Thanksgiving 2022

Time for a look back at our family’s Thanksgiving celebration, a three-day affair that always begins with Pie Day (Wednesday), and continues on through Black Friday.

On Thanksgiving morning, we watched the Macy’s Parade (which just wasn’t the same without Al Roker), and in between dinner preparations, I played a bit of Animal Crossing:

While we watched the Dog Show (we were thrilled that the adorable French Bulldog, Winston, won!), I got to work setting the table:

Instead of using a mix of stemmed glasses, this year, I set the table with our “regular” drinking glasses, which I purchased over the summer. They look pretty fancy, even though we use them everyday!

Dinner was ready earlier than I was expecting (I’m glad I checked the turkey when I did, because the pop-up timer, which I never use, had already popped), and I scrambled to get it all together. Our meal was fairly standard, with turkey and everyone’s favorite stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, carrots and parsnips, green beans with almonds, Brussels sprouts, and rolls, plus one new dish, made with wild rice and mushrooms, that I really liked!

I think it was a pretty amazing feast!

For dessert, we had our standard seven pies, most of which were our usual picks, but I did make one new recipe for a cranberry curd tart with a shortbread crust:

I chose the two main Thanksgiving flavors, pumpkin and cranberry, for my dessert plate:

The next morning, we started the day with pie-for-breakfast…this time, I chose Nutella:

Then we went to see Moose march with his band in the town Santa parade:

Nothing beats a turkey sandwich on Rye bread for the after-Thanksgiving lunch!

I also tried the pecan pie…I updated my recipe, and I just had to see for myself how it turned out (really, really well, if you’re interested!):

This year’s Lego Winter Village set is an adorable Main Street complete with a streetcar:

For dinner, I made turkey soup (of course):

And then Moose, Chickadee, and I went downtown for the tree lighting:

I love our Thanksgiving traditions!

Thanksgiving 2021

Time for a look at our annual three-day-long Thanksgiving celebration, beginning with a beautiful sunrise on Wednesday morning, which gave me encouragement to bake nine pies, prep two different kinds of stuffing, and make the cranberry sauce.

On Thanksgiving Day, we had fun watching the Macy’s Parade and playing Thanksgiving Day Parade Bingo, picking our favorite dogs at the National Dog Show, and playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Of course, there was dinner to attend to, as well. I thought the table looked extra pretty this year…maybe that’s because we had guests to set it for!

The menu was a mix of old and new. I made our traditional stuffing to go with the turkey, but also a new recipe for everything bagel stuffing. I also tried a new roasted winter vegetable dish to go alongside our usual green beans with almonds. Of course we also had mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, and cranberry sauce:

It made a very pretty plate!

For dessert, all of the pies. Sadly, the pie I was most looking forward to trying, cranberry custard, didn’t set right, so even though it looked pretty, it didn’t come out right at all. I guess that’s the risk you run when you try a new recipe on a holiday!

This morning started with one of our favorite traditions of pie for breakfast.

I was very happy to get to go see Moose march in our town’s Santa Parade for the first time since 2019, and for the first time with the high school marching band! We honestly weren’t planning on staying for the whole thing since his group was near the beginning, but it was fun as well as short, so we ended up seeing it all!

I enjoyed having a place to wear one of my new Erstwilder Christmas brooches:

Turkey sandwiches for lunch are another great thing about the day after Thanksgiving!

And more pie:

We built the annual addition to our Lego winter village:

And had turkey soup for dinner:

After dinner, some of us went back downtown for the tree lighting and community sing:

And more pie for dessert when we got back home:

There you have it. It was a mostly normal holiday, and it was good to do things that felt familiar again!

A Wet Tree Lighting

Every year on the day after Thanksgiving, we head to Belleville’s town square after dinner for the annual tree lighting and community sing. This year, we weren’t sure if we were going to go, because it rained all day…Belleville even had to cancel the morning’s Christmas parade. We heard that the tree lighting was going to be held in a tent at the Christmas market, so we decided to go, even if we wouldn’t be able to watch the lights come on.

It turned out to be a really good decision! It was a nice small crowd, the singing was led by an accordion, and we got a look at the new tent, which is well-decorated.


After the sing, we went for our annual trolley ride, and saw the lights in all their soggy glory:


We even briefly walked around the market:


It wasn’t the night we were hoping for, but in the end, I think it was something better than we expected!


A Belleville200 Tree Lighting

Tonight was one of my favorite events of the year…the town tree lighting! (We also got a peek at the new Christmas Market.) The crowd was bigger this year than we’ve seen in previous years…it was nice to see such a good community turnout!


The Town Tree Lighting–2013

Last night, we went downtown for our city’s tree lighting.


It’s a charming event. It begins with a community sing, and I’m always rather impressed that people show up after a long day of shopping!


Of course, the children love it!P1330623


Even though the tree has been up and on downtown for the last week, there’s still something magical about that moment they flip the switch!


Still to come…details on the annual Gingerbread displays!

The Town Tree Lighting

As we do every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving, we went to our city’s downtown area for the tree lighting tonight.

Chickadee found the whole thing rather…surprising?

I’m always happiest to see the nativity on our town square!

A Stroll Down Main Street

Last night, we went to the town tree lighting, and, as always, I loved walking up and down Main Street, looking in all the store windows. Between the gingerbread houses and the store decorations, everything was beautiful and festive. It makes me happy to live here!

Tree Lighting

On the day after Thanksgiving, our town has a tree-lighting ceremony and community sing. There are also free horse-drawn trolley rides, (which happen to be operated by a family from our church!), decorated windows to admire, (the jewelry store is always our favorite, because of the train sets running past the windows, carrying beautiful diamond rings), and a gingerbread house contest, with entries ranging from the cute, (by children), to the amazing, (by professionals such as engineers and artists). This is one of my favorite things about living here. It’s so nice to see families turn out and participate in a community event.

Every year that we’ve gone, the first song we’ve sung has been “O Come All Ye Faithful.” I have to admit, this brings a tear to my eye every time. I don’t think there are too many places left where a community activity like that begins with the singing of an actual Christmas hymn. It’s not like this is a church function; it’s a city event. We also have a nativity scene set up on the town square, which I realize is becoming more unusual (separation of church and state and all), and so I cherish seeing it again every year. Watching people gather together, of their own accord, outside of church, and recognize the true Reason for the Season, does my heart good. I’m glad my children can witness moments like this, as well.