not-so-secretly listening to Christmas music already. Hey, when it starts playing on the radio, I’m good to go! And thankfully it starts right at the beginning of November here!

One thing I love about holidays are the yearly traditions. You would think they would feel old or boring as the years went on. Instead, the anticipation builds each year to finally get to do the festive things we love so much! I also love making new traditions each year with my family!

When Ryan and I were first married, the holidays felt sort of funny. We each had family traditions that were special to us…not so much to the other person. That first Christmas, we tried to cram all of our past traditions into one holiday! Let’s just say we had way too much food at Christmas Eve dinner (gotta get all the favorite foods in there!).

Through the years, we have started to figure out what is special for us as a family. We’ve added and taken away. One Thanksgiving tradition, probably my most favorite, is one that I have done since I was a kid. Every year, my family bought a new puzzle and I would spend all day putting it together. It usually starts out with me flipping all the pieces all by myself. Then, after everyone helps me with the edges, I work alone once again. When it starts to get easier, I have company once more. I am never the one to put the last piece in! But it is always a blast (man, I sound like an old lady).

Since we have been married, Ryan has enjoyed this tradition with me every year. And now, we are going to continue it at his mom’s house! Thankfully, she is a puzzle lover too so it should be a fun one! (apparently, I am an old lady at heart)

Movies, to me, are a huge part of the holidays. It is a short, two month time of year that we have to fit all of our favorite festive movies in! Ryan and I have started a new movie tradition to kick off our Christmas movie watching! It all started with You’ve Got Mail (please tell me you’ve seen it. If not, there is a major problem here!).

Ryan has this weird thing with movies. If there is a Christmas scene, it is automatically a Christmas movie…even if it’s not. (Seriously, he is still trying to convince me that Die Hard is a Christmas movie) So, when we discovered the Christmas scene in You’ve Got Mail, it immediately made it to the Christmas movie list…which started this awesome movie kick-off tradition!

Something you may not know about You’ve Got Mail, it all started with two other movies! We start with the original, The Shop Around the Corner (the black and white version) and move to In the Good Old Summertime (the musical version) and finish with You’ve Got Mail. They aren’t very Christmasy so we are allowed to start before Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving Day, we watch Miracle on 34th Street (the original) and then Christmas officially begins!

The Shop Around the Corner

In the Good Old Summertime

You've Got Mail

Food traditions have become less in our family. Every year we have been somewhere new for Thanksgiving so it has been fun seeing so many different favorite Thanksgiving dishes! The one that we simply cannot live without, however, is green bean casserole. I usually make tons of it and never have leftovers. It is just that good! This year, I am going Whole 30 style by making a paleo green bean casserole. I already made it once this year and it is definitely Thanksgiving Day worthy! 

The cool thing is that we continue to add new traditions! This year, we have decided to make our Thanksgiving a little less about the food and a little more about fitness. It is a definite reflection of our lifestyle right now. That is why we have decided to run our first ever 5K race on Thanksgiving day! Here we come Grand Rapids Turkey Trot!

This 5K is dear to my heart. When we decided to start our fitness journey, we immediately signed up. We wanted a goal to work toward so we would stay motivated. It was the best thing we did for ourselves! Whenever I didn’t feel like running, I remembered the 5K. I knew that I didn’t want to be embarrassed on Thanksgiving Day and we had already paid for it, so there was no going back! Needless to say, this 5K got our butts in the gym!

I am so excited for Thanksgiving this year! I feel like I am going to be pumped up for the rest of the day after the race! It will certainly be a very different Thanksgiving than I am used to. In the past, we would wake up late, watch some TV, and sit around waiting for the turkey to be done. This year, we are getting up early and running 3.1 miles! To me, it is a testament to how far we have come in the past 2 months and where we are headed in the future.

Less than a week until Thanksgiving! Are you getting excited? What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?

P.S. A look back on Fall and some Autumn fun 

One thought on “Thanksgiving Traditions

Comments are closed.