How To Create Thanksgiving Traditions With Your Family : The Saturday Weekend Review #193




The second Monday in October every year is Thanksgiving Day where we give thanks and appreciation for all the good in our lives. This is one time of year where I explore my life and how thankful I am for all the wonderful things I’ve been given the opportunity to experience.

The birth of our son just two years ago was the biggest blessing of all for my wife and I and there isn’t a day that goes by that we aren’t thankful that he’s in our life.

We’re also thankful that we’ve managed to almost hit the 10 year anniversary mark this year without getting divorced which is so common these days and I can understand why. Parenting is tough stuff and can be very overwhelming for any couple.

Starting a new life in Canada with my beautiful wife, having to go back to school, buy a house, have a baby and work lots of hours while trying keep the family afloat has been charged at times but our love is deep. Three things that work for us is to always give thanks, say I’m sorry and I love you every day.


Thanksgiving Traditions begin with thanks


Mrs. CBB always thanks me for things I do around the house be it the laundry, washing dishes or sweeping the floor. I used to tell her she didn’t need to thank me and you know what she said, “Yes I do because without your help I wouldn’t get half the stuff done around here.” I was making a difference in her life and she was making one in mine by appreciating the time I spend with the family after a long work day by helping out. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the small stuff but to someone else it may be big.

I hope all of you reading this today take a moment to think about ways you can improve your life in terms of making yourself happy, making others happy and improving your general outlook in life. Start with smiles, talking to strangers and helping those in need even if it’s to sit and read them a story. It’s amazing how you can make someone’s day by talking to them.

So, we’re starting some Thanksgiving Traditions in the CBB household and I’m going to share them with you today. I’m sure the following year will be even more exciting especially as our son gets older and we do more with him.


Thanksgiving Meal 


A typical Thanksgiving dinner in our house doesn’t involve a turkey unless we head to my in-laws where they create such an amazing dinner and the decor is stunning. It’s a happy place and smiles are everywhere. This year we are staying home which means we will have our first Thanksgiving meal as a family in our house.

While we were at Value Village we considered purchasing a set of second-hand Thanksgiving dishes which were priced cheap and would add to the table decor however there’s only 2 of us. We don’t have the space right now until we renovate the kitchen and then maybe we’ll consider seasonal dinnerware.

Thanksgiving Menu Ideas have been on our minds for about a month now and we’ve decided to go with a Thanksgiving chicken instead of turkey. We both love turkey but our son does not care for it but he will eat chicken. Since we’ve struggled to get our son to eat just about anything when he does eat it’s a celebration for us. That means we do what we can to make sure he eats foods that he enjoys.

Thanksgiving Recipes this year are a bit different from typical Thanksgiving celebration dishes. We wanted to create Thanksgiving traditions that included recipes that represent our family every year that we all could participate in making. Our son loves to peel onions and take stickers off from the apples so he’s become our little sous-chef.

With my wife being on a Paleo low-carb type diet we’ve incorporated some new recipes with the old for this years Thanksgiving menu keeping our budget in mind.

Thanksgiving side-dishes on the menu this year will be

  • Pan-fried brussel sprouts with onions and bacon
  • Creamy Pumpkin Soup
  • Caesar Salad with roasted walnuts
  • Roasted radishes in butter, chives and apple cider vinegar (they actually taste like potatoes)
  • Cauliflower Ricotta Cheese Fritters.

Thanksgiving Desserts will be a pumpkin spice sugar-free fudge, Crustless pumpkin pie, Oreo Rice Krispies that are orange and homemade spiced Apple Sauce with yogurt. We won’t eat them all for dessert but the options will be on the table. It’s possible we will have company over for dessert as well so it’s always nice to have some sweets along with coffee or a cuppa tea.


Thanksgiving Activities


Our son is a big fan of arts and crafts so we’ve started to work on Thanksgiving crafts as a family such as creating art work using leaves and other items we’ve found outside. We paint pictures and colour rocks, collect sticks to use for Thanksgiving decorations on our front porch and every year we add to our list of things to do because it matters. It matters to our son and it matters to us to create Thanksgiving traditions that will grow year after year and last a life-time.

Thanksgiving Cards

One tradition my wife started with our son was creating hand-written and coloured cards for celebrations instead of buying greeting cards from the Dollar Store. We have created a craft stand with items we purchased either at the Goodwill, Value Village or the Dollar Store. I’ve received so many cards from our son that it makes me smile and they are hanging on the walls of our kitchen and on the basement door for everyone to see.

Thanksgiving Decorations

Mrs. CBB is into all the decorations around the house especially themed decor. The Fall is one of her favourite times of year to decorate. Our front porch is adorned with a Thanksgiving wreath and filled with pumpkins, corn stalks, fake leaves, real sticks (our son collected), gourds and other items she’s picked up over time at garage sales or second-hand. Just today a visitor and her daughter who came to the house exclaimed, “Wow, this is so beautiful” which of course made my wife blush.

