Rethinking Tradition: Making Thanksgiving Your Own

The moment inevitably arrives when the torch gets passed and hosting the Thanksgiving feast shifts from being someone else's honor (and possible burden!) to become our own. When this moment comes, the question is "Which traditions do you keep and which new ones can you wiggle in?!"

We hosted the family Thanksgiving for the first time last year, and we loved having the opportunity to establish some new traditions! We had our dinner a little later than is typical, but invited everyone over for a round of appetizers and cocktails beforehand. We also opened up the family-only invite list and asked some close friends (whose families were far away) to join us.

For dinner, we added a few gourmet twists. We nixed most of the usual sides and went with dishes that appealed to us - like beet and barley salad, brioche rolls, and stuffing made from homemade sourdough bread. A lot of the familiar components were there, but with slightly different faces.

But we felt it was definitely important to keep some traditions. We had a roasted turkey, garlic mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce from a can. We lit candles and made sure there was pecan pie with whipped cream for dessert. We left the dishes for later and sleepily watched football instead.

There was a little awkwardness at the beginning of the dinner as everyone settled in, but by the end of the evening (and the wine), everyone was happy and already looking forward to next year.

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Which traditions are you keeping and what are you doing to make it your own?

Related: What Should I Could For a Smaller Thanksgiving Dinner?

(Image: Flickr member St0rmz licensed under Creative Commons)