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Old 11-24-2023, 11:03 AM
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Default Thanksgiving Grazing and Traditions.

As I mentioned in another post, most of my family has become tired of our traditional Thanksgiving meal and, as a family, we have grown to the point that we don't all fit around the table, or even in the same room, anymore.

We're talking about how to do it differently next year and I can't help but think of the beautiful grazing table that Robin did for her daugther's wedding. How would you tweek that for Thanksgiving?

Frankly, my family likes to snack more at Thanksgiving than eat the actual meal, so I am sure it would suit us better, but not sure how some members, mostly my brother, would feel about losing the traditional feel and dishes of it.

Which brings up another subject/question. If you aren't feeling something anymore, do you really have to keep doing it because it is a "tradition." Maybe I am not as sentimental as I should be, but doing things because, and only because, they are traditional drives me crazy. I hate going to a lot of work just to do something I don't really enjoy and Thanksgiving is a lot of work.

What do you think about holding on to traditions just because they are traditions?
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Old 11-24-2023, 11:14 AM
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I'm not a super sentimental person either Lorie. I like what I like and when I don't like it anymore... I'm fine passing it along to someone else, donating it, or leaving the "tradition" behind. I don't hold on to things.

My kids have never been huge on traditional Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, we did our Turkey day on Monday with everyone and it was the first time (now that they're adults) that we actually did a turkey, sides, etc. kind of meal. And it was our first BIG family meal in the new house, so it was wonderful!! They all loved it and it was like this weird "OMG you're growing up" and are more open to trying new foods. It was great and they loved it rather than resisting it and saying "eww!"

Buuuuut... our "traditional" Christmas dinner is taquitos with salsa and avocado dip because the kids just like that better than the usual feast with all the trimmings haha We've done it that way for years and wouldn't change a thing, so I say totally do the grazing thing!! It's so easy-going, offers something for everyone and the clean-up is a breeze!
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Old 11-24-2023, 11:17 AM
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p.s. - did you snag anything in DAC's BF sale? I was able to grab this beauty (the companion to the one I showed you last time we were chatting) and it sold out in 3 mins haha



So excited over here haha
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Old 11-24-2023, 01:38 PM
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I agree with Robin. We actually have veered away from many traditions, especially since we aren't big on religion anyway.

We've done everything from Chinese to Crab boils for our holiday meals, just depends on what we want to eat. lol

This year we did BBQ pulled pork loaded baked potatoes with all the toppings you could think of and watched a holiday movie.

I say do what feels good to your family
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Old 11-24-2023, 03:00 PM
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I am so grateful for starting new traditions. I despised Thanksgiving when I was married. My previous in-laws controlled the meal and the day. This year I went with a friend and her parents to a restaurant on the beach. Had steak and shrimp and it was great! I did cook a turkey breast so I could have a sandwich this weekend but that is it for me
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Old 11-24-2023, 04:57 PM
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I know it's not Thanksgiving, but our Christmas food is always cold meat and sides.
We are in the middle of Summer and still have those English traditions of Turkey, ham, pickled pork etc... but its too hot and too large to have a sit down hot meal.
So now we cook them the day before Christmas and we have all the traditional meats sliced, and everyone brings a side. We line up, fill our plate, and go find a seat somewhere which is more casual. No more dinner table.

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Old 11-24-2023, 07:14 PM
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We have a traditional Thanksgiving at my inlaws and then I'll make a more traditional Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve, but we went to a prime rib during covid and the kids love that.

Christmas day we do appetizers at my inlaws house.
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Old 11-24-2023, 07:46 PM
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We have done a few things differently than we used to traditionally do. We used to have a big ham dinner on Christmas Day, but in the last few years, we have just made a whole bunch of appetizer-type foods instead on Christmas Day. It gets everyone involved making them together and is just so much fun. We also eat lots of cookies, too! We all stay in our pjs and just enjoy the day together.

While I do enjoy some traditions, why keep doing something you don't like? I'm all for creating new traditions!
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Old 11-24-2023, 07:48 PM
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We actually have a pretty small immediate family that lives close- my husband is an only child- so it's usually just us, our 2 kids and my 2 inlaws. They both have siblings and actually both still have BOTH of their parents, but because everyone all together is too much, no one does any celebrations together anymore. The only big family thing we went to was his grandma's birthday party, and honestly, this is morbid- but we only went because we're not sure how much longer she will be here. ack...

For my family- they are all a 6 hour drive away. The only tradition we have is that we drive over to do Christmas with both my mom and then my dad the weekend before Christmas. That way, we are always home on Christmas. Last year we started a ping pong tournament with my mom's whole family and it was a blast. With all the kids getting bigger, it was something fun for them to do and put down their phones! With my dad, we usually just have dinner, my stepmom is not the best cook, or honestly even the nicest person to hang out with, so we try to just survive the evening and make it all about the kids and visiting with my little brother.

Anyhow- I agree that to do stuff just because you always have is a stupid tradition. Change it up for what works for you and if you have people upset about it, maybe have them help in a way that works for you both or just leave it at the invitation and it's up to them to come & participate.
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Old 11-24-2023, 08:43 PM
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We have changed it up a lot over the years. We cooked our first year in Texas as a family of 3 but only 2 eating. Then we switched to going to Cracker Barrel each year. We mixed in some vacations though or trips to see family so it changed. We had popcorn one year while in California...we went to see Moana in theaters. During COVID we went to Disney then met my inlaws at an AirBnB..we did Spaghetti that year. Last year I cooked a big breakfast for us since my son was dating a girl that had a big family Thanksgiving.
This year we cooked for just the 4 of us...We did roast beef as well as turkey (I am not a big turkey person). It is nice to change it up occasionally.
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Old 11-25-2023, 05:25 PM
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We're struggling with that right now! We live 5-9 hours from everyone else in my family, and although we drive up to see people often, Thanksgiving is the only holiday we all celebrate together.