Thanksgiving centerpieces

This year our Thanksgiving centerpiece will be a clear bowl surrounded with a candle, fake leaves and pine-cones and filled with pieces of paper that have sayings on them written by the two of us. We will reflect on the year and give thanks for things that we’ve let slide and don’t say often enough. As our son gets older we’ll have him participate too so this will be something we do as a family.

Related: 5 Things I’m Thankful For and Not Just On Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Farm Visit

On Thursday just past we took a little road trip to a popular farm in Ontario that caters to the kids in the Fall. There were pumpkins of all descriptions everywhere, hay rides, train rides, animals, food, play equipment and the list goes on and on. Our son had a blast and so did we. What he was fascinated by the most was all the pumpkins in the fields and on display. We’ve got many photos of him hiding in the pumpkins or just chilling back relaxing in between a few. It was so much fun and certainly we’ll be back again or we’ll check out other Fall theme farms around Ontario.


Creating Thanksgiving Memories


Back before technology was invented memories were kept in our heads but not any longer. We are very fortunate to grow up in a time where we can take photos and videos and watch them over and over.

Thanksgiving Photos

Mrs. CBB doesn’t leave home without her camera or iPhone so there’s always snapshots of just about everything we do. This year we plan to get Fall family photos done but not until the last week of October so we can appreciate the turning of the season and give thanks to mother nature for such beauty before she upsets us with snow, haha!

Thanksgiving Story

Every year we want to begin a reading tradition that includes a Thanksgiving story to our son so he learns about Canadian Thanksgiving History. He’s still young right now so we will opt for a children’s Thanksgiving book that we picked up at Value Village. Maybe one day he will sit with his kids and tell them a story of the Thanksgiving Traditions he grew up with.

Thanksgiving Videos

There is never a dull moment in our house which means laughter and silliness all around that must be captured on video. Our son is a video fanatic and loves watching himself over and over. His favourite word after watching a video he likes is, “Again, Again” as he bounces up and down on the kitchen chair. These types of Thanksgiving traditions are Priceless moments.


Thanksgiving Prayer


Although I’m not religious my wife is Catholic and our son was baptized in the Catholic church. My wife wanted to create a little Thanksgiving prayer that our son can recite with us as the years go on. We want to instill values in him so he understands the meaning of Thanksgiving and how he can make a difference in the lives of other people. This may or may not be part of your Thanksgiving traditions but for our family it’s something that represents who we are.

Dear Lord,

Thank-you for the path,

Thank-you for the light,

Thank-you for the courage,

Thank-you for the might,

Thank-you for our blessings,

Thank-you for this precious life,

Happy Thanksgiving everyone from my family to yours.


Discussion Question: What Thanksgiving traditions have you created or remember as a child?


CBB Insider Weekly


This week was fun as I mentioned above we went to a local farm that has a children’s Fall fair with lots of rides and treats for the kids. Other than that we did some running around to pick up bits for the house and I finished up changing the transmission fluid in our vehicle.

I did sneak in a lawn cutting on Wednesday and trimmed up a few bits outside. We’ll start putting the potted plants away in the next couple of weeks as the basil is pretty much done now. I’ve got some tidying up in the back garden left to do but the wife has helped out as much as she can to help out.

The wife has managed to sell some of her clothes this week after doing a bit of purging (shocker). Now she has her little slush fund of money to do what she wants with. Most often it goes right back into the budget but other times she spends it on something we need in the house.

We brought our boy to get his eyes checked this week and got the 100% all clear! It’s free for kids in Ontario and it’s a good idea to get them tested just to make sure nothing wonky is going on.


Awesome posts I published this week


If you have a question that you would like to ask me fill out the Contact Mr.CBB form on the blog home page and I’ll do my best to reply to each question.

If you would like to share a story via a Fan Question please ensure that there is minimum 500 words and lots of details…we love details! Contact me for more info!

Top Post This Week: How to make money fast without going crazy


Making a difference (MAD)


Making A Difference Canadian Budget Binder MAD

Welcome to the 2016 Making A Difference series! Join the networking movement of Personal Finance Bloggers around the world. If you are a personal finance blogger and would like your blog to be featured simply drop me an email.

I’m currently booking for December 2016/January 2017.

Today it is my pleasure to share with you the personal finance blog, Apathy Ends.


Hello CBB Readers,

Appreciate the opportunity to be on Canadian Budget Binder today, the MAD series is a great way to get to know the community. I go by “Mr. AE” and run the blog Quick background: Live in Minnesota (Go Wild) with my wife (Mrs. AE), dog (Finn) and will be a first time Dad in March.

