Jill Duggar Dillard Plans to Spend Thanksgiving with Husband Derick Dillard and His Family
Thanksgiving is one of Jill (Duggar) Dillard's favorite holidays, and this year, the former Counting On star says she’s looking forward to spending it with her in-laws.
"We will be hosting Thanksgiving with some of Derick's family [members] since they won't be traveling this year, and maybe one other international family," Jill, 29, tells PEOPLE. "We are trying to keep our numbers low — under 10 people like our state recommends — due to COVID-19."
While they may be scaling down their celebration, Jill says the holiday has always been extra special to her and her husband of six years, Derick Dillard, because of the unique place it holds in their relationship history.
"Thanksgiving was the first holiday we spent together as a couple. And it was spent in Nepal!" says Jill, who traveled with her father Jim Bob Duggar to meet Derick, 31, for the first time back in 2013 during their courtship. At the time, Derick was living in Nepal doing missionary work after college.
"We made mashed potatoes together and took them to contribute to the Thanksgiving potluck with some other American families," recalls Jill.
The couple, who have also completed missionary work together in Central America, wed in Arkansas in 2014. They've since welcomed sons Israel, 5, and Samuel, 3.
"Over the past seven years, we've spent Thanksgiving in a lot of places and three different countries," Jill says. "But even when we are at home in the United States, we try to include our international friends, especially since Thanksgiving is an American holiday and a fun way to give them a glimpse into how we celebrate."
As for their traditions, "We usually wake up to the smell of the turkey in the oven and enjoy a late breakfast while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade," she says. "Then we get everything prepared for the big meal at 1 p.m. with family and friends. The last couple of years, we've hosted a 'Friendsgiving' and then had another Thanksgiving with Derick's family on the weekend."
Their menu will include holiday favorites like "turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, green bean casserole, rolls, pumpkin pie, and apple pie," and they always enjoy a special item: Sausage balls.
"Derick's mom always makes them," Jill says. "And he grew up enjoying them every Thanksgiving morning."
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