One of the things I’ve found to be most special since becoming a mom is learning from all of the moms in phases ahead of me. Where would we all be without these women breathing advice into our lives from steps ahead of us? The tradition I’m about to share with you is definitely not my own. It’s a prime example of mentor moms sharing their wisdom and a piece of tradition from their own families to younger families like my own. Now, it’s my privilege to share this tradition with you!
In an age where we are constantly on the move from work to activities and responsibilities, asked to always be available, distracted by social media, and pulled in different directions all day long, let me invite you to enjoy the simplicity that is Orange Night!
Orange Night Defined
The purpose of this night is to enjoy a simple evening with your family to celebrate and kick off the season of thanks together. There is nothing magical about the color orange other than it being festive for the fall season. Unplug and enjoy celebrating the uniqueness your family unit has to offer!
Schedule Your Night
The beauty of Orange Night versus traditional holidays is that you can decide exactly what day and time works best for your family. Nights aren’t great for you? Have an orange breakfast or lunch celebration instead!
Set the Scene
Decorations can be as simple or extravagant as you like! At my house, everything is turned orange at our dinner table — table cloth, plates, cups, napkins, etc. Dollar tree or the Target Dollar Spot have lots of orange items to set your table this time of year for very little expense. You can even invite your kids to help decorate by making orange paper chains.
Plan Your Menu
I know this goes against everything your nutritionist taught you about creating a colorful plate, but for this night only, everything should be orange. Get creative with your menu and have some fun! Ideas include sloppy joes, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, clementines, stuffed orange bell peppers, or pizza with orange colored toppings. Don’t forget to turn your drinks orange (food coloring works great in your kids’ milk), and post dinner treats too!
Dress the Part
For some extra fun, ask family members to dress in as much orange head to toe as they can. See who can wear the most orange!
Have a Conversation
The most important part of the evening is your discussion. Use this time around the table to discuss what it means to be thankful. Take time to share the unique qualities you appreciate about each other and your family. You can also use this discussion to set the stage if you plan to share the things you’re thankful for in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.
Every good party has some sort of entertainment! Play a family board game, watch a movie, make s’mores by a fire, or read a book about thankfulness. Just like everything else about this night, you can make things as simple or big as you like.
I love using Amazon Music to create a playlist for my evening. Since I live in the land of toddlers, our entertainment will most likely consist of orange tub tints for bath time followed by an orange glow stick dance party before bedtime.
Don’t let the details of this night stress you out or bog you down. You don’t have to be a Pinterest guru or super creative to make this night special for your family. The key is to enjoy an intentional night together as a family! If you achieve that, then you’ve enjoyed the tradition that is Orange Night.