Easy Thanksgiving meals are made of time-tested recipes, make-ahead meals and an overarching philosophy that family and gratitude win over perfection every time, according to Camille Beckstrand of the popular Six Sisters' Stuff blog. Her family gatherings feature cozy sweaters, pre-dinner games to "get out the wiggles" and, would you believe, 12-layer jello, the craziest Thanksgiving dish they make. Camille gives a little of her and her sisters' insight into how this fabulous family creates easy Thanksgiving meals and memorable holiday gatherings.
Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays. It combines two of our favorite things: delicious food and being together. We usually gather at our mom's house, and there are tables all throughout the kitchen so that everyone will fit. We are always in cozy sweaters, and it is always so loud when we are in the same room. After we've gathered around the table, we say a blessing on the food. When everyone has their plate filled, we go around the tables, and we each have to say what we are grateful for.
What are some Thanksgiving side dishes your family shares year after year?
We always have our mom's famous 12-Layer Jello, our grandma's stuffing, sweet potato casserole and shrimp (along with the other regular Thanksgiving dishes!).
For Thanksgiving meals, do you prefer quick and easy recipes or intricate foods that take a lot of steps and have a big effect?
We are really all about simple yet delicious meals! We have used the same recipes for years — and we love them. Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without them! But none of them are complicated or intricate. The 12-Layer Jello does have 12 different layers, but that's as crazy as we get.
We start prepping a few days before it actually begins. Getting table decor ready, place mats, etc. The recipes that can be made the day before (which is almost all of them) will sit in the fridge until the big day. We always listen and sing along to Christmas music, which puts us all in a good mood (we start listening the day after Halloween!).
How do you keep the kids (and the Big Kids) entertained while prepping dinner?
Growing up, it was always the kids job to pull out the china and set the table. It was special to us, because we didn't use our china very often at all! We then had the job of decorating and filling our candy cups at each setting. We still do this — they're usually a turkey or a pilgrim! We usually play some sort of game as well — broom hockey, dodgeball, or soccer — just something to work up an appetite and get the wiggles out of our little ones.
How are you decorating your Thanksgiving table this year?
Our mom is decorating the table this year! But, like every year, it will be the same china settings, the homemade candy cups, and the harvest tablecloth. We'll see what she adds to it this year!
Image credits (from top): All images for Six Sisters' Stuff