Thanksgiving 2013 Recap – Survey Style


Good morning friends and Happy December! Our staycation was SO nice last week that I really, really don’t want to be at work today! With the exception of Thanksgiving and a few errands, we had NO plans.  It was fantastic and a much needed break for us, but alas…back to reality. Sigh!

Anyway as you all know, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!! We had a wonderful celebration with great food and of course, great company so as promised, it’s time for a Thanksgiving recap! :-) Giselle @ My Healthy Happy Home put together this survey a couple of weeks ago, which I loved so I tweaked it a bit to give you all the details of our wonderful holiday.  Here we go…

1. Did you exercise on Thanksgiving? As I mentioned last week, I ran in the local turkey trot on Thanksgiving morning, so the 5k run acted as my exercise for the day.  I ran it with my cousin-in-law, Liz (Justin has issues with his knee, so he couldn’t run with us). It was SO cold…low 30s and breezy (how those people were wearing shorts, I don’t even know!) but once we started moving, we warmed up fairly quickly.  More and more people participate in this event every year – I heard there were about 6,500 people this time around, so there wasn’t much space to run, but we still had a blast!

Turkey Trot2. Did you cook the whole dinner, just the bird or bring a side dish? We went to my parents’ house for dinner, so I didn’t cook the entire meal.  I made one side dish and two desserts.  The side dish I made was a Crock Pot Butternut Squash Applesauce (thanks Lindsay for pointing this one out to me!) – it was super simple, very delicious and went great with the turkey.  The two desserts I brought were pumpkin pie made from fresh pumpkin puree and a zucchini bread (we ended up not serving the bread since we had so many other desserts).

Food Collage3. Who was at Thanksgiving dinner? My parents’ of course, Russ (my brother), my aunt, uncle and cousins, my grandpa and my mother and father-in-law, so there was 13 of us total.

4. Did you share the things you are thankful for at the dinner table? No we didn’t; although, my uncle said a beautiful prayer to start off our Thanksgiving feast.

5. Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions? When my grandma was still alive, we always went to her house for the holidays.  She would make certain types of food on those days, and we never got those dishes any other time of the year except for on that specific holiday. Since she passed, we’ve always tried to keep her traditions alive.  So the recipe made only on Thanksgiving is her vegetable soup, which would always be served as the first course of the meal. My mom has continued to make it every year since then.  Having it only one time of year makes it that more special and that more delicious!

Veggie Soup6. How big was the turkey and who carves it? My parents’ got a 22 lb bird this year. My uncle has always been the one assigned to carving the turkey.

turkey7. White meat or dark meat? If you had asked me this question a few years ago, I would have said white meat, but lately I’ve been going for the dark meat.  It’s so much more moist and tender!

8. Name some side dishes that were on your family’s table. Lets see…we had two different kinds of cranberry sauce, sweet mashed potatoes (my fav!), roasted cauliflower, green bean casserole, stuffing, mashed potatoes, my butternut squash apple sauce and homemade bread.  I think I got everything (at least I hope I did!).

Collage9. Did you watch football on Thanksgiving Day? I didn’t, but the boys watched it for a little while.

10. Did you take a nap on Thanksgiving? No, but after getting up so early, spending what felt like an eternity in the cold, running, eating lots of food and cleaning up the massive mess after dinner, I was SO tired by the end of the day. I ended up going to bed before 10 p.m. and fell sound asleep right away that evening.

11. Did you shop on Black Friday? Absolutely NOT! I never go shopping on Black Friday.  I have no desire whatsoever to fight the crowds – I much rather do my shopping online (although, I didn’t even do any of that – surprising, I know!).  Instead  on Friday, I ended up taking down the fall decorations, put out a few Christmas decorations (the bulk of which will be going up this coming weekend), doing a mass cleaning of the house and worked on some blog stuff.

So there you have it…our Thanksgiving in a nutshell! It was a wonderful day and I can’t believe it’s over already. At least we have Christmas to look forward too!!! :-)


Favorite holiday side dishes?
White meat or dark meat? 
Did you do any shopping on Black Friday?
Do you have any foods that you eat only on certain holidays?

