Thanksgiving Eve: Making Our Own Fall Traditions

As long as my husband and I have been married we have always been very intentional about creating our own holiday traditions.  Growing up in a smaller family where we did not have large family gatherings, our holidays were always small, intimate, and relaxed.  I have fond memories of laid back days just being at home with my family.  Being married and now sharing our holidays with two families is much more busy than what I experienced growing up.  Making time for just my husband and I and creating our own family unit traditions is important to me in keeping up those laid back holiday memories in our own home.

On Thanksgiving Eve, as well as Christmas Eve, we set out this time for just us.  I cook dinner and we spend time together.  It is the quite before a busy day that my heart longs for.  Not every year is exactly the same so this year we had our staple turkey dinner and then went and saw a movie.  It was pretty lovely.

I am all about cheap Thanksgiving turkeys so I always get the biggest one I can find (this year a 22 pounder!) and cook it the day before Thanksgiving.  We have it for dinner but enjoy it even more the following week in sandwiches and chili.  

I also make a few other side dishes, usually easy and my favorites.  This year we had garlic mashed potatoes and a cranberry and feta salad.  It feels special but we save the belt loosening meal for the next day!

Because we do not host Thanksgiving, I usually start putting up my Christmas decorations the week of Thanksgiving.  It takes me at least a week to get everything right and not rush the creative juices.  Plus it makes our little Thanksgiving Eve dinner so much more magical.

As you can see I went with a natural green theme with lots of black and white stripes.  It is completely different that any of my previous Christmas decorations and I am really excited to try something outside of my normal holiday decorating box.  

For my side of the family, I always provide dessert for our Thanksgiving meal.  So in the midst of decorating and checking on the turkey, I baked pies for the very first time (using the toaster oven).  

I am pretty impressed with how they came out.  I am way more interested in how things look so I took the time to make them pretty.  All the recipes were brand new to me and I choose ones that seemed simple enough for this pie baking first timer.  I am not a huge pie fan and don't usually like the traditional popular pie flavors.  So I made sure to make all my favorites which included chocolate mousse, mixed berry, and banana cream pie (which all were very tasty!).  I also made a pumpkin pie just so I could make these pretty little leaves (this one was average tasting in my opinion).  

Heading into the weekend we spent a day of visiting Christmas in Coloma.  It was a rainy and quiet day but we snagged a few fall inspired photos to close off our November.