Who’s ready for the holidays?! I’m over here raising my hand as high as possible. I’ve been looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas since May! Although the holidays may be a bit different this year, we still plan on having a cozy family Thanksgiving, and I wanted to bring you along!
My goal in sharing our Thanksgiving plans is to offer some encouragement, a few yummy recipe ideas, decor tips, and to help make this family Thanksgiving extra cozy and filled with memories.
The holidays are like a reset button for my soul. Do you feel that way too? Gosh, we all could use a little reset right about now. Let’s use this time of year to reconnect to those we love, focus on traditions and family time, and of course, include lots of amazing food!
Cozy Family Thanksgiving 101:
cREATE A FUN, Easy Tablescape WITH CONSTRUCTION PAPER
I’ve been doing this at our Friendsgiving get togethers for years now. It’s my favorite way to personalize and decorate a table. Plus, it’s so budget friendly! Get the kids involved and make it a family affair. I purchase this construction paper from Amazon. At such a great price its perfect to have around the house for other projects and crafting too!
For the font, I went onto Pinterest, found one I liked, and copied it onto the paper with a black permanent marker! (Just make sure to place a paper behind the construction paper when writing out the script so it doesn’t bleed out onto the table.)
Isn’t it perfect? And so easy! With all the cooking and food prep there is to do, who has a ton of time to spend on decor?
Another great way to decorate the kids places is with with these adorable placemats! My stash has lasted for a few years now and the kids still get excited when I bust them out every Thanksgiving.
Bonding over crafts
How about incorporating a Thanksgiving day craft! Pick one out ahead of time from Pinterest, or be spontaneous and find one together the day of and get creative and make it work.
I think we’ll be making a thankful tree this year. Seeing what each person is thankful for, displayed as part of you decor, will warm hearts every time someone walks by. Promise!
Set the mood – with music, a faux or real fireplace, and a great show
There’s just something about music that sets a mood like nothing else. It doesn’t have to be loud and drown out the conversations. Rather, keep in on low in the background as a soothing backdrop to your special day. We have an Amazon Echo Plus, (it’s been a game changer in our home!) and I’ll either tell it to play Thanksgiving day music, or most likely I’ll ask her to play Christmas music. 😉
Have a fireplace? Keep it roaring all day for extra points in the cozy department. Or, if you’re done watching the virtual Macy’s Day Parade or Football is over, turn on a roaring fire on the TV by going to Netflix and searching “Fireplace in your home”. I have it on all the time!
Just to go off on a little walk down memory lane, who else loves to watch By The Light of the Silvery Moon with Doris Day around Thanksgiving time? Remember Wesley trying to set the turkey free? And then stealing a turkey? Awe man, I love that movie! My grandma had almost the whole Doris Day collection. Okay friends, thanks for letting me have a nostalgic moment. Moving on!
Thanksgiving Turkey – How I season and cook mine
Now to the main event. What’s Thanksgiving without the turkey?
This year we’re cooking a Butcher Box turkey. It’s all natural with a vegetable diet, has no preservative, is raised without antibiotics, and comes from a completely traceable farm. We’ve been using Butcher Box over the past two month and loving it so far. The meat is truly some of the best I’ve ever had. And if you’re quick, the good people over at Butcher Box are giving away a FREE turkey with your box this month!
Starting with a quality turkey, how you dress it for cooking is essential for the best flavor. here is my favorite way to dress and cook my turkey.
- - 1 cup Butter, Room Temperature
- - 2 tablespoons Sage (fresh if possible)
- - 2 tablespoons Rosemary (fresh if possible)
- - 1 tablespoon Thyme (fresh if possible)
- - Zest of a Lemon
- - 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
- - 3 teaspoons Salt
- - 2 tsp pepper
- Chop up two onion, 4 garlic cloves, one bunch if celery, a lemon, and a Granny Smith apple to place inside cavity.
After you've allowed your turkey to defrost for a few days, remove it from packaging, take out giblets, and place in roasting pan. Pat dry with paper towels.
Combine butter and other ingredients, besides chopped veggies for cavity, and rub all over bird, under the skin, and over, in all crannies, and inside the cavity. The rub salt and pepper over bird.
Finish by stuffing the cavity with onions, garlic cloves, celery, lemon, and granny smith apple.
Bake covered at 350 for about 20 minutes per pound. This will vary depending on bird size, and how stuffed the cavity is. Thankfully, Butcher Box birds come with the pop up thermometer, which is a great help!
See in this post the link to the best turkey gravy made with the drippings. Don't throw them away!
The best gravy is made from the Turkey drippings. This is an easy recipe that’s perfect drizzled over your turkey and mashed potatoes.
If there are any leftover Turkey my favorite thing to do is to make turkey sliders on sweet Hawaiian rolls. I also take the leftover carcass and make bone broth. Let nothing go to waist from your amazing meal.
And that’s it my fiends! My best tips and ideas for a cozy family Thanksgiving. I hope your Thanksgiving is truly memorable in all the best ways. Leave the cares of the world outside and enjoy a soul resetting, perfect day with those you love.
What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? I can’t wait to read them in the comments!