I adore traditions. They get me excited for the approaching holidays. I hold on to them tightly and try to do things the same way each year. Yes, I am a creature of habit and yes I hate change. I like to know what to expect year to year. Here are a few of the "traditions" we have started (or continued from our childhood)
I started a "Thankfulness" journal. Each year I find some of my favorite photos from the year and mount then in my journal then take the journal to whatever Thanksgiving events we go to and ask everyone to write the thing they are most thankful for. I love looking back over the last few years and seeing what everyone is/was thankful for. Any blank journal works great for this project.
We have dinner at my in-laws house and so I make the desserts each year. I try to go as over the top and as creative as possible. I have made maple bourbon pecan pie, double apple pie, chocolate pumpkin pie, chocolate trifle, double chocolate brownies, and a bunch of others I can't think of off the top of my head. I try to find 5 or 6 great recipes then let hubby's brothers vote for the ones they want. Some form of pecan almost always wins and a fruit pie and I always make chocolate for those of us (mainly me) who don't really like pie. I have to start looking for recipes this week.
A few years ago we started to "pick names" with James' family at Thanksgiving dinner. Because he has 4 brothers the family is steadily getting bigger and bigger. We decided a few years ago that it would be better to each pick and name and just buy a gift for that person (my family did this when I was growing up) that way you buy one nice gift instead of trying to spread out and buy a bunch of little gifts. We put a cap on the amount you can spend and it has worked out great so far. We all buy for the neices and nephews also. I'm sure as time goes on we may change that to the kids picking names also.
We always go to visit my family the day after Thanksgiving. So we get to have a second Thanksgiving-ish meal the day after. Lots of Turkey sandwiches and left overs. Yum.
What are some of you favorite Thanksgiving Traditions?