Thanksgiving Traditions


Thanksgiving is almost here. Although, I’m looking forward to the big turkey, mom’s amazing sweet-potato-pie, football and most of all giving thanks for another year of grace and mercy, what I’m also looking forward too is, The Annual Cooper Family Talent Show!

Every year my family comes together to make memories. Are we a talented family? Of course we are  ! And yes, I’m a bit bias, I love my family. What’s so great about the talent show is the kids love to perform. At first it was just us Cooper Kids, now that my brothers and sister have children and their children have children, the talent show has really grown. Whatever your talent is, whether that’s singing, dancing, playing an instrument, reciting a poem or telling a joke, Thanksgiving is the time to bring it.

I know my family isn’t the only cool family with Thanksgiving traditions so let’s hear about others from a few of my friends who are also my co-workers at Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley;

Connie Louis- Home Choice

My family tradition for all of my family is that all who are bringing a dish has to make it from scratch. No store bought, or mixes from a box, it is prepared from scratch.  For example; the sage dressing is make from dried bread and cubed and made with butter, sautéed onions, celery, and broth with sage spices, and then baked or stuffed in the turkey. Same with pies, all scratch, no store bought pie crusts. It is made from flour, egg, and Crisco or real pie crust should be made from lard. Everything including the rolls are homemade for this one day when all of my family, all 54 of us get together.

Cathy Armentrout-Phone Navigator 

I have a very large blended family and I can remember as I started out on my own with my family how stressful it was trying to please everyone and be everywhere on Thanksgiving Day.  I had the opportunity to start the tradition of doing our Thanksgiving Day meal the day after Thanksgiving.  My husband and I have been doing this for about 7 years now and it is wonderful! Everyone comes, no stress on picking who to please and who to upsetJ  We have a houseful every year, 40 family members if everyone shows and we love it!

Caryl Segalewitz-Development

Thanksgiving traditions in the Segalewitz household begins early. I, along with whoever is willing in my family, do the Turkey Trot (in Miamisburg), or some version of a 3-4 mile brisk walk, with a long-time dear family friend, beginning at 7:30 a.m. We return home by 9:30 a.m.-ish to snuggle up under blankets and enjoy chocolate chip pancakes while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Scott, my husband, is the chief chef. We all start pitching in with meal prep later in the morning. A highlight of the day, is when everyone begins helping with food prep, and is in the kitchen, we play the song, “Alice’s Restaurant,” by Arlo Guthrie, and sing along. Everyone pitches in to make their favorites, turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes – and some vegetarian dishes too because my son is a vegetarian. Sometime in the afternoon, we break out the cards to play our favorite family card game, Shanghai, a progressive game of Rummy. We munch all through the day, and family/friends arrive through the afternoon to join in with cards. We sit down for the big meal about 5 p.m. and enjoy each other’s stories, company and we laugh a lot!

As you can see, many have cool Thanksgiving traditions. Doesn’t matter how you spend your Thanksgiving just as long as you spend it with the ones you love making memories. Happy Thanksgiving!

4 comments on “Thanksgiving Traditions

  1. Kim on

    We have recently added a tradition of doing crafts or coloring later in the evening, after the big meal. It’s a fun activity that family members of all ages can do and it is very stress-reducing. We enjoy this relaxing time around the table, talking and laughing, while we are producing some beautiful artwork or crafts together.
    Happy Thanksgiving, Shari!
    I am so very grateful for you!

  2. Melissa on

    Shari, what a great blog! I like to bring along whatever crochet project I’m working on, so I can talk and craft at the same time. I looooove the Cooper Family Talent Show!


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