What is your very favorite part of the holidays? I'm guessing if falls somewhere between fall-colored-leaves, pumpkin/peppermint lattes, and evading awkward family questions like: "When are you going to get married?", "When are you going to have another kid?", or "When are you going to move out; you're 32 for heaven's sake". My families would never ask those questions. Yours neither, right? Oh family. Despite the potential for overbearing conversations, my favorite part of the holidays is always family traditions. Some are really common (pajamas for everyone...pajamas for grandpa, pajamas for the dog, pajamas for the cactus...), and some are a little unique to my family. I'm just giddy to share a few with you!
The first family tradition that I am obligated to do every year is assembling the tree. Now we would go cut a fresh tree if any of us could be trusted to not kill it before December 10th, but the record shows that isn't the case. Every Thanksgiving I am assigned to put together our fake tree because 1) I am the only person OCD enough to assemble all the branches evenly because I care too much, and 2) my mom said so. Now that I don't live at home it is fun to help a little here and there with the decorating too.
The second tradition we have is holiday exercise. Okay, okay, I know you are tempted to stop reading, but let me explain why we would ever want to exercise when everyone knows you are supposed to put on weight for winter hibernation (or was that bears?). Every Thanksgiving my family begins that morning with a traditional Turkey Trot 5K. We bundle up like lunatics and run 3-ish miles to justify cream corn and rolls to come. It's a slow trot but it is actually really fun to race to the finish with family. Then we may even go on a hike after dinner if we are feeling totally insane.
My final favorite Thanksgiving tradition is making crafts. Not every everyone makes equally beautiful salt-clay ornaments but everyone gets involved. Stick snowmen, paper snowflakes, painted Thanksgiving leaves, and other cheap crafts have led to some of my favorite memories.