Football and lunch on the Friday after Thanksgiving has become a tradition that I look forward to almost as much as dinner the night before.

The day starts in my parents’ backyard with a big, rowdy football game with friends and family. The game is hands down the highlight of the weekend for my boys, and it seems to get bigger every year now that they invite their own friends too. Afterwards, we head to my parents’ barn for lunch. All of the Thanksgiving leftovers and fresh loaves of bread are set out so people can make their ultimate turkey sandwich. We always include a few fall favorites too— pumpkin soup, warm cider with cinnamon sticks, mulled wine, and apple donuts. Lunch takes place at a long table lined with tons of vintage, wooden chairs we’ve pulled from every corner of the house. We always make sure to have plenty of seating for the extra guest, or three. I love that people stop by all day and I can catch up with old friends. While it is wonderful to have the traditional more formal Thanksgiving dinner, I like how relaxed and laid back Friday is. The cooking is done, everyone is in jeans, and it is all about having fun.