Last year we did a Countdown to Thanksgiving. This year, between homeschooling and trying to stay on track with all the subjects; rehearsals twice a week for the Christmas play; music lessons; the homeschool co-op; and volunteering at the nursing home, it seemed like it was just too much to try to take on doing the Countdown to Thanksgiving.
So, the only thing that we did prior to Thanksgiving was that Olivia colored a picture at one of the 4-H meetings for Color-A-Smile.
Color-A-Smile sends pictures that children have colored and/or drawn and mails them to residents at nursing homes and veterans facilities; people who are homebound; and those who could use some cheering up.
Other than that, we focused preparing a meal and cleaning the home for family members who were joining us for a Thanksgiving meal.
The girls were excited to see their cousins.
They liked having their own table to eat together. The six youngest cousins ate together (those who were 13 years old and under).
The older cousins (15 years old and older) plus the adults ate in the dining room/living room.
It was nice having Thanksgiving up at our home again this year. Last year, because of my mom's health, she wanted to host it at her home. This year, she felt like she was able to make it up to the farm which was great.
There's something about the smell of food cooking throughout the day that makes it feel like Thanksgiving.
One thing we did differently (in addition to not doing the Countdown to Thanksgiving) was hold the dinner earlier in the afternoon so that it was closer to my mom's lunch time. Having regular meals that are on a relatively set schedule is important for her since she's diabetic. That just meant waking up a bit earlier than normal and getting the turkey in the oven a couple hours before I normally do.
It was well worth it, though. It was a nice Thanksgiving...and much more relaxed than in past years.