Shannon Gail_Thanksgiving Title2014

It’s our favorite time of year!  Thanksgiving is here and Christmas is right around the corner.  We love this time of year not only because work slows down and it gives us a chance to spend some much needed time with family and friends, but because it is the best time to express our gratitude for all of YOU!  Our brides, friends, fellow vendors, and our lovely followers and blog readers.  We couldn’t do what we do without all of you, and we just want to take a moment to thank you for every kind comment, ‘like’, and tweet – it all truly means the world to us!  Thank you all so much and we hope each and every one of you has a fabulous long weekend!  To celebrate, we are sharing our Thanksgiving traditions and favorite recipes below!

SG TG_Shannon

Shannon I absolutely LOVE this time of year! Work settles down, and it’s time for family, food, and holidays! This year, my family and I are actually changing up our Thanksgiving tradition, and we’ll all be headed down to the St. Louis area to stay at our house in the small town that my fiancé is from! We decided it was time for a little getaway and some much needed R&R. This will be my first time hosting Thanksgiving dinner, so of course I’ve been planning my table and décor for over a month now and have acquired all new dinnerware, napkins, and even a fabulous farmers table (oops!) On the menu this year: hot spiced sangria and some healthier food alternatives. After all, I have to fit into my wedding dress one month later!

Leftover Box

Bridget … Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, I consider it the pre-party to all the amazing holiday events ahead! I have a very large extended family, so it’s always such a great time to get together with everyone that we don’t get to see throughout the year.  Thanksgiving morning is a relaxing, yet frantic in our household! The ladies are usually up early in the kitchen beginning the prep, while the guys slowly make their way to nearest television to settle in for a long day of football. The mimosas and bloody mary’s usually start flowing in the morning and we spend the day with a flag football game or a Turkey Trot.   We have an early dinner and the tables are dressed to the nines! With having such a large family, there are multiple tables in the house. Growing up, my cousins and I would fight to make our way to the “Adult Table”. I always became so envious when one of my older cousins would work their way up to the Adults, while I was left behind at the “Kid’s Table” at the age of 17. I finally made it at age 21, that was truly a year to celebrate.   Following an amazing meal, we all settle in for a Euchre Tournament or a Christmas movie to kick off the season. We tend to avoid the so-called “BlackFriday” and rather go see a movie and wait until all the sales start online.   I’m looking forward to celebrating a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family again this year! (photo via  Oh Happy Day)

SG TG_Samantha

Samantha My favorite Thanksgiving Tradition is the table scape! I love scouring magazines and internet articles and putting together a beautiful table!  Last year was a fun one, each person had a craft paper placemat with lines to list the 5 things they’re most thankful for, a scratch-off lottery ticket, and a shiny penny!  A few glasses of wine in and everyone was making bets and scratching off their lotto tickets and going around the table telling everyone what they’re thankful for! Interactive table décor a la Samantha -1, Martha Stewart -0.

SG TG_Hilary

Hilary I absolutely LOVE Thanksgiving!  I always spend it at my house surrounded by family and friends.  My day is usually spent relaxing with my parents and going through shopping ads to see which stores will have the best sales for the next day.  After dinner… nap time! (how else am I supposed to Black Friday shop all night?)  On my shopping list: mini appliances, which I am obsessed with and seem to accumulate more and more each year!

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BreannaThanksgiving/Black Friday is probably my favorite weekend of the year.  It’s when the Christmas music comes on and the holiday season really kicks off.  I used to work retail, so a lazy Black Friday putting up the Christmas tree with my family is something I really appreciate (and not going to work at 4am is a plus!).  This year, we will be hosting Thanksgiving for almost 20 people, so there is definitely a lot going on!  My mom cooks, I decorate, and my sister is always in charge of appetizers.  My plans for Black Friday are a lot more low key: pajamas, online shopping, and Christmas movies! 

SG TG_Carolynn

Carolynn… For me, Thanksgiving is really about family. Each year, my aunt makes a fabulous feast (my mom has to bring me Stovetop stuffing to avoid the bacon friendly recipe of my grandma’s, ha). There is an “adult” table and a “kid” table, and despite our age, we somehow can never escape the kid table. ;) In recent years the “kids” were  put in charge of cleanup, and you can see how well that went: frosting fight. I am grateful for this time of year that we are reminded how truly lucky we are to be surrounded by our loved ones. :)

SG TG_Amanda

Amanda… The boys/men in my family plus some family friends (probably like 20 guys) all play their annual turkey bowl in the park across the street from my parents house early Thanksgiving morning while my mom preps the turkeys.  For the last few  years, my sister and I, along with some other friends and cousins, participate in the Edison Park Turkey trot 5k!  When we get back from the trot, we get to our annual mimosas and the guys finish football and pass around the annual bottle of Jameson by the fire.  Us girls usually interrupt for some photos.  For the afternoon, we have a house packed with about 50 people (both my mom and dad’s sides), tables in every room, enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving feast.  After dinner, we have a fire going in the yard, some games and even dancing help count down til midnight when we officially start playing Christmas music.

SG TG_Lauren

Lauren… Is it really thanksgiving without family?! Holidays for me have always consisted of lots of food, loved ones, and more food! My family could probably fill a parking lot with the amount of cars that come together for the holidays, but I personally love Thanksgiving because it is a time to gather around the table and truly enjoy the company that surrounds me. Let me tell you, the massive amounts of homemade Italian food is a close second, but nothing beats laughter with the people I love. As I have grown up, I have noticed it gets harder and harder to bring the entire family together, but I am lucky to have Thanksgiving to continue to share laughs and make new memories. Wishing everyone a warm holiday weekend and Happy Thanksgiving!