Growing up I don't remember really doing anything big on Thanksgiving. I do remember going to various aunts and uncles houses a few times but Thanksgiving just isn't a holiday that stands out in my mind. In fact, I distinctly remember missing a few Thanksgivings at home and spending them with other friends when I was in college. I'm sure that this sounds horrible but I think it is because my parents' parents and all of their siblings have always lived within an hour of us so we all saw each other on a pretty regular basis.
When I met Scott his family did big Thanksgivings. I don't know if this has always been the case with his family or if it is because they have lost both parents and so they just want to carry on this tradition. Either way, I kind of fell in to it. What makes it really nice is that now that my sister and my parents and I all live in St. Louis, both sides of the family do Thanksgiving together.
I started hosting Thanksgiving during our 2nd year of marriage. It wasn't really a planned thing. We were renting a house with a fantastic kitchen and I just kind of threw it out there and I've been doing it ever since.
As far as traditions go, our Thanksgivings kind of go like this:
1. I set up a long table so that we are all at the same table. When I say "all" . . . this year I have 17 adults and 8 kids. I have to put 3 tables together.
2. We eat as close to 12:00 as possible. We do this mainly because some people split the holidays between both sides of their own families so they will do dinner at one and dessert at the other.
As far as food, I guess the cranberry glaze that I use has become somewhat of a tradition as this will be the 5th year of me making it.
3. Because of #2, we have dessert around 4:00.
4. After dessert, Scott always reads "Elf on the Shelf" and then the next morning, "Chuckie" is hiding somewhere in the house.
Do you have recipes or traditions that happen every year in your house? I'd love to hear about them!