What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? Do you have many? We have several at our house. This tradition came from my first grade teaching days. My cooperating teacher shared this idea with me. Each year at Thanksgiving our first grade class would reenact the first Thanksgiving dinner. We would weave place mats, make Pilgrim hats and Indian feather headbands. Then, we would have our Thanksgiving “dinner”. Each child was asked to bring something to share (just like the Pilgrims and Indians did) with the class for our dinner. We had food items like pretzels, goldfish, apples, grapes, carrots, anything that was small, not messy, and easy to share. It was one of my favorite things we did all year.
Now that I don’t have a classroom full of students to do these traditions with, I do them with my own family. So, every year we have our own Duncan family first Thanksgiving dinner. Some years we make Pilgrim and Indian costumes, other years we don’t. You can make your dinner as fancy, or simple as you’d like. The most important thing with this tradition is allowing each person in the family to bring an item to share. I always make a main course dish to share, because with three boys and a husband I’m never quite sure what we’ll be eating, but that’s actually the fun of it! Last year one of my twins was determined to cook a whole turkey to share. I was sweating bullets a bit because I’d never cooked a whole turkey myself, but I wanted him to bring what he wanted. Lucky for me, he was distracted by some flaming hot Cheetos (why do my boys love anything that’s too hot to actual enjoy eating?) and brought them to share instead.
So, you may be eating things like gummy worms, giant sausage logs, and burn-your-mouth chips, but it’s the thought of sharing that counts. This tradition of ours has quickly become a household favorite! My boys LOVE going to the store to choose the perfect item to share, and I love finding new recipes to try out each year, and setting a fun, festive table for the occasion.
I also like to read a few books to my boys about the first Thanksgiving before we do our dinner. It’s fun to learn about what happened there, and it sets the tone for our own dinner. Here are a few of our favorites.
I know this is a busy time of year, and you probably have your own traditions, but I hope you’ll give this tradition a try this year. It’s a fun and simple way to remember that special first Thanksgiving, and to create some wonderful memories. I promise it will become a family favorite!
Thank you, Mariel for letting me be here today. I’m so grateful to her this year, and all she’s done for me as a blogger!
Come and visit me at Blissful Roots anytime. I have a Thanksgiving playlist, my favorite pumpkin bread recipe, and a list of many more Thanksgiving books and songs for kids that can help add to your holiday festivities. Happy early Thanksgiving to all of you! See you in December.
Krista Dowdey says
Great idea. Here’s a little about our family’s traditions that encourage thankfulness:
I love this, Brooke! I’m totally doing it this year… I’ve been trying to think of something fun to do with the kids, and this sounds a million times easier (and probably more fun) than what I was thinking. You’re a wizard!