5 Friday Favorites

I’m a massive fan of the day after Thanksgiving.

Who doesn’t love an extra day of holiday vacation—and one that most likely includes fabulous leftovers at that. (One thousand cheers for Thanksgiving feast leftovers! Round Two is where it’s at.) It’s also the day I snuggle on my couch with a cup of coffee, Christmas music playing (finally!), and my laptop open because I love to get a jump on my Christmas gifting . . . online. Can you say “50% off and free shipping”? Yes, please!

For today’s 5 Friday Favorites, I asked our blogger team to share some of their favorite family Thanksgiving traditions. I adore hearing what families do together!

1. Pies, Pies, Pies!

The women in the Baird fam must be rockin’ bakers—I always love seeing the photos from their pie-baking marathon! Here’s what Bethany had to say about her family’s tradition:

The girls in our family always have a big pie-baking day right before Thanksgiving. We used to have a huge family pie baking competition . . . but that got a little too competitive! The pies are just for yummy now.

2. Let the Games Begin!

Who has a big game-playing family? (I sure do!) And so does Leanna, who loves a lively game or two.

My extended family usually spends an evening playing a long round of Slide Butt Gin Rummy, boys vs. girls. There’s usually around two dozen of us playing on one long table, and it can get fairly competitive! We also enjoy hanging out at the shooting range on Friday for skeet shooting and target shooting and lots of grilled meat. It’s usually a blast.

Twenty-four people playing one game at one table?! That’s just a recipe for hilarity.

3. Ready, Aim, Fire!

When the weather permits, Erin and her brothers and sisters head outside for a bb gun shooting contest.

We like to avoid the after dinner slump by heading outdoors. A few years ago, we set up the many empty soda cans that we generated throughout the day, dug out some bb guns, and had a target shooting contest. The girls won! The tradition has stuck, and everyone, big and little, young and old, now loves to take aim.

4. Down on the Farm

Paula shared these sweet family memories—and reminds us that though traditions may change over the years, we can rejoice and be thankful!

Since I was a baby, my dad’s side of the family has gathered at an old, Illinois farmhouse each Thanksgiving. It’s the one time each year we see each other, so it’s basically a family reunion!

After eating a yummy meal, most people go outside to burn off their calories through a vigorous game of football. Then we come inside to give each other gifts (a tradition my generous grandma started when she was still alive).

Relatives have joined and left the table over the years (marriages, births, moves, deaths), and my aunt and uncle recently sold that beloved farmhouse. But our tradition now continues at my parents’ home in Illinois.

This year, my baby brother is getting married two days after Thanksgiving, so it will be an extra special Thanksgiving for us!

5. Gingerbread, Cranberries, and Popcorn

I love how nostalgic and unique some of our memories and traditions can be! Like this one, that Hannah shared:

Especially when I was younger, we would take a walk through an older district of South Bend to see all the beautiful houses, decorate gingerbread men at my aunt and uncle’s house, and in the evening we strung cranberries and popcorn on thread (to hang outside on the bare trees for the birds to enjoy) while we watched an old movie like The Sound of Music or It’s a Wonderful Life.

Share Your Thanksgiving Weekend Traditions

This weekend we’ll tie a Christmas tree to the roof of our car and bring it home to decorate—and we might even start our annual holiday puzzle! (We choose a new puzzle each year to spread across our table, and we slowly piece it together throughout December. Call us old; but it’s a relaxing challenge that we love to tackle every Christmas.)

What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving weekend traditions? We’d love to hear about them!

About Author

Samantha loves lazy lake days, strong coffee, and writing about the ways Jesus transforms our everyday messes into beautiful stories. She digs the four seasons in northern Indiana, is probably wearing a Notre Dame crew neck, and serves as the social media manager on the Revive Our Hearts staff.

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