Looking Inside the Thompsons’ Holiday

Written on Saturday, December 5th, 2009 at 8:28 am by Liz
Filed under Uncategorized.

Hello everyone!

I think I’m STILL stuffed from all the food we had for our Thanksgiving last week!  As you may very well know, our family loves to live well and eat well. <g> And there is no dieting going on here since Christmas and the other winter holidays are just around the corner. For us that means another round of delicious meals and family gatherings.

Yes, I always end up doing most of the kitchen work <g>, but it’s fun and I really enjoy it – lucky for me so does Ric, our boys Chandler and Stefan, and pretty much everyone else in our extended families.

[RIC] Liz just does the cooking, the boys and I do all the cleaning –and trust me, Liz loves cooking a whole lot more than we love cleaning, but since we get to eat Liz’s cooking it all works out.

The Tradition

Every year for the past 12 years or so we’ve gotten together with our extended families and friends for either Thanksgiving or Christmas – sometimes if I’m feeling REALLY crazy – I do both.

These feasts usually have between 12 and 20 people in attendance depending on which side of the family it is and what friends can make it.  So to make my life easier for the past few years, we’ve adopted a fun new “tradition” where I compile a list of options for the holiday menu and let everyone vote on what we’ll serve. Everyone who is attending gets to participate and vote — men, women, children — everyone gets in the game.

It gets pretty spirited and often becomes very intense! Debates are not uncommon, especially on the finer points of the rules — can we have more than one choice per category; should all family members be allowed to vote, including the four-legged ones; and other technicalities that they try to bring to the table.

In case you’re curious, I have the final say in these matters. I‘m the judge, jury, court of appeals and of course, the chef. Last year my parents were trying to be able to get extra votes for their dogs for our Thanksgiving feast.  I said only 2-legged family members were allowed to vote so they “filed an appeal” claiming I was discriminating against “4-leggedness”.  I of course heard the appeal, but since my docket was full, the case didn’t get heard until January. <g>  Final ruling – only 2-legged family members can vote.

The Challenge

You are probably wondering why I’m telling you all of this. Well there’re really 2 reasons.  One is it’s just another way for me to further share my life with you.  And two it just so happens that I want you to be a part of this year’s process.

You see we’re spicing things up this year by trying something new.  This year Chandler turns 13 on the 20th of December – so we’re doing our big family gathering to celebrate that.  Which will leave the 4 of us (Ric, Chandler, Stefan, and myself) to have the first quiet family Christmas that either of our boys can remember.  Everyone LOVES the voting system so much so that no one wanted to let it go.  But it just doesn’t make sense for only 4 of us.

So here’s the deal – we thought wouldn’t it be fun and exciting, to open it up to YOU and let you help us to choose what we should donate to the food bank for the holiday meal. Now, the menu below is what our family voted on for Christmas dinner last year and we can use the same options for this year.

The stakes are definitely bigger this time though. Not only do you get to participate in our little tradition, you’ll also get to win a prize!

The Prizes

Aside from the pleasure of participating in how we live life and enjoy our holiday traditions (as well as doing some good by supporting a food bank), you’ll get a chance to win some of our products.

A digital copy of my book, “Successisms,” will go to those who participate.

A copy of the course I wrote, “The Science of Creating Your Dreams,” will go the Grand Prize winner. (This is normally worth $147, but you’ll get it for FREE!)

Who knows? You might even be featured here in our blog to share your own holiday traditions with everyone.

How exciting is this? I can feel my palms itching to do this already.

The Voting

Get ready to tease your palate and put in your votes. Remember, you can only vote once, and this is strictly for two-legged voters only, so no four-legged family members may be involved. <g>

Lastly, as with any good election worth participating in, you can suggest other choices that you really want but don’t see here.

I am looking forward to your votes! This is going to be another mouth-watering and exciting Christmas dinner, I can just feel it now – and it’s for a fantastic cause!

Do you have your own holiday traditions you want to share with us? Send me a comment below.

Happy voting!

