Family Life

Thanksgiving at the Duggars

posted: 11/24/11
by: Michelle Duggar


Photo credit Richard Eskite Photography

We love to read about Thanksgiving before the big day comes. We have resources that discuss the beginnings of Thanksgiving. Some of them are about the pilgrims that began their lives here, and so we'll read the accounts of the actual first Thanksgiving to the family together days before Thanksgiving comes around, and I think this really helps the younger kids to identify what the day is all about.

When we gather for Thanksgiving Day we have extended family over as well as friends who aren't with their family. Sometimes they're going to college or high school here in Arkansas - for whatever reason, they're not near their families. We'll invite them over as well so that they have a family to gather with, and then different family members will bring their food specialty, like my sister's peanut butter and chocolate buckeyes (we're originally from Ohio, where the dessert originated from -- we all look forward to Aunt Carol's buckeyes!)

The older girls love to make homemade yeast rolls- the ones that aren't great for you but taste really good. And then, of course, my husband loves pumpkin pies, so we always make sure we have about 15 pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving Day. In addition to our family members' dishes, we have turkey, dressing and mashed potatoes that we make.

Our meal is usually at 1 p.m. so that way we can spend the whole afternoon just playing games and fellowshipping as a family and getting a chance to give thanks. Everyone gets a turn to say thanks, usually starting with the youngest and going to the oldest. Each person in the family gets to say one thing that they are thankful for, and we usually try not to repeat what someone else has already said, but it gets really hard if you're the older one in a family of 19. For our younger ones it's pretty sweet. Sometimes we hear things like, "I'm just so grateful for oatmeal."

When we can express our gratefulness to God and others for the way that they've benefited our lives, I think that is the whole essence of Thanksgiving. As a family tradition we offer thanks to God and to those around us who've blessed our lives, for the country that we live in, the lives we were given and the freedoms we enjoy. And then when we look at the table that's set before us we're reminded again of the provisions He's given us.

We really try to embrace the meaning behind what Thanksgiving is about and how it all started, and we try to keep that spirit going from one generation to another. It's a fun and very special day for us.

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Duggar's Homemade Yeast Rolls

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