Steal These Thanksgiving Traditions!
As you might expect, most Thanksgiving traditions revolve around food: using the good dishes, making sides like the ever-popular green bean casserole, or desserts that have been in the family for years –from grandma’s original recipe cards. Others include taking turns naming the people and things we’re grateful for. Still other Thanksgiving traditions revolve around what happens after the meal – football, board games and afternoon naps.
Thanksgiving traditions bring families together and make lasting memories. We ran across a few that are so creative or fun, they’re good enough to steal!
The Heirloom Tablecloth
Almost a generation ago, the Mills family in Clinton, Missouri started a Thanksgiving tradition wherein everyone who shares the big meal signs the tablecloth. Each year is a different color, and after the meal, matriarch Deb Mills embroiders the signatures so they don’t fade away. What started with seven family members has grown to 19 around the table and it’s not only to see how children’s signatures change over the years, it’s a sweet touchstone of memories of grandparents who won’t always be with us.
Joanne Craft had a similar idea for a linen tablecloth and some fabric pens. Ten years ago she started a Thanksgiving tradition of family members writing down what they were thankful for that year. On the tablecloth. The little notes of her family’s gratitude, for children, spouses, God and country, and hand outlines of each small child too young to write words. It has become a priceless family heirloom. And when guests arrive at the Craft home this year for Thanksgiving, they will gather around the table to read and laugh at the memories. And children, still too young to read, will look to find their handprints to see how much they have grown!
A Morning to Remember
Why not wake up in a distant city, state or country on Thanksgiving? While lots of people have the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade playing in the background while they prep the turkey or make the pies – some make the trip to New York City to watch the spectacle in person.
More great Thanksgiving vacation suggestions by Reader’s Digest include a visit to Plymouth Rock — the town that symbolizes the first Thanksgiving celebration — the Gratitude Museum in Dallas (one of the cities where a holiday NFL game will be played) and Tahiti. We’re not sure what Tahiti has to do with Thanksgiving, but sure, you could start a beach tradition on Thanksgiving. Why not?!
If you opt to watch the 83-year-old parade, this year in addition to Angry Birds, Hello Kitty, Pikachu™ and Diary of a Wimpy Kid® floats, you’ll see Balloonicles, marching bands from Arkansas, Ohio, Utah and Michigan, circus performers, dance troupes, cheerleaders and the Radio City Rockettes, plus singing during the parade are Smokey Robinson, the Goo Goo Dolls, Wyclef Jean and Dustin Lynch. The spectacle begins at 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. on NBC.
A morning hike after breakfast is a tradition for some families, while others choose to “run their yams off.” The annual Mile High United Way Turkey Trot is a Thanksgiving tradition in its 44th year and the 4K race lures thousands of runners to Washington Park the morning of the holiday. Entry fees from last year’s Turkey Trot totaled more than $400,000 in donations to the United Way. The race starts at 10:00 a.m. and the festivities end at 1:00 p.m. Closer to home and earlier (8:00 a.m. start) is the Turkey Trot Rock Trot with an entry fee of $40.
If football isn’t your favorite Thanksgiving tradition, check out the latest DVD releases at your nearest Redbox, or play Pin the Feather on the Turkey. This game will keep the kids entertained while dinner’s in the works. Make the turkey’s body by cutting a circle out of sturdy, brown construction paper, and then a smaller circle for his head. You can get creative by gluing on googly eyes, a beak and a top hat, or just add more paper cutouts. Tape Mr. Turkey to the wall and make tail feathers in fall colors with each child’s name and attach tape. You know the rest, add a blindfold or tightly closed eyes, then point them at Mr. Turkey!
You can always start a relaxing group jig-saw, but a more energized alternative is Thanksgiving bingo. It’s fun for the whole family and with free printables from Crazy Little Projects; nothing could be easier.
Crystal Valley Traditions!
The homebuyers in the master-planned community of Crystal Valley are creating their own traditions in the new homes nestled in the natural surroundings of Castle Rock. Why not stop by to see the amazing new model by Kauffman Homes and the variety of new home designs by Richmond American Homes and D.R. Horton? New ranch and two-story Crystal Valley homes are priced from the high $300s.