Mrs Jones is new to Mum Central and is here to share her love of all things vintage and helping you find ways to slow down your life to a mid-century pace. In her debut post, she’s got a new idea on giving thanks for us to try! Mum Central, meet Mrs Jones.
Hello ladies, it’s lovely to be here and I’m so glad to meet you!
This November, I thought I’d share a tradition my family has taken on – Thanksgiving. NOT the American kind, but a very special Aussie kind that is much less stress, more fun and heaps easier than all of the dramas that come with Christmas!
Are you on board? Yup. Okay, first, a quick history lesson…
Moving into 2014 things have changed a little. Thanksgiving is officially celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November – this year it’s on the 27th; it’s a major US holiday and the focus is on travelling to be with family, giving thanks and giving to others.
“Yawn. I’m not American, Mrs Jones.”
Don’t leave me here! I know, I know, we’re not American, Thanksgiving has nothing to do with us, and we’ve already got enough to do each year before Christmas! I hear you! I know… Once you become a wifey or a mama the fun stops and it becomes all about everyone else and making sure ‘stuff’ happens.
Gifts purchased. Tick. Oh, wait, didn’t the boy ask for that new water pistol they’re advertising now – two weeks before Christmas – and I can’t find them anywhere… Arghhh… That’ll have to wait!
Menu organised. Tick… wait a minute… I’ve got to find a bloody recipe for my brother’s vegan girlfriend… Do I need to get her a non-leather dining chair? Hmmm… That’ll wait.
Dinner or lunch. Still deciding.
Their place or ours. Can’t we just stay here for the day. Just once? Packing the kids up for another car trip is just too much. I’ll talk to hubby and see if his parents will come here.
Real or fake tree. I know the kids want a real one but do I want to vacuum pine needles for 4 weeks running?
Re-decorating the tree. Tick! I’ll redo it once the kids have gone to bed.
Okay, so we’ve established that Christmas is pretty much about everyone but us!
Hmmm… but what if things were different?
What if there was a celebration YOU actually enjoyed?
What if you could have a fun, relaxing and easy get-together leading up to Christmas that became something the whole family looked forward to?
You can! And that celebration is Aussie Thanksgiving!
Quick, easy and simple as you like. Take a look at the infographic below.
Just remember a few of my KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetie) principles:
- You’ve got to invite REAL friends. People you know and love and WANT to spend time with!
- Keep the food simple. Barbecuing is an awesome idea because there’s little prep and it keeps the men busy and it also means you can ask friends to each bring a side dish
- Keep dessert simple. Ice cream cones or if you want to go crazy, an ice cream decorating bar for the kids (big and small!)
- Have some outdoor and indoor game ideas for when the kids get bored
- Ask everyone to bring a food donation (there’s your giving to the less fortunate)
- Make some time for everyone to sit together and get real. What is everyone really thankful for?
- Here’s the best part. Australian Thanksgiving ISN’T on the fourth Thursday in November, it’s on the fourth SATURDAY. This gives you time and headspace.
And that is it! It’s that simple.
Now, I don’t want to hear any, “Seriously, I don’t have enough time now, why on earth would I add ANOTHER thing to our already insane schedule?”
Why? Well, let me tell you why.
Because you can. Yep, it’s that simple.
Also because if you don’t start making time to simplify life, and start a few family traditions your kids will have nothing magical to look back on. This is easy peasy and kids will look back on this as such a fun time spent playing with friends, with no timetable to work to. A time of shared food, laughing until it hurts and coming together to do something good for those who need it.
Why not make this tradition yours? Take a deep breath, take charge, simplify a few things and make time to fit it in – I promise you won’t regret it!
I’d love to hear your stories of how your Aussie Thanksgiving went and any tips you’d like to share with others!