As we prepare for Thanksgiving at our US office in Cambridge, MA we’d like to share some special traditions from Barefooters. How are you celebrating the season? Wishing you and yours a warm and memorable time spent with family, friends, laughter and stories!

This Thanksgiving will be a monumental event in my family because we have a new member joining us at the table. My sister just gave birth to a little girl on November 10 so dinner will mostly consist of the whole family fighting over who can hold her next and learning to master the art of balancing a baby and a one-armed bite of stuffing. Keira is the first grandchild in our family so we have a lot to be thankful for this year.
–Candice, Marketing

This will be our first Thanksgiving in America so we are already surrounded by new experiences and ideas. The girls keep coming home from school with hand turkeys, pilgrim tales and pumpkin pictures. For once, we don’t have to wait until Christmas to tuck into our turkey and all the trimmings. My parents are flying out to share this quintessentially American celebration with us and squeeze six months of grandparenting into a mere week. But what will Thanksgiving mean to an English family in Cambridge, Massachusetts? All cultures have different ways of saying thanks, but nobody probably says it often enough. So, we will be embracing an opportunity to pause our normally hectic lives and savour instead time as a family – walks by Walden Pond, books cuddled up on the sofa, jigsaw puzzles – these are the things that will take over for a few quiet days in late November. Bring it on!
–Emma, Editorial (spending a year in the US office)

We’ve hosted Thanksgiving for the past ten years and we always have different people around our table. It’s never been the same crowd twice. One year our neighbors from Finland joined us;  last November we had our au pair from Germany celebrating with us, several years ago it was the family who introduced my husband and I. At our dinner table we engage in lively conversation intermixed with visits over to the family room where guests sit back, unwind, put their feet up, and often snooze. Then, it’s back to the table for dessert. Our most cherished tradition are the “thankful for” leaves. Every person joining us, no matter how small, receives a paper leaf and a marker to write down or draw a picture of what they are most thankful for. We punch a hole in each paper leaf and add them to our growing collection that is strung up across our kitchen window all year long. I often look at the leaves as I wash up after breakfast when the day is fresh or as I walk into our home after a long day. Many of the leaves talk about family, while others are more humorous such as ‘the big puzzle we’ll do after dinner’ or ‘the word yummy.’

It always amazes me how those simple paper leaves carry so many happy memories of Thanksgivings through the years and help each member of our family focus on what we are most grateful for, all year long.
–Leah, Communications

I’m the youngest of four and as my siblings grew older I made an extra effort to keep our traditions strong! Thanksgiving is by far one of my favorites. It’s one of the few days a year we are all home together.  I get up extra early to help my mother with the cooking before everyone arrives. We put on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and cook up a storm, taking a dance break every so often (there’s lots of impromptu dancing in our kitchen!) Our signature recipe for the day is butternut squash lasagna, made with nutmeg, basil, a cream sauce, fresh mozzarella and parmesan. We found the recipe awhile back and it’s become an absolute favorite.

As my siblings and their spouses filter in one by one we try to finish cooking and fend them off from sampling the mashed potatoes (and every year we fail)! During the meal we each take turns saying what we are thankful for (answers have ranged from “family and friends” to “napping after this feast”).
–Leigh, Finance

My friends in Atlanta and I have a tradition called “Friendsgiving,” wherein we give thanks for our friends at a big potluck dinner the weekend before Thanksgiving. Everyone brings a big dish and before we eat we go around and talk about what we’re thankful for this year. There’s never a dry eye in the room by the time we’re done. We all think of Thanksgiving as a time to appreciate our biological families, but it’s also a great time to appreciate the “family” we have in our friends.

Check THIS out, which I could pretend is a treasured family tradition at my house (I wish it was!!)
–Kate, Editorial

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