November 26, 2019

My Favorite Thanksgiving Traditions (plus the ginger martini recipe you always wanted)

Posted in: Personal

Oh thanksgiving, you bring so much joy to the Holten household and I can’t wait to share with y’all my 5 favorite traditions!

1. Random guests

Yep, you read that right! This tradition started early on with my Grandma Walter. Whenever she heard of an individual who didn’t have a family to celebrate with, you better believe they were coming to our turkey-filled, green bean casserole- stuffed Thanksgiving. When my Grandma passed away, my mom kept this tradition alive. I’ll never forget my Grandpa with a slight grin on his face as he sat in between our church organist and one of the lead singers at our church who were both planning on being alone that year. I didn’t know her name that day, but I did know I was awfully grateful for a Grandma with a heart for service and hospitality. 

2. White Christmas + wine (or champagne) with pomegranate seeds

You better believe that the MINUTE Thanksgiving is over I am fully embracing Christmas (ok let’s be honest, I am embracing Christmas come November 1st.) My family rings in the Holiday season with our holiday favorite White Christmas. My dad laughs at all the same jokes, my sister chokes back belting out all the songs, and my mom keeps my glass full; it’s lovely.

3. My ma’s mixed drinks (I’m looking at you ginger martini)

You may not think a ginger martini screams Thanksgiving, but I personally think it is the perfect combination of fall flavors with Christmas on the cusps. Here’s my mom’s super secret, AMAZING ginger martini recipe that she is letting me share (thanks mom!) I promise, your friends will be amazed and delighted. Every time she comes over or I go home, I request this drink, because I simply can’t do it a justice!

4. Green bean casserole

Every year my aunt makes green bean casserole and every year she tells my dad she forgot it. And every year he proceeds to drop his mouth as wide as it can go in shock. It’s these little jokes that travel from year to year that keep our family close and heavy times light. Like the time my dad finally got to cut the turkey and sliced off his first piece just to have it fall to the dog? Yeah, he will never live that down. 

5. Prayers

It is this one holiday where we forego the “Come Lord Jesus” prayer and opt for a more personal one. It often takes quite a bit longer as the food cools in front of us, but it is always memorable and meaningful as my aunt acknowledges and honors those who have passed and thanks the Lord for what we have. 

Your turn! What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? Football (notice that is not in my list)? Nap time (should be in my list)? A funny joke that gets brought up every year? I wanna hear it!

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