I started Apathy Ends with the primary goal of motivating people to “Take Action” on their personal finances. Before I got my financial life together I was reading a lot of personal finance books, blogs and articles but wasn’t actually doing anything to improve our situation.

After awhile, I finally convinced myself to do something and put my new-found knowledge to use. Mistakes were definitely made, but over time our debt started dropping (We had a lot of it) and our net worth starting moving in the right direction. I like to remind readers that small Incremental changes over time is the key to success. Focus on the habits and the rewards will come.

Our goals have escalated quickly over the last 3 years, from reducing debt, to increasing our savings rate, and have ultimately landed on Financial Independence. I have dozens of other bloggers to thank for sharing their story and showing us it is possible for anyone to do.

Connecting with people, sharing wins, lessons and ideas have made a huge impact on our life and I look forward to meeting more “internet friends” over the years to come. If I could send each reader away with 1 message – it would be “A bit of action can go a long way, anyone is capable of turning their financial life around, all you need to do is start.”

Thanks for hosting today Mr. CBB!

Take Action – Apathy Ends


Reader Budget Brags


I created this spot to showcase reader enthusiasm for saving money. Send me your Budget Brag and you will automatically be entered into a yearly draw for a surprise gift card. Open to Canada and USA residents. email:

Colleen has an awesome brag for us today!

Hi Mr. CBB and Fans,

cheap-milk-and-chocolate-milkI picked up a steal of a deal this past week at the grocery store. I found seven 2L jugs of chocolate milk Oct 6  expiry  date $.50 ea. A 2L of 3% Milk for $.99 and a 2L of skim milk for $.99.

Overall I spent the grand total of $5.48 for nine 2L jugs which is less than the $6.49 for one 4L of 2% here. Saved over $30.00.

WOW, now that’s a deal!!

Do you freeze your milk Colleen?

We freeze milk that we buy if we have too much or we get a good deal. We have never had any issues apart from the odd torn bag that likely was caused from us banging it around in the freezer too much looking around for food.


Spotlight on Finance



Starve Your Distractions and Feed Your Focus

This is an interesting quote because it’s so easy to get distracted with things that happen in our lives and other people’s lives that we put our focus on hold or we lose balance. The easiest way to remedy this is to worry about yourself. If you do find you have distractions that stop you from attaining your goals evaluate the situation and make changes.


Frugal Recipe Pick


aramel-apple-crumble-pieFood is a big part of any budget and a struggle for many which is why it has been important for me to create frugal recipes for my fans.

I have a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I exclusively share recipes from Food Bloggers around the world.

Check out the Free Recipe Index on CBB compiled of frugal recipes that are 100% tested and accepted by family and friends!

This Caramel Apple Crumble Pie over at Averie Cooks would be the greatest Thanksgiving Pie next to the famous Pumpkin Pie!

The moment I saw what Averie created I knew that I wanted to make it with the discounted apples we picked up from Walmart yesterday. Apparently my wife makes a similar pie that I must try first and then we can make this one.

Guess what we will be making this weekend?


Cool Pinterest Find



These DIY Lolly Pop Ghosts Halloween Treats I found over at Jodeze Home and Garden are dead easy to make (no pun intended) and I think the wife is going to make a few for the kiddies in the neighbourhood that we know.


Editor’s Choice


Editor’s Choice (That’s me Mr.CBB) This week goes to The Green Swan Blog who shares some interesting facts about frugal millionaires. They also go into detail about their own frugal ways many of which Mrs. CBB and I both follow in our household. A great read.

My wife would probably kick me out of bed if I did this though…ha-ha! Luckily we were able to stockpile lots of cheap deodorant during our coupon craze days.

I don’t use deodorant on the weekends…do I need to even interject with my wife’s thoughts on this one. How much does this save me? Well, I may buy five sticks a year, so I would guess it saves me two sticks…However, of course I apply deodorant on weekend days that we are out and about more.


Google Search Giggles


Always begin and end your day with a SMILE!- Mr.CBB

Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog.

Most times funny, Sometimes serious.

  • How can I reach people who borrow money to strangers- First off it’s lending money to strangers and second you may find you’re searching for a long time as most strangers just don’t lend money to people they don’t know.
  • Kicking out a teen in Ontario- Wow, that’s a tough call for any parent.
  • Is $50 a week enough to survive in Canada?- Um, not really. You might get away with $50 a week of groceries but that depends on where you move to as prices vary all over Canada.

That’s all the fun for this week, thanks for dropping by and we’ll see ya all again next Saturday!


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    1. Thanks Gary…. that was kind of you to say. We’ll be doing lots of cooking and baking today. The crafts will be rolling and pumpkin spice coffee brewing. 🙂

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