54 Responses to “Looking Inside the Thompsons’ Holiday”

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  21. Liz says:

    Hi Alice and John,

    Thanks! (Chandler says thank you for the greeting too . )

    Oh yes, cranberry sauce – another well-loved staple during Thanksgiving. It’s a delicious way to enhance the flavor of turkey. We ourselves love experimenting with different dishes and sauces at our house. It’s fun mixing together those different flavors!

    Happy holidays to you and your family!

  22. Liz says:

    Hi Frida,

    It is wonderful to gather with friends and family during the holidays, especially with good food being pitched in and shared by everybody. It’s also great that you don’t let anything go to waste. I’m sure every bit of your delightful lasagna, Christmas salad and chocolate and carrot cakes is consumed before you know it! It’s terrific that you have a recipe passed down from your grandma. That definitely makes the meal more special.

    Happy holidays to you all!


  23. Liz says:

    Hi Derek,
    First off, Chandler says thank you. :-) Thank you from me too, we absolutely love and look forward to this tradition every year.

    Your rice salad mix sounds delectable! Those frozen strawberry squares are just mouth-watering. I like their freshness and adventurous feel. Thanks for sharing them with us. I hope you don’t mind if we try them at home and in our next menu.

    A wonderful holiday season to you and your family!


  24. Liz says:

    Hi Bill and Lily,

    Aloha! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family too!

    Thank you for the warm greetings. I wish we could visit Hawaii soon. It would be nice to have another Hawaiian family vacation.

    Aloha Nui Loa!! (Very much love)

  25. Great!This article is creative,there are a lot of new idea,it gives me inspiration.I think I will also inspired by you and think about more new ideas

  26. Alice n John says:

    Happy birthday to Chandler. It is a wonderful thing ya,ll
    are doing. The one thing that is never missing at our family
    holiday meals is cranberry sauce.

    God bless,
    Alice n John

  27. Derek says:

    First, happy birthday to Chandler. I remember when I turned 13, way back in the last quarter of the last century. Second, congrats, Liz, on a noble idea. As to additions, there are two that I would consider. I love a rice salad that includes mushrooms, celery, asparagus and a dressing with olive oil, dry mustard, fresh ground pepper and lemon juice. It’s great. For dessert, frozen strawberry squares are nice and light after a heavy meal. Thaw a bag for frozen berries, blend into a thick puree. Mix with whipped cream and a bit of lemon juice. Pour over a base made of lightly baked crushed walnuts, brown sugar and flour. Then freeze. It is to die for.

  28. Frida says:

    For us the most important is to gather together and the great time we share. We only cook enough and good food but without exageration. We don’t like to cook more than we can eat. We are vegetarian. We all share the costs of it. We love eating vegetarian lasagna and a Christmas salad! Recipe from my grandma!!! and of course a chocolate or a carrot cake!
    Merry Christmas to all!!!!

  29. bill says:

    Aloha!! Enjoy your Holidays!! Wish you were here!!
    Mele Kalikimaka!!
    Hau’oli Makahiki Hou !!
    Aloha Nui Loa!!………..Bill & Lily

  30. Liz says:

    Hi Terry,

    Thank you, it will be a feast indeed! I love gatherings with family and friends, especially with good food to share all around. Getting them to participate in the process makes it more special. I hope it will be as fun for your family as it has been for ours.

    Happy Holidays!

  31. Liz says:

    Carla and Tracey,

    Thank you! Happy holidays to you and your family too!


  32. Liz says:

    Hi Sara,

    Yes, it is wonderful! There’s nothing like a little competition, a few debates and a lot of delicious food to spice up family gatherings. It brings even more cheer to the holidays.

    Have a blessed holiday season to you and your family!

  33. Liz says:

    Hi Susan,

    Thank you, we like to mix things up a bit. Our family loves to experiment with different recipes. It makes living more exciting! So does sharing. We make it a point to share what we have with others and give more, no matter the season.

    Have a blessed holiday season to you and your family!

