Every Thanksgiving dinner has its essentials… Roasted turkey, buttery mashed potatoes, savory vegetables, pies and of course, Family and Friends to share in the meal.
Two of my absolute favorite things about the holiday season are time with Family and the traditions that we practice together. Some families have numerous traditions that have been passed down for years, while others are looking to create some new traditions of their own. In my opinion, you can never have too many traditions! As long as they are enjoyable and there isn’t a “have to” attitude, as far as I am concerned – the more the merrier!
Here are 10 Thanksgiving Traditions to try with your Family and Friends this year!
- Create a Gratitude Tree – Make your own Gratitude Tree that doubles as a Thanksgiving decoration and a visual reminder of what you’re grateful for. You can either draw a tree trunk with branches on a piece of paper, purchase a small fake tree, or grab some branches from outdoors to create your own! Once you have your tree, cut out “leaves” from colorful paper. Pass the leaves out to family members and have everyone write down things that they are most thankful for. Pin or tie the leaves to your tree to complete your Thanksgiving Gratitude tree!
- Bake Pies – Growing up, my Mema (grandmother) started a special tradition for her grandchildren. She would pick all of us up from school on the day before Thanksgiving (we would have a half day) and bring us to her house. Our entire afternoon would consist of baking pies, from scratch, to bring to Thanksgiving dinner! As time has passed and we have all grown, we continue to bake pies for the holiday, even if we are not all together. My heart warms every time that I think about those sweet Wednesday’s before Thanksgiving.
- Give Back – While we reflect on the things that we are thankful for in our own lives, it is important to also think about how we can improve the lives of those who are less fortunate than us. Some ways that we can do that are by dedicating our time and energy to organizations or by collecting monetary donations for charities.
- Write out Thanksgiving Cards – A Thanksgiving card or note is the perfect way to let people know that you are thinking of them and how grateful you are that they are a part of your life. In a world of email, texts and immediate response, sometimes it is nice to open a thoughtful message delivered in an envelope.
- Run a Turkey Trot – Running a Turkey Trot is the perfect way to get your blood pumping and work up a hunger before the holiday feast! Grab some friends, lace up your sneakers and hit the trail before the temps get too chilly for outdoor exercise.
- Take an after-dinner stroll – If running a race on Thanksgiving Day isn’t particularly your style, try a swift stroll between dinner and dessert.
- Speak Thankfulness – Before Thanksgiving dinner, have a family member or friend say “grace” then go around the table and have everyone name at least three things that they are most grateful for this year.
- Watch TV and Chill – Put on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or a Football game (GO NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS!) and relax with a cozy blanket while dinner is cooking.
- Game Night – After dessert and clean up, unwind before Black Friday Shopping by playing some fun games! Try some oldies but goodies like Scrabble, Monopoly, Charades or Pictionary.
- Decorate for Christmas – Many people consider the day after Thanksgiving to be the “official” start of the Christmas/Holiday season, so why not make it a tradition to put up the Christmas tree and holiday decorations following Thanksgiving dinner? Family and friends will be around to help deck the halls and create cherished memories! A+!