Can Every Day Be Thanksgiving?

Posted by Erin Nantell on November 18, 2011 3 Comments

Erin Pasero and familyThanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. I think it’s the culmination of many of the things I enjoy—time with my family, great food, comforting rituals and friendly conversation.

But why should Thanksgiving be the only memorable meal of the year? There are many aspects of Thanksgiving that we can incorporate into everyday meals. Especially after a tumultuous day, the time spent at the dinner table should be a calming ritual where we can reconnect. But if your family is anything like our family was a year ago, meals were more mayhem than merry.

Slowly, we found little things that made meals with the family much more enjoyable (including the fantastic Crunch a Color™ game). Surprisingly, many of the things we’ve learned are things we do at Thanksgiving too, but I never made the connection until now.

Here are a few tips to bring the best of Thanksgiving to our family meals the other 364 days of the year:

  • Give your kids a job. Whether it’s washing the veggies, baking dessert, coloring place cards, or setting the table, make them feel included.   
  • Include seasonal side dishes in your meal plan. You’ll save 70% by eating what’s in season too. What’s not to love about that? 
  • Light a candle to signal the beginning of a meal and snuff it out when it’s over. Kids get squirmy at long meals, but by making it a ritual, with a defined beginning and end, you’ll help build impulse control. 
  • What are you grateful for? I am not sure why Thanksgiving was the only time of year that this was the topic of conversation at the dinner table.  They say feeling gratitude is a significant contributor to happiness. As parents, if we are positive and express gratitude, our child will pick up this attitude and habit. For more conversation ideas, try the free, printable Crunch a Color™ conversation starter cards.

What Thanksgiving traditions does your family cherish? Can you make them part of the everyday? Please share in the comments section below!

Mom of two reformed picky eaters, Erin Pasero credits Crunch a Color for making mealtime fun for her family. When she's not eating, she also blogs for HealthyHipMama.com.

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Comments (3 Comments)

Posted by Missy on November 24, 2011

Well, our tradition changed a little this year due to my ailing grandmother, but God willing my parents were able to pick her up from her assisted living home to join us for a wonderful lunch. For as far back as I can remember, we have always had Thanksgiving lunch at my Aunt’s house closer to my grandmother’s home. Since her assisted living home is in a different county, my cousin offered to have lunch at her house this year. Even though today was not what I would consider our “tradition”, we had an AMAZING day and pray that my grandmother will be here to see another Thanksgiving Day next year. BTW….can’t forget about watching football and Nickelback had an AWESOME half-time show :)

Posted by Chris on November 24, 2011

Our tradition is games after Thanksgiving dinner (e.g. Scattegories). We can and should make it more of a regular practice. Beats tv by a mile!

Posted by Jay on November 24, 2011

My kids love the candle at dinnertime too. They have a little rhyme where they call the fire fairies to come light the candle. It is pretty darn cute.

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