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This past weekend The Ghost of Thanksgivings Past paid us a little visit. It happened on a cold Saturday morning as we loaded a million groceries into the car in preparation of the big day. My husband looked at me- freezing and overwhelmed- and said “remember when we spent Thanksgiving in Hawaii?”

We both went quiet as the memories rolled through our head. The warmth of the gorgeous island. The laid-back, carefree ways we spent our vacation on the beach. The delicious food I didn’t have to prepare.

Beautiful beaches of Waikiki, Hawaii.

After a few minute I made the comment “you know, we weren’t actually in Hawaii for Thanksgiving.” He reacted as if this were brand new information. I had to point out that we spent the 10 days leading up to Thanksgiving in Hawaii, landing back home on the eve of the holiday. With the time change we all slept well past noon. Jet lagged and in our PJ’s we spent the afternoon watching a recorded version of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and finally walked next door to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving dinner at our neighbor’s house.

10 days in Hawaii, followed by the absolute laziest Thanksgiving Day EVER. Not sounding too shabby right now.

Watching the sunrise with ocean breeze in her hair…if only every meal could be this relaxing.

Then again, I have an obsession with letting my kids make memories in their own house. As wonderful as showing up to a feast prepared by others can be, we also enjoy time spent together as a family in the kitchen. In fact, last night we attempted to make our own bread for Thursday and it was a complete (and messy) disaster. And though the bread was quickly trashed and we’ll probably end up serving store-bought, we made some precious family memories.

Spicing up the sweet potato casserole by writing a secret message in the greased casserole dish.

There’s also nothing my kids thrive on more than a good craft project. When we spend Thanksgiving at home I always task them with making place cards and festive decorations. It depletes our glitter/tape/glue supplies, but keeps them busy for hours.

The first of MANY crafts for the special day.

Plus, nothing really screams Thanksgiving like trying to figure out how to get a 17-pound turkey AND about 10 side dishes in the oven at the same time- all the while, watching the parade.

What is your favorite way to celebrate? Would you rather spend Thanksgiving in Hawaii (or traveling anywhere, for that matter!) or at home? Clearly, I’m torn- I cherish memories from both!

 You might also enjoy:

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The Best Places In The US To Spend Thanksgiving

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