November 30, 2016


Jessica Strelecky



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Thanksgiving 2016

In the midst of cooking our Thanksgiving 2016 feast I realized I have never documented the preparation of any family holiday. As a photographer I am always saying how important it is to capture even the normal every day stuff. I pulled my camera out and documented what a family gathering looks like at our house.

 Thanksgiving 2016

Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday (just behind Christmas) and it is chalk full of traditions. Little things that one may not think about too seriously. Over time these little traditions have become a huge part of who we are and how we celebrate. The best part is when our offspring request certain things that we had never considered a tradition at all! You realize that, with out trying, you cultivated something that your kids will carry on with their families.

You pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for winning at parenting!

Our Thanksgiving Traditions

It all starts when we wake up early and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade. It’s a must see and we comment on all of the musical acts and balloons. Of course anticipation builds as we wait for the finale… the arrival of SANTA! This is the first and probably most important tradition in our family.

Breakfast is usually cinnamon rolls and these wonderful pumpkin bars (they double as a dessert too!)

thanksgiving 2016

Our second tradition is the type of food we serve. The time between breakfast and dinner is filled with snacks. We serve a variety of dips as well as cheeses. My Mother-in-Law makes this really cool turkey from cheese, crackers and deli meats. My kids love it and ask for it each year! Ta-da! Tradition made with out intention!


Another celebrated tradition is deviled eggs.

You would think that it would be a dish reserved for Easter, however, it makes an appearance at each holiday at hour house!


Our favorite recipe is from the Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond.

While our modern society relies heavily on convince foods, it is a must that everything must be made from scratch on Thanksgiving. This held true once again on Thanksgiving 2016! Even the green bean casserole with crispy onions was from scratch. (by my hubby!) I guess you can call this our third tradition.


 I am the baker in the family, my husband is definitely the COOK. He made everything except for the pumpkin bars, rolls, eggs & desserts! This is a tradition that I can certainly get behind!


Earn Your Keep!

Everyone plays a part in Thanksgiving. Some help prepare food, some help entertain kids and some are just here for our entertainment! It seems as though everyone falls into the same exact role year after year. This makes for an excellent fourth holiday tradition! No matter what their role is, we are happy to have each person with us.




( there one of these people in EVERY family, right!?)

Other Thanksgiving “perks”

1) Good conversation is always easy to find at our holiday gatherings.


2) Turkey. Yes, this is a “perk” because not all Thanksgiving turkey is wonderful.

My husband uses the most perfect turkey recipe . Each year our bird is out of this world!


3) There is wine to be had by the adults and special “kid wine” for the kids and for any anyone that prefers not to partake of the good stuff. The children often invite their special stuffed friends which tells me they are fully embracing the idea of gathering with the ones you love!


Once dinner is finally done cooking/baking, it is served buffet style.


Wrapping It Up

After a job well done, everyone eats their meal while the dishes wait to be washed.

Eventually, all of the bellies are full and the task of cleaning up begins!


To quote my dad, “You should end your day on a sweet note”.  Which basically means… dessert! Apple crisp always has a place on the table, you can call it a tradition too! This year our oldest child made a delicious Bailey’s Cheesecake to share. Looks like she may be following in mom’s baking footsteps!



It is a little loud, a little crazy and a little chaotic,

This is how we celebrate Thanksgiving and we cherish every single moment of it!

Leave me a comment below & tell me one of YOUR Thanksgiving traditions!


  1. Christie says:

    What a wonderful holiday! You are such a great family photographer Williamsburg va!

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