  34. Liz says:

    Hi Glenys,

    Isn’t it wonderful when everyone gets excited and helps out in the process? It makes people more excited and we get to enjoy these huge gatherings more. Thank you, we have also made it a family tradition to share what we have with others and give more, no matter the season. It’s great when we’ve helped others have a little joy in their lives.

    Happy holidays to you and your family!


  35. Liz says:

    Hi Chris,

    Wow, that sounds delicious! I believe good food brings out the happiness in everyone, anywhere, especially when shared with great conversation and laughter.

    Happy holidays to you and your family!

  36. Liz says:

    Hi Elizabeth,

    Thank you for these wonderful suggestions, they sound yummy! I would definitely give these a try in one of our family meals. Isn’t it exciting when you get to experiment with different recipes?

    Happy holidays to you and your family!

  37. Liz says:

    Hi Parijat,

    This sounds very nice! I like your idea of the “Orphan’s Christmas Breakfast.” Any opportunity to gather with friends to celebrate the holidays, eat good food, share stories and laughter — and add in a refreshing dip in the ocean — is lovely, and everyone is sure to have a grand time. I’m sure your families are also enjoying their holidays where they are. Have a blessed holiday!


  38. Evelyn Mizner says:

    I would include less meat as I am vegetarian. Looks good, nice variety of choices. We do a potluck type thing were everyone brings prearranged categories of food.

  39. Gillette says:

    Wow! You got me salivating. What time is dinner? Are you going to publish the final menu? Looking forward to seeing it. Merry Christmas.

  40. abigail says:

    We also gather with friends and try to always look to include those who need somewhere to go. Since most of my family is vegetarian, we like to include some of those types of entrees, and fresh salads, but you have a good selection of enough to make a very lovely meal for anyone!!
    Christmas blessings!!

  41. Kevyn Malloy says:

    We have a family holiday tradition which is to make crab balls (they require at least 4 participants to make) as an appetizer. There is a lot of family teasing that goes on (who ate the most last year, who can’t roll a round crab ball, who went to wash their hands and came back to find them all gone!)and the little kids think that it is very funny to watch the adults “argue”.Even when we are not in the same house, crab balls are a must, and there are telephone calls to check to see if they are being done properly!

  42. Carla says:


  43. Terry says:

    Wonderful idea! My mouth is watering and a feast it will definitely be! The traditional foods do change around the world and the seasons you find there. I am looking forward to the delicious rich celebration with family and “orphaned” new found friends. Thanks for this idea!


  44. Tracey says:

    Fabulous idea !!!!

  45. sara says:

    Sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate the season! Blessings to you!

  46. susan says:

    I think it is an awsome thing you and your family are doing for others. I really like that you have chosen foods that are not necessarily traditional. God Bless you and yours

  47. Glenys Wilkings says:

    We gave a similar tradition for our family gatherings. Our Chistmas dinners have turned into a potluck effort, with everyone bringing a dish of some sort. As we often have 12 to 14 people for dinner, this means that the hostess and host have a chance to relax and enjoy Christmas day as well. Great idea to donate your favourite holiday foods to the foodbank. Merry Christmas.

  48. Chris says:

    Christmas in out part of the world is in summer, so a selection of BBQ meats and salads would be in order as would including pavlova for dessert.

  49. Elizabeth says:

    I suggest wild rice with chopped onions, mushrooms,and pecans. Also asparagus with butter and a squeeze of lemon juice.

  50. Parijat says:

    Christmas in our town is in the middle of summer, it’s usually very hot and going for a swim in the ocean needs to be on the menu. All the heavy food from traditional Christmas dinner is too much in the heat!
    We live in a small tourist town and many of us do not have family within easy travelling distance. A friend started the “Orphan’s Christmas Breakfast”, a gathering under the trees at Christmas day morning of people who’d like to share this special day with others, usually 20-30 people. We all bring a plate of food or two, we have camping stoves for fresh coffee and tea, and of course we bring camping chairs and tables.It is fun, helps us all to celebrate and be happy instead of missing family. We wear our swimmers and of course dip in the ocean as the day warms up.

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