33 thoughts on “Thanksgiving 2013 Recap – Survey Style

  1. It sounds like you had an amazing Thanksgiving Holly! I had a few days off and am absolutely dreading getting back into the normal swing of things today! And I totally agree with you on black friday – I would never have the patience to deal with the crowds! We just watched Christmas movies instead! Much better (well at least for me!)

  2. My new favorite side dish has to be sweet potato casserole it is amazing ! And clean! I go for the white meat, never really tried the dark meat. I’m an early bird but was forced to go out on Thursday night (so against the idea!) and I came home early lol

  3. What a fun twist on the usual Thanksgiving Recap. I think it’s so awesome that both you & Justin’s family celebrated the holiday together. Definitely makes it easier not having to run from home to home.

    White over Dark
    We had garlic mashed potatoes, mashed pb sweet potatoes, parmesan asparagus, corn, and this sweet pea mixture for our sides
    For Christmas we have lasagna :)

  4. Staycations are so much fun! Glad yall had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
    I prefer dark over white too and adore sweet potato/pumpkin souffle for the holidays. One dish I only make for Christmas is a pineapple casserole!

  5. Sounds like a lovely holiday – I’m glad to hear that you were able to get some relaxing in! I’m definitely preferential to dark poultry meat…so tasty! Favourite side dishes for holidays: my mom’s glazed carrots and deviled eggs. Canada’s trying to get on the Black Friday thing, so I went out – it wasn’t too crowded and I got a couple of good deals.

  6. It is the Japan Okayama Kouraku Gardens introduced in Passage of time.
    It is the garden of the NO1 in Japan.

  7. White meat all the way for this girl!! Ours was 20 pounds, and I thought that was big! :)

  8. Great recap – love the Q&A! I made a green bean casserole and it was really good! My mom made a corn bread that was delicious too!! I like white meat – even if it’s dry! lol My grandma made a noodle kugel – which is definitely not a traditional Thanksgiving dish – but it’s also Hanukkah so it totally works, right?! lol
    Glad we’re all back to the blogging world :)

  9. Sounds like you had a great holiday! When I ate meat I always went for the dark stuff. You’re right, it is so juicy! My fav side dish is the green bean casserole or the orange sweet potatoes. Yum!

  10. Looks like you had a fabulous Thanksgiving! Love all the meal pictures and traditions. Also, the Turkey Trot looks like it was a success! That’s a big turnout.

    • Thanks Jillienne! The turkey trot was a huge success, which is totally awesome because all the proceeds benefit a local non-profit organization that helps disabled people, so they made out really good this year!

  11. I love that you only make your grandma’s soup on Thanksgiving — talk about making the holidays even more special :D My mom has this one veggie egg salad that only comes out on Easter and Christmas, and it absolutely wouldn’t feel like either holiday without it. Can’t wait to dig into it in 22 more days!

    • I love that part of our holiday traditions! It’s funny because in the first few years Justin and I started dating, he would ask if we could make one dish or another that we’d have on the holidays and my mom and I would immediately say NO! He’d look at us all puzzled and ask why!?! To which we’d respond, we can only make that on such and such a holiday and that’s it. He finally got the point! ;-)

  12. I still can’t believe you didn’t shop on Black Friday…the poor American economy :p

    So glad you jumped on the dark meat bandwagon- so good right?! Keeping a tradition in place (as you guys did with your grandma’s soup) is awesome- part of them will always be there, and can be passed down :)

  13. We stayed home all four days, too! It was so nice to not have any plans but host Thanksgiving, decorate for Christmas and do projects around the house. I was sad when my husband had to return to work today and Keenan had preschool.

    In our family, my grandma (when she was alive), use to make a special side dish only on holidays, artichoke torta. Since she passed away (about 5 years ago), I make the torta every holiday. It is always so good and reminds us all of our Grandma Rose!

  14. I’m 100% with you about black Friday! I avoid that at all costs!

    -Elise @

  15. I adore my mom’s stuffing recipe. We only eat it on Thanksgiving but she always adds our homemade Portuguese sausage to it and it’s phenomenal!!

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