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Simple Thanksgiving Ideas... and frugal too!

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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Simple Thanksgiving Ideas... and frugal too!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Simple Thanksgiving Ideas... and frugal too!

Wow... with Thanksgiving only a week and a half away, many people are starting to really focus on it! One blog that's doing this is No Place Like Home. This week she is running a carnival of sorts all focusing on Giving Thanks! Check it out for ideas on decorating, food, traditions and more... then participate by sharing your own!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving (one of my favorite holidays) I thought I would try to focus a little on Thanksgiving each day of this 10 days till Thanksgiving!

Today I want to share a Simple Thanksgiving... which also happens to be frugal (isn't that the way it seems to go?) Growing up I had Thanksgiving celebrations like many of you are planning... with no fewer than 10-12 people gathering around the dinning room table (and card tables in the living room etc.) Since moving out on my own (gracious... how many years ago now) and now in the 3 years since we've been married, I have been hostess to a number of very intimate Thanksgiving feasts! In my mind, especially since we've been married, these feasts should be as grand as my grandmothers for 16 people! In reality, we don't need 8 different sides and 3 kinds of bread!

Most years we were a group of 4, maybe 6, gathering in my little home! Each person chooses something that is important. This means involving all your guests in those decisions. One year green beans were the preferred vegetable of one and crescent rolls the preferred bread of another. Turkey was the important part for another guest and I only really cared about the Pumpkin Pie. :)

Another year we had the basics... Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and pie! The traditional elements were there, and there weren't tons of left overs that ended up being thrown away.

Another year we went to Knott's Berry Farm (in Los Angeles) because there was a special deal going on. Just me, a married couple that I'm really good friends with, their little one, and 2 of her young brothers. We found a fun way to incorporate Thanksgiving traditional foods in this too. For our food we packed Pringles (i.e. mashed potatoes), Pumpkin cookies (for our pie substitute) and bought turkey sandwiches for lunch! :)

Be creative... and don't go crazy... these little feasts have made more memories for me over the last years of small gatherings than all the work would have allowed before.

One more frugal idea in the food department... don't get a whole turkey! We had plenty of meat for our feast of 4 with just the turkey breast. It's lots cheaper, easier to prepare and not more food than we needed. One step further... last year I was expecting my son 4 days after Thanksgiving... and the meals was to be hosted in our home (a last minute thing when we found out friends were coming from out of state to the area). I was NOT cooking!... and everyone agreed! They helped cook the sides and we bought a pre-cooked, pre-sliced something from Honey Baked Ham! Yum!

You don't have to cook all day and clean all night for your Thanksgiving meal to be traditional... just keep it simple!

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At November 12, 2007 at 1:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing! I believe in keeping it simple too.

At November 12, 2007 at 1:33 PM , Blogger Mommy said...

Some years, we have gone to Cracker Barrel on Thanksgiving. They serve up a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving meal, and we don't have tons of left overs either. We usually do that when we are traveling. It just keeps the chaos down, and the price isn't bad at all.

We are not sure what we are doing for Thanksgiving dinner this year. But I already created a small feast at home for the children to incorporate Cranberry Thanksgiving. (A book from Five In A Row)

Thanks for sharing all those neat ideas.

At November 12, 2007 at 4:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are some great ideas. Thanks for sharing. I don't currently host my own Thanksgiving, but when I do, this sounds like what I would actually do.

At November 13, 2007 at 12:30 AM , Blogger Kelli said...

I enjoyed reading about your past Thanksgivings! They sound like wonderful times with your family! Thank you for the great tips and ideas too!


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