Popcorn, pretzels, and turkey?

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. While this year is a little off because it is the first year when I will not have all of my children here we did have our Thanksgiving dinner two weeks ago. We’ll still do our traditions but not the big dinner.

For the past five years (prior to this year) Thanksgiving has only been myself and my three children. I wanted to make sure it was fun for them. We always watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Six years ago I set out popcorn, pretzels, jelly beans, and some toast while the kids and I watched the Peanuts gang celebrate Thanksgiving. The kids thought it was so much fun to eat what Snoopy was preparing for dinner that it became a tradition for us.  While the turkey is cooking they would get to snack on those goodies.

The dinner has varied through the years as the kids’ palates have developed. I remember one year we had baked 8 pies but ended up keeping only 1 because the kids would not try any of them. My brothers did not mind though as they stopped by and took the goods home with them.

Our other tradition is the first movie of the Christmas season. Christmas movies are banned in my house (unless they are requested for a birthday movie or someone is sick and that is the ONLY thing they want to watch) because my kids and I would watch them all year if we could and I don’t want to get sick of them. From January 6th to Thanksgiving the movies are put in the back of a closet. Then when dessert is being served we get Rudolph out (the claymation one with Burl Ives). We settle down with our pie of choice and sing along to all of the songs. Then play the trivia game in the bonus features section.

This year we did Thanksgiving dinner two weeks early so all the kids would be there. We went to my parents’ house and cooked dinner. My daughter went up to my dad and hugged him. “Grandpa, would it be alright if we bring down Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving and Rudolph?”

Grandpa, in his gruff voice, “Why?”

Jess, “We watch Charlie Brown while dinner is cooking. Then after dinner we watch Rudolph with dessert.” She paused, glanced at the floor then back up at him with her large brown eyes. “It’s tradition.”

Grandpa with a hint of a smile, “Well, if it’s tradition you better bring them down.” He made sure that my kids got to watch their shows even though we celebrated two weeks early.

Tomorrow my two oldest children will still enjoy their popcorn, pretzels, and jellybeans and watch Charlie Brown. Though we don’t plan on having turkey again since we already did that.

Something New

This year on November first I set out a jar and some little colored slips of paper. I told my kids that every day of this month I want us to each write down at least one thing we’re thankful for and put it in the jar. At the end of the month (we’ll do it on Thanksgiving next year) we’ll dump all the paper out of it and read them. We’re having fun with this. Every day after school the kids sit down and write something down. I don’t even have to remind them to do it. They’ve already asked if we can do it again next year.

The Thankfulness jar is only in it’s first year but it will become a tradition.


Do you have any traditions? Is there an appetizer that you only get on Thanksgiving that you look forward to all year?


Happy Thankgiving from my family to yours!


About Angela Schroeder

Angela Schroeder is a single mother of three. She was born and raised in Iowa in a river town known for its pearl buttons. Having four siblings, she never lacked for someone to play with. As she grew older, she found herself pulled into books and writing more and more. Her parents are her heroes, her siblings her confidants and tormentors, and her children are a wonderful blessing. Church is important to her children and her. They enjoy the friendships they’ve made with the people there. Writing has always been a passion. Her first experience was in fifth grade when she went to a one-day writing conference. After that she knew it was something she wanted to pursue.
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3 Responses to Popcorn, pretzels, and turkey?

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I love the idea of a Thankfulness jar! What a great way to teach kids to be happy with what life gives them. Sounds like you have some fun traditions. Have a wonderful holiday.


  2. jeff7salter says:

    yeah, I also really like the idea of your thankfulness jar. So many blessings we quickly forget.


  3. I absolutely LOVE the idea of eating the Snoopy foods while watching the Peanuts Thanksgiving, Angie!
    And we also pull out the Christmas movies NOW.I have a lot of them and love them, but only during the holiday season.


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