Close your eyes and think about your favorite Thanksgiving holidays. What made them so special? Was there a favorite dish that you can still almost taste in your mouth? Was it the family gathered together at the dinner table? Was it the long, after-lunch nap? Watching the football games with your uncles? Taking a family walk together that evening? Whatever it is that made Thanksgiving special, think of how you can go about passing these wonderful traditions on to your children and your extended family!  Below you will find some tips for creating memorable Thanksgiving dinners of your own.



For many people, Thanksgiving is one of their favorite holidays because they do not have to buy and give gifts. They just have to enjoy the day with their family and friends. For others, it can be a stressful holiday because all the burden of cooking and entertaining falls on them. How can you create a memorable meal for your family that will not leave you feeling stressed and exhausted?

Preparing the Thanksgiving Meal

This may surprise you, but it is NOT necessary for you to take full responsibility for preparing the Thanksgiving dishes all by yourself. There are several ways you can simplify your Thanksgiving preparation so that both you and your family can enjoy the meal!

You can suggest a potluck. You will make the turkey and dressing, and provide the beverages and table. Whoever else you invite is also invited to bring a side dish! Send out invitations well in advance, so everyone knows what to expect.

If your group is too small for a potluck, or if you are only preparing the meal for your nuclear family, you can prepare many of your side dishes in advance and just reheat them on Thanksgiving Day. Some of the Thanksgiving dishes that can be prepared the day before include the yams, pies, green beans or other vegetable, and the bread stuffing.

You can order all or part of your meal from a nearby restaurant. Many restaurants have begun selling Thanksgiving meals that only need to be taken home and reheated. Other restaurants pull everything together for you, saving you from doing the shopping, but still requiring you to cook the turkey. The side dishes only need to be heated.

A final choice is to have your Thanksgiving meal at a restaurant. Afterwards, you can return home where you simply need to provide a selection of appetizers, snacks and desserts while everyone watches the football games. You may be able to purchase a gift basket that contains most of the items you will want to snack on during the afternoon. Ordering a pumpkin pie from a local restaurant can be a great way to cap off the day!

Keep the decorations simple

Unlike other holidays, it is not necessary to purchase elaborate Thanksgiving decorations. A fall bouquet of lovely flowers may be all you need. Or, you might want to purchase a small Thanksgiving centerpiece for your table. You will not want anything too large, because you want everyone to be able to see each other when seated at the table.

Focus on your family

If you truly want to create memorable Thanksgiving meals, then spend the day focused on making it enjoyable for both you and your family. No one will be having fun if you are hot, stressed and exhausted. Instead of putting emphasis on preparing the perfect turkey, put your emphasis on spending quality time with your family. Then, all of you will look back fondly on the Thanksgiving meal you shared together!

Make gratitude part of your Thanksgiving Celebration

It is called Thanksgiving for a reason. Spend some time that day expressing all the things that you and your family have to be thankful for. Just the fact that you are gathered together, sitting around the same table, and sharing the same meal is a big reason to be grateful. Reach out to others you know who may be spending Thanksgiving alone. You will remember this act of generosity for many years, and you will be setting a great example for your children. Happy Thanksgiving!

You may also want to read more about creating memorable holidays:

Easy Cheesecake Recipe

Graham Cracker Easy Pie Crust Recipe

Scrapbooking with Personal Holiday Photo Cards

Last Minute Gifts: Cheap but Thoughtful

Read This Book About Thanksgiving To Your Children

The Story of the Pilgrims (Pictureback(R))
Amazon Price: $3.99 $1.24 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 10, 2016)
Here's a book that will answer that question, "Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving?" It's a great way to start the day!