What Makes It Special For You? {i bet it is the little things}

It was November 2001, days before Thanksgiving and only a few days before my sister’s wedding.

Family had flown in from all over the country and we were hosting Thanksgiving dinner in our first little home in Ft. Collins.

Jack was just a little over 1 year old and this would be the first Thanksgiving meal I had ever prepared for more than just us.

I was excited about having my aunts and uncles in our home and blessing them like they had done for me over and over while I was growing up.

I was using my favorite entertaining cookbook (at the time) and excited to plan out the whole meal and put together the table setting.

I like things to be pretty but even more than pretty…I have always wanted people to leave our home knowing how much they are loved.

If you can imagine a 150 sq ft kitchen and eating area being used to prep and cook food for 10 people.

All of the women were in the kitchen working together (very closely).

I think there were five-six of us chopping, boiling, roasting:-)

It was quite a sight.

The best part was that I had never cooked a turkey this big before and it scared the crap out of me.

We were making butternut squash and apple soup from scratch and making the biggest mess you can possibly make in 150 square feet.

I was cooking with some of my favorite people.

I was with my mom, sister, my Aunt Jeannette and my cousin Jen.

We were laughing at all of the mishaps and just enjoying being together.

The turkey wasn’t done on time.


We had to put it back in and wait a little longer.

Jack had a melt down right as we were sitting down to eat.

We squeezed 10 people around a little table and I am sure more than knees were touching and not one person complained.

{I can’t believe we even found this photo}

The boys all washed the dishes and gave the girls a break after dinner.

It was perfect in all the ways that mattered.

I remember little about that day except the joy of being with family in my kitchen.

The help, the conversation, the love, the laughter and the joy I felt to host Thanksgiving dinner at OUR home.


I asked each of the girls that are joining me in the brand new e-course Home for the Holidays to share with you a favorite tradition they love.

If you notice for each of the girls it isn’t something expensive or flashy.

It isn’t about perfection.

It is about friends and family.

It is about creating memories and traditions.

What is one of your favorite holiday traditions?

Creatively Made Home {home for the holidays} begins October 15th.

{ less than two weeks away}

This is a three week online course PACKED with videos on traditions, memories, cooking, gift giving and decor.

This course will change how you love on your friends and family this holiday season.

I also hope it will change how you love on your family day to day.

To read more click HERE.

To register click HERE.

You can also pay below.

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  1. Pam

    loved this jeanne! and i’m signing up..i swear! i have served thanksgiving dinner out of more homes than i can count right now..(i’d have to stop and think!)…with each one i make a bloody mary for myself! i usually try something new each year. last year..our first here in paris..and not a holiday here..my struggle was to fit the turkey in our french fridge and oven!
    i love reading about others’ holiday traditions.
    and i just counted..9 homes in 19 years of cooking thanksgiving dinner!
    can’t wait for the new course!

  2. Jen Ham

    One of my favorite holiday traditions is celebrating Winter Solstice! My 3 girls and I bake gingerbread cookies, eat soup, drink hot chocolate and talk about everything! xo Jen

  3. Karen

    Loved reading these traditions and your story, Jeanne and the photo from 2001! In our household it was a challenge to start some of our new tradition – my husband and i grew up in different countries. Although some German and American traditions are the same, some are quite different! We ended up taking some of each and then making our own new family traditions. One of them is making home-made cheese fondue on Christmas Eve after going to church. It’s just so cozy with our family sitting close around the table eating a simple, fun meal. The children love it, too.

  4. Lori

    Loved reading all of these ~ like Jen one of my favourite times is the Christmas eve church service ~ Silent Night by candlelight always makes me cry. I am passing on Jen O’Brien’s to a friend ~ what a great tradition to do with your kids.

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