First Time Hosting Thanksgiving

We hosted Thanksgiving this year for the first time. We invited both of our families–it was fun to mix things up and celebrate together. We were also happy to keep Bode tucked inside our warm home instead of taking him out in the weather and hopping from place to place. We are so thankful that our families blend well and enjoy each other’s company.

Cody, Bode, Magic, and I started out the morning by sleeping in (relative term with an infant), drinking coffee, snuggling, and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I love watching the parade–it brings back memories of childhood.

Our main dinner responsibility was the turkey. I wish I could take some of the credit, but I can’t. Cody and his dad did all of the work. They started the night before by brining two turkeys. The day of, they deep fried one and smoked one. Preparing and cooking a turkey is really a labor of love–it is quite a process but the ends result is worth it. Both turkeys turned out delicious.

Do you see anything different about this turkey?

Cody told everyone that this was a very rare breed of turkey. He went on and on about how he paid extra for it, the breasts were extra large, and it was supposed to be the most tender meat. What he actually did was halve an orange and stuff each half inside each breast of the turkey to make it look like it had boobs. We were laughing so hard that we were crying when he told us the story and pulled the turkey out of the smoker. Good thing our families have a slightly twisted sense of humor.

Everyone pitched in and brought sides dishes. The side dish lineup included a seven layer salad, cinnamon applesauce (Cody’s Grandma Schade is famous for this), deviled eggs, cranberry relish, cornbread casserole, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, and roasted brussels sprouts. Every year, Cody carries on a tradition started by his family and buys pies from Essenhaus for dessert. There is never a shortage because he gets everyone’s favorite kind. This year, we had six pies! I always have a small slice of raspberry cream and peanut butter–both are so good that it’s too hard for me to pick one over the other!

This was my plate. I am not sure I could have fit anything else on it! It may not look like what you would expect to see from a wellness coach but my general rule on a holiday is to enjoy all of the food you really love. It is usually not the one holiday meal that gets people into trouble, but more so the multiple meals of leftovers, letting go of healthy habits through the holiday season, and eating beyond moderation.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day:

It wouldn’t have been a Thanksgiving without some sort of shenanigans. Somehow, by the end of the night, we bet my brother Nick that he couldn’t chug a bottle of white zinfandel in under 35 seconds. He took the bet and won–enough said. 🙂

After everyone left, Cody and I wrapped up the night by catching up on the latest This Is Us episode. I LOVE that show and was chomping at the bit to watch it, especially after my mom, Aunt, and mother-in-law were talking about how good the last one was. Is anyone else a fan?

We have definitely been able to count our blessings this year and don’t take a moment for granted. I hope you had a wonderful holiday with your family and were able to focus on all of the good things in your life. What are you most thankful for this year? I would love to know–leave a comment below.

Gina Schade

Gina Schade

Gina is a certified health coach and author of The 90/10 Life Cookbook, and director at Beatycounter. She helps her clients create a toxin-free complexion they feel 100% confident in!

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