A Not so Traditional, Traditional Thanksgiving

Family traditions are important to us, and we have a few, from carving the same pumpkin face year after year at Halloween, to dressing up for Christmas dinner and taking the annual family photo. Traditions bond families, and mark the passage of time in ways that our memories seem to favor.

On November 28th, we celebrate Thanksgiving. While I tend to be thankful every day, I suppose it is nice to have a single day devoted to celebrating abundance with family and friends. But, for the most part, I am ambivalent about this holiday. We don’t like forced family gatherings and prefer to visit with our relatives away from holidays. There is also the fact that we don’t like turkey and stuffing, or, most of the starchy side dishes. Basically, we’d just like to skip the holiday and move on to Christmas! I know that sounds a bit strange, but what we really enjoy is spending time together, just our little family, being our odd little selves in whatever way we choose.

We have celebrated Thanksgiving in numerous ways over the years, from big family gatherings at the homes of relatives, to just the five of us cooking Chinese food together. We did attempt to make turkey once, but that was pretty much a disaster, soooo… We all agree that we are ready for a new experience.

Chinese Thanksgiving 2017

This year we are taking a total departure from tradition and are having a ‘destination Thanksgiving.’ The destination will be preceded by a road trip up the East Coast with stops in Philadelphia, PA (family wedding) and Newport, RI (where Christmas lives). The kids will fly to Boston where we will meet them and continue on to Nantucket for five days of cold, cold, cold. I mean family time and new traditions. I’m thinking pj’s, Christmas movies and steak and lobster all day long in our cozy cottage!!

Whatever your Thanksgiving tradition, we wish you and your family joyful memories that will last a lifetime. Just be careful with that deep fried turkey! It’s the thought that counts right?

Blessed and feeling…

29 thoughts on “A Not so Traditional, Traditional Thanksgiving

  1. I appreciate your candor, Suzanne. You write what a lot of us often feel at this time of year. I agree with you how how our immediate family just enjoys spending time together in a variety of activities. We enjoy relatives and friends throughout the rest of the year.

    I love the destination Thanksgiving! Everyone can relax more and your time together will be quality time. Pj’s, lobster and cozy! Who could ask for anything more. Have a wonder Thanksgiving.🙂


  2. I really like your creative and unique approach to celebrating a holiday. I sure understand your sentiments, and when it comes down to it we all have choices and the power to do it our own way. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite because it is simply about being with your loved ones around a table, breaking bread and setting aside a specific time to feel and express gratitude for manifold blessings; it does not involve excessive commercialization or pressure to spend spend spend. Thus, I could keep Thanksgiving and then sleep until after the New Year (skipping Christmas)! Ha ha.

    My son, wife and 3 boys are driving 8 hours to spend Thanksgiving with my husband and I and I’m thrilled and excited. Of course, we could be eating raviolis (like my Italian brother-in-law used to do on Thanksgiving and Christmas) and I would be happy as a pig in a pen.

    Have a wonderful time and thank you for sharing your wonderful plans!

    Susan Grace


  3. I agree with you how our immediate family just enjoys spending time together and chooses to do what we feel like doing, not following the mold. Our Canadian Thanksgiving is in October so there is a wider time gap between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Have a wonderful road trip and Thanksgiving!


  4. Steak & lobster in a cozy cottage sounds like a glorious holiday tradition to start!

    I was a huge proponent for holiday traditions until the family stopped showing up. OK, more and more over the years, they just declined the invitation to Thanksgiving dinner. I loved making the whole Thanksgiving dinner; I love the foods associated with this holiday and looked forward to all the leftovers. But year upon year, the extended family went elsewhere or just did not want to come. Now, we go to a friend’s house with her kids (we’re unofficial aunt & uncle) . But I do miss making the whole dinner, having a full table of people in my home enjoying the food, and having the leftovers. We’ve lost most of our Christmas holiday traditions over the years as well. I’m not even planning to decorate at all this year. I’m not sure what that loss of traditions really means.


    1. Pat, it’s never too late to start a new tradition or to reprise an old one. My MIL is 90 and she still displays her Christmas village in the living room. It is massive and has lights and moving parts. Every year she says ‘no more’, but then she does it all again. She says it’s for us, but I know it’s mostly to prove to herself that she still can. Happy Thanksgiving!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That sounds like a fabulous thanksgiving. Thanksgiving isn’t a thing in Australia – it’s all about Christmas for us. These days we’re doing it differently most years, but some traditions are continuing through. Happy thanksgiving to you.


  6. Nancy

    Hi Suzanne,
    Hope your NE roadtrip and family time is going well…can’t wait to hear all about it.
    Remember to ask if you have questions about our neck of the woods. Been to Nantucket and the Vineyard many times.
    We went to our community Thanksgiving here in Lake Placid. It wasn’t family, but someone else did the cooking and there was fun and fellowship.


    1. Nancy, our Vrbo hostess had lots of tips and advice so we feel like we experienced the island well. Thanks for your offer to assist. We slept in Boston last night and are headed South today- between snow storms. It has been a magical vacation. Community Thanksgiving sounds very appealing. Good chance to get to know your neighbors better.


  7. I understand the ambivalence about certain holidays. There are certain parts of Thanksgiving I love (family getting together – in beautiful October in Canada), and some parts that are less fun (labouring all day in the kitchen to make a huge meal). Same thing with Christmas. But overall, I just feel so grateful to have dear family members to spend those special days with.



  8. Pingback: Giving Thanks – November Recap – Picture Retirement

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