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 gatherings for years now. It’s my favorite way to personalize and decorate a table. Plus, it’s budget friendly. A blank canvas, keep as simple or go as fancy as you’d like. Get the kids involved and make it a family affair. I purchase this construction paper from Amazon. At a great price its perfect to have around the house for other projects and crafting. Using it as gift wrapping is one of my go-to’s.
I usually like to write something on the sides that drape off the table. For inspiration, I search Pinterest until I find a script I like, and then copy it onto the paper. Just be careful of bleed through.
With all the cooking and food prep, it often doesn’t leave a ton of time for decorating. Because of this, it’s a great idea is to dress the table the day before. Get that out of the way so you can mark it off your list and leave yourself with more time the day of for food prep.
We usually have a kids table, and something fun I love to do along with using the parchment paper runner, is set the kids places up 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. I fill a few cups with crayons to place along the table, and it’s something the siblings and cousins really enjoy.
Bonding over crafts, puzzles, and games.
I know the parade or football game is usually on, but I also like to offer other options for hanging out and bonding. Incorporating a Thanksgiving day craft is a great way to do that, as well as a good puzzle or some fun games. I enjoy finding a new puzzle each year and placing it on a table. Usually, I go for 500 to 1,000 piece. It’s a challenge for everyone to help a bit and get it finished before heading home for the night.
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!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 128Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 524mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g
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!