The Large Family Mom’s Guide to Thanksgiving

The Large Family Mom's Guide to Thanksgiving | RaisingArrows.netThanksgiving festivities start up for us on Sunday…unbelievable! It’s time for this large family mama to get her game face on, roll up her sleeves and get to work! I’m in charge of the Sweet Potato Casserole and Cranberry Salad this year. We also have some final fall celebrations to attend this week and into the next, so I have to stay focused.

Having a large family can take the normal chaos of the holidays to an entirely new level, so today, I want you to take a deep breath and with a thankful and merry heart, read my guide to a Large Family Thanksgiving that is a blessing to you and others.

The Large Family Mom’s Guide to
Planning & Preparing the Thanksgiving Meal

By now, you *should* know what you are making/bringing to all your Thanksgiving meals this year.  When you are a larger-than-normal family, you need to bring your “fair share” of the meal.  Make AT LEAST enough to feed your own family of the dishes you are to bring.  Depending on the size of the gathering, DOUBLING what you would usually make is a good idea.

Prepare ahead of time anything you can, and be sure to include your children in the cooking and baking as much as you reasonably can.

Make sure everyone in your family knows what to expect and what is expected of them.  Give them jobs to do from the biggest to the smallest.  Give them buddies to do those jobs with.

Some job ideas:

  • Set the table
  • Arrange furniture
  • Put together game ideas
  • Tidy rooms
  • Set up tables
  • Make centerpieces
  • Help with shopping
  • Wash dishes
  • Take out trash

The Large Family Mom’s Guide to a
Thanksgiving Wardrobe

I told you how I like to have everyone’s outfits set aside ahead of time.  For the children, we try to dress them in colors that are easily picked out in a crowd (red is great for this!)  However, as a large family mom, it’s YOUR outfit that needs the most attention.  That may sound petty, but hear me out…

4 Thanksgiving outfits

I put together a few outfits to give you an idea of why what you wear this Thanksgiving is important. (affiliate links included)  The 3 biggest things I consider when it comes to festive functions are:

  • Comfort
  • Layers
  • Beauty

When you have a lot of littles, comfort is beyond important.  You have to be able to move easily, get up and down easily, cook easily, clean easily.  You do not want to be uncomfortable on a day like this.  And there is no need for it!

outfit5

This is one of my favorite outfits.  The sweater and boots are from WalMart, the skirt is a tiered skirt from a thrift store, and I’m also wearing fleece-lined leggings from Deborah & Co.  These are the only leggings I’ve ever worn that I will wear ALL DAY LONG.  Usually, I cannot stand to wear leggings for very long, but these are oh-so comfortable.  Speaking of leggings…

Layers are something I’ve only recently realized are a requirement for the large family mom.  Let’s start with the leggings:

leggings

Pairing these with your skirts is perfect for holiday events because of how they keep you warm, moving with ease, and modest.  I’ve been wearing these nearly every day and while I am staying warm and comfortable while I work at home, I am never burning up – that right there is enough to convince me these are a must-have.

Another layering item I absolutely love for gatherings is a nursing tank.  I don’t have to disappear into the back room to nurse discreetly (unless I just want to get away from all the noise ;) ).

outfit1

Also consider wearing layers that allow you to take off a soiled item and still look put together.  I don’t have any photos of the outfit above without the jacket, but the shirt underneath is a simple knit long-sleeve top.  Having a scarf on hand is a good idea too because it can be used to cover up any stains you might acquire over the course of the day.

And finally, beauty:

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I’m not talking the kind of beauty that is vain, but rather the kind that shines Christ!  You get the opportunity to be a witness for Christ in everything you do this holiday season.  Wear clothes that fit well, look nice on you, and accentuate the fact that you are a temple for a living and holy God!  How thankful you should be!

The Large Family Mom’s Guide to
Thanksgiving Travel

First of all, you might want to take a look at my post about what to pack for a family day trip.  This post is full of ideas that will help you pack for Thanksgiving travels.  And don’t forget the van seating chart!

Allow yourself plenty of time to travel to your destination.  Large families are notoriously late because there are so many people to get ready and out the door.  In our house, I get everyone else ready first and then set them down to a movie or something else relatively quiet while I get ready.  That way I can get ready while knowing everyone else is ready to go.  I always start the procession to the van 10-15 minutes ahead of time.  This is enough to get us on our way in time.

The Large Family Mom’s Guide to
Blessing Others & Being Blessed Herself

If you are going to truly enjoy this final Fall fling, you have to be THANKFUL.  Be thankful for the food, the family, the fellowship.  Be thankful for the opportunity to publicly give thanks to your Lord and Savior!  Be grateful to your host/guests, your children, your spouse.

Involve your guests in the tradition of the Blessing Tree or how about my Free Family Thanksgiving Worship Service?!  Gather them around and love on them, even the unlovely.  This is your opportunity to shine for Christ.  Don’t squander it by being all stressed out!  Sometimes the best way to bless others is to be blessed yourself.  If you are displaying a thankful attitude, this cannot help but rub off on those around you.  Enjoy the festivities and others are bound to enjoy them too!

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9 thoughts on “The Large Family Mom’s Guide to Thanksgiving

  1. Good morning!

    Where do you buy your nursing tank tops at? I have looked and looked and really don’t know what to look for and get? Any links or input would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!
    Kari

    • My favorite ones from WalMart are apparently being discontinued. :( However, I like all the color options from Undercover Mama (the link in the post will take you to the ones carried by Caroline at Deborah & Co. I do like that they attach to YOUR nursing bra, so you know they will fit.

  2. With baby number seven on the way, I feel like we’re finally entering the realm of the “large family” – thanks for this great post! I really appreciate all the tips. And I do feel it’s important for moms of large families to look their best. People expect us to show up frazzled, bedraggled, at our wit’s end. But we’re ambassadors of God’s blessings! We should look our best :) I need to work on that more. I’ve had a no-makeup November thing going on… and not intentionally, either. I need to step it up a notch.

  3. I love all the ideas. But I really just had to drop a note to tell you how beautiful you are and how you just shine! The weight loss eccentuates your beauty. As a mom of 7 who has to work to loose the baby wright too, it’s such a blessing to see that you did it! Good job mama! You inspire me. Love your blog and your heart.

  4. You bless us, Amy, with your tips in this post. They apply to not-so-large families as well!
    And I love the denim outfit – you are one hip and beautiful Mama!