New Home New Thanksgiving Traditions

Since my family and I have relocated to Florida it has been a major topic of discussion on what to do for the holidays. As discussed in another post I am not super big on some holidays and I don’t like traveling for EVERY holiday. Although I experienced both plenty as a child, I want to do things differently in my home. Although my husband doesn’t necessarily feel that same way – he understands my sentiment on holidays and travel. So as we embark on new adventures here in Tallahassee we will inevitably have to make new traditions in addition to reinforcing some of our older ones. Thanksgiving has always been important to me for a variety of reasons and I can’t wait to celebrate this season in new ways while also paying homage to some of our family’s traditions.

Turkey Trot – In my youth I was an athlete who completed at a pretty high level. Since I quite competing in sports I have yet to enter into any athletic event. Honestly I have really missed it – the preparation, rivalry, and competition itself. Although I have been a coach for years – this year I decided to compete in my first distance running event. When we moved to Tallahassee I wanted to start running again but also wanted to keep up my interest in running as well. So I signed myself up for the 10k Turkey Trot – which my brother agreed to do with me. I should also note that the last time my brother and I were on the same team was when we were on a summer league swim team when I was about ten years old. I really like the idea of the Turkey Trot because it is set to be a family event and many of the proceeds go to local charities. So not only will we get some great sibling bonding time, we will also be helping those who are in need. I really couldn’t be more excited to do this with anyone else.



{Picture of my brother and I at the local swim club cirque 1990 taken by Lynn Coppotelli}

Thanksgiving Projects – One of my newer traditions that I have been trying to do with the girls is holiday related projects. Last year we had done a leaf wreath which was super cute – but a little messy and time consuming on my part. This year I wanted to do something a little bit more simple and also included their handprint – my theme for this year’s projects. This Thanksgiving we made turkeys. I first traced their hands on several different colored sheets of construction paper and cut each hand out. Then we cut out turkey bodies, eyes, beak, and gobblers. Then, with our help of course, we showed the girls how to put together the turkeys. We maintained control of the glue but they really did a great job on their own! Plus they are great keepsakes for future years.

{Pictures of Viv and Noli with their turkeys taken by Drew Carlisle}
{PS – Excuse their PJs they were sick this day}

Thanksgiving Meal – Since Thanksgiving is often centered around the meal – or at least it’s the best part in my opinion– we had to discuss what was going to be our own traditional Thanksgiving meal. My husband has been frying turkeys for Thanksgiving since we started dating, so that one was obvious. On a side note it is totally safe IF you know what you are doing. Then I asked my brother for his recommendations for the holiday meal which was – homemade mac and cheese and mash potatoes. Outside of that it was really up to us. I have decided to also add my roasted vegetables – this includes beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, shallots or onions, garlic, pumpkin and other seasonal squashes. I just season them with olive oil salt and pepper. It is so yummy and great after the fact as well. I will also be doing a sautéed Brussel sprout recipe as well which is super yummy and has great fall flavors. For dessert I will be making a good ol’ fashioned apple pie. I think this meal will be the perfect balance of fall flavors and tradition. I can’t wait to share this meal with my family and friends.


{Picture of my Roasted Veggies taken by Lauren James}


Sharing – One of the things I loved about Thanksgiving growing up is sharing our meal not only with family but friends. In the past I have shared with family, friends, neighbors, pastors, acquaintances, even the homeless. There is nothing like those warm fall flavors that puts a smile on everyone’s face and also makes them a part of the family. My parents always had seats for others at their dinner table – if it was a holiday or not. One of my favorite and most wonderful memories were those dinners when we had unexpected guests. My husband grew up in a family that is much the same way. Despite the fact that this holiday has a controversial history – I do think it is important to focus on the meaning the has taken on… bringing people together with love, being thankful for the harvest, and all of our blessings. This year will be the first year my husband and I will be hosting Thanksgiving together since we brought our families together in 2008. This year our guests will include my brother and some of his friends who are more like his Tallahassee family. I am so looking forward to these new traditions with them – even if they don’t eat Turkey.

Thanksgiving is a special holiday. Not only does it bring people together but it is a great time to reflect on what your life’s blessings are. I look forward to these new traditions of competing, crafting, cooking, and celebrating in this new place we will call home for the foreseeable future. Although we won’t have our parents, other siblings, and “framily”, it is time that we begin our own traditions to celebrate this great holiday in our own way. How are you going to celebrate this holiday season? I would love to see how you are celebrating with your family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving to all and have a blessed harvest season!

ciao_laurencop_sig-01Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

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