A few years ago one family took over being the ones to host. They insist on doing everything themselves and doing it their way, and my family doesn't like it. We wish they'd let all of us contribute, make some of it our own, etc. (I don't know if the other families who are attending feel the same, but I do know they're also constantly offering to help or bring things and are rebuffed.) I insist we keep going since it's the only holiday when all 5 families are together, but it's getting harder to get my kids and DH to buy in. We decided this year that the 5 of us will do our own "Thanksgiving" meal in December so that we can have it the way we like it, but that's not really the same as being able to change our real Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-26-2023, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LJSDesigns View Post
As I mentioned in another post, most of my family has become tired of our traditional Thanksgiving meal and, as a family, we have grown to the point that we don't all fit around the table, or even in the same room, anymore.

We're talking about how to do it differently next year and I can't help but think of the beautiful grazing table that Robin did for her daugther's wedding. How would you tweek that for Thanksgiving?

Frankly, my family likes to snack more at Thanksgiving than eat the actual meal, so I am sure it would suit us better, but not sure how some members, mostly my brother, would feel about losing the traditional feel and dishes of it.

Which brings up another subject/question. If you aren't feeling something anymore, do you really have to keep doing it because it is a "tradition." Maybe I am not as sentimental as I should be, but doing things because, and only because, they are traditional drives me crazy. I hate going to a lot of work just to do something I don't really enjoy and Thanksgiving is a lot of work.

What do you think about holding on to traditions just because they are traditions?
I love traditions. Having turkey once a year isn't a hardship. But, since we are the only ones in Idaho, it's just the 5 of us here (soon to be 4 when youngest moves up to North ID *I'm not crying, you're crying*). We've had a few guests, but that is still a small number. We've gotten Costco's pre-made turkey dinner from their meat/meal area and it's perfect for us to have our once-a-year turkey dinner.

I LOVE the idea of a grazing table! We (hubby, boys & I - mom would disagree) are really snackers and grazing would be perfect for us.

What about some bite-sizes of traditional parts of the meal? Get a pumpkin pie from Costco and use a biscuit cutter to make them bite-sized. Or crostini with turkey and cranberries?
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Old 11-26-2023, 01:00 PM
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Thanks, all. I am glad I am not the only one who feels it is fine to change things up. Thanksgiving is really the only holiday our whole family spends together, so I get wanting to maintain some traditions, but only the ones that work.

Just this morning my sister called to say that she had so much leftever food to toss that it was a crying shame. Everyone grazes on appetitzers before the actual mean because that is what they prefer, so not enough of the actual meal is eaten. My sister and I are all for changing it up, so I think my brother is going to have to learn to deal. Two against one means we win. LOL
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Old 11-26-2023, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Carlton View Post
p.s. - did you snag anything in DAC's BF sale? I was able to grab this beauty (the companion to the one I showed you last time we were chatting) and it sold out in 3 mins haha



So excited over here haha
It's great that you got what you wanted. I love that one; it is me in a nutshell. LOL

I looked at the sale, but to be honest, I have four more kits that I have purchased and still haven't finished the first one I started. It is almost done, but I just haven't picked it up lately. That being the case, I decided no matter how much I like something, I need to work with what I have first. Those kits are not cheap, so having four in the wings seems like enough.

Also, a lot of the ones I like are round diamonds and I am not sure how I feel about doing a round one after the squares. I like the fullness of the squares a lot and that I can keep it all nice and even using squares. I don't think it would feel the same with the rounds.
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Old 11-27-2023, 12:02 PM
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I switched up the classic turkey dinner by just buying a turkey breast, in fact this year I bought a boneless one! Less leftover to deal with us and there are usually one three of us these days. In past we used to get together with BIL and his family who are almost 2 hours north and it went back and forth between our homes. But his kids are grown and have moved all over so it no longer happens. Holidays are when I wish I had more kids around. Daughter is grown and moved out last year when she began her full time job.

Meals around daughter can be tricky. She can't eat red meats. Her jaw doesn't let her chew on certain other foods. (TMJ issue). I think I should just make us all pie for these holidays. LOL.
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Old 11-29-2023, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Carlton View Post
p.s. - did you snag anything in DAC's BF sale? I was able to grab this beauty (the companion to the one I showed you last time we were chatting) and it sold out in 3 mins haha

So excited over here haha
GMA's Deals and Steals today has some of these kits for 50% off if anyone is looking.
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Old 11-29-2023, 10:17 AM
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GMA's Deals and Steals today has some of these kits for 50% off if anyone is looking.
What is GMA?
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Old 11-29-2023, 10:43 AM
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What is GMA?
Sorry, Good morning America.
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Old 12-01-2023, 03:30 AM
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I said something similar to my husband about how much I hate "carb day" and wish we could switch up the menu, but I also see the beauty in doing something once every year that everyone else is doing. It's like being a part of something bigger than yourself.

And, to be fair, he did all the cooking, so he can cook what he wants, I guess. I just think it would be fun to try a healthy spin off of traditional foods.

As for traditions, I don't love them, but living overseas has made me appreciate them more. I do think it's important to have some traditions.
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