Thanksgiving Traditions Old and New

Thanksgiving seems to be a time for traditions.  Most traditions start without intention, but then are expected year after year.  As a family grows, the new members learn all about why we do ____ or that this dish is always part of that meal.

Family traditions give us a sense of belonging.  As long as these “traditions of men” don’t overshadow our obedience or worship of the Lord, they can be very good.  If long held family traditions take preference over what the Lord has instructed, it may be time to set them aside.

Many of our family’s traditions involve food (no surprise, right?).  This year, our family also began a new tradition.  We celebrate Thanksgiving on alternate years with my family, then with my husband’s family.  For the past 20 years or so, Thanksgiving with my family has been at my grandmother’s house. It has always been fun to sing “Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go…..”  The first year of celebrating Thanksgiving at my parents’ house instead began this year.

It was so nice this year, the children’s table was outside.  I don’t think I remember a Thanksgiving where it was warm enough to be outdoors.  We had our traditional dishes of course: turkey, shoe peg corn casserole, sweet potatoes, cranberry salad and banana salad.  The sweet potatoes are a recipe I found 10-12 years ago and have been making ever since.  No marshmallows here!

Sweet Potatoes

6  C cooked mashed sweet potatoes (3 large)
1 1/2 C sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 T  vanilla
1  C milk
1  C butter

Mix together and pour into greased casserole dish.  These amounts are double the original recipe which calls for a 9×13.  Not sure what size the dish is I use — it’s just known as the sweet potato dish.


1/3 C butter
1  C brown sugar
1  C chopped nuts (I use pecans, but walnuts would be good, too)
1/3 C flour (I left this out this year to be gluten-free — couldn’t tell the difference)

Combine together and sprinkle over the sweet potatoes.  Little ones love to help with this part.  These amounts are the same as the original recipe ie not doubled.  Bake at 350º for 30 minutes.

Printable version

Everyone loves them (except my children ?!?)  Not much for leftovers, but it’s all mine.  🙂  What are some of your traditions?  Do you share your special recipes?

May you and your families be blessed!

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