Thanksgiving is about being grateful for the precious gifts in your life, whether it’s friends and family, food, clothing, shelter, or being alive.
But what makes this holiday so unique isn’t the name or people but rather the activities that mark the day.
That’s right, people show their gratitude in several ways, all of which make up the Thanksgiving traditions. If you want this year’s celebrations to be memorable for you and your loved ones, here are the top traditions you should take up.
Indulge in Delicious Meals
Good food is part of every Thanksgiving holiday. And there’s no better way to enjoy Thanksgiving meals with family members than while sitting around a Thanksgiving table filled with friends or family.
If you want to prepare mouth-watering meals for your loved ones during this special day, here are the steps you should take:
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Tweak the Breakfast Menu
Breakfast is the first meal of the day your people wake up to. As such, you want to make it light so that they don’t get too full for the main meals but are different from the meals they’re used to.
If you usually have pancakes or coffee in the morning, you could bake some pumpkin pie for a change. Then, if there are leftover pies after breakfast, you can blend them to make a delicious pumpkin pie milkshake for later.
Get Creative with your Dishes
If you’ve been serving the same dishes all Thanksgiving dinners, this year’s holiday may be a good time to spice things up. While it’s customary for a fried turkey stuffed with mashed potatoes to be among the meals, including a dish (or two) can make your Thanksgiving meals more memorable. Avoid getting over-experimenting with new dishes. Instead, stick to trusted internet recipes or old recipe books handed down to you by the older generation.
Play Some Classic Thanksgiving Games
If you are spending Thanksgiving at home, games are a great way to keep your loved ones occupied during the day. Since the holiday is synonymous with American football, you could engage in a rousing pigskin match with your family. After the Thanksgiving meal, try to indulge in some old-fashioned indoor games at night? For example, you can play a game of dice, charades, or cards so everyone can participate.
Connect with Distant Loved Ones
For one reason or another, not all your loved ones can be present during your Thanksgiving ceremony. However, thanks to technology, you can share special Thanksgiving moments with distant relatives. Video calling your friends and family is one of the working Thanksgiving traditions. Considering the video call will be live streaming, distant relatives can participate in the Thanksgiving celebrations.
If in case video calls aren’t plausible, a phone call or text should suffice.
Give Back to Society
The essence of Thanksgiving recognizes the privileges you have that others might not be lucky to get. Giving back doesn’t have to involve money alone. You can donate your time and energy to worthy causes as well.
Furthermore, there’s no right or wrong way to give. For example, if you have no time to stop by the nearest shelter and volunteer to serve soup or food, you can donate a few items that could be of value to these groups. Don’t forget the needy families in your area. If you can’t share a plate, donate purchased Thanksgiving dinner meal kits for them through the local church, grocery store, or community center.
Run the Turkey Trot
If you’d like to start turkey day on a high note, consider participating in a turkey trot. Turkey trot is a half marathon organized by communities during Thanksgiving. At this annual event, you participate in a 5km run with your family and friends.
Taking pictures of each other wearing the turkey hats and t-shirts sold during the event is more enjoyable. Since this is an actual marathon, you and your loved ones could get prizes when you emerge as winners. But what matters most is that you’ll spend time together.
Watch some TV
Cozying up in front of the TV is a Thanksgiving tradition that never gets old. So, after the Thanksgiving meal, come together in the entertainment room for some good old Netflix and chill.
Because everyone has their preferred movie or series, you watch popular shows that all can relate to.
But if no one feels like watching a movie, switch to local broadcasting and watch the Macy’s day parade, which includes live performances and marching bands. The National Dog Show is also a traditional TV show that airs during Thanksgiving so dog owners can enjoy it.
Take a Walk Together after Dinner
Thanksgiving is about spending time with the ones closest to you. So, after an eventful day indoors, eating and drinking, consider taking a long walk or hiking nearby together with your friends and family.
The excursion will be a good exercise and quality time to bond with your people. In the end, you’re much better off going for walks together than watching TV and eating all day.
Dine Al Fresco
If you experience a favorable climate during this time of year, the idea of outdoor dining should be a tradition you adopt. Considering you’re all cooped up inside most of the day, you could take this time to get some crucial fresh air.
Eating under the stars or lights also creates an ambient mood that makes you appreciate life more. Thus, set up the Thanksgiving table outside and ask everyone to gather there for the final meal of the day, some fried turkey.
Make a Gratitude List
Since Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, a reasonable tradition would be making a gratitude list. Then, before or after the celebration, ask everyone to name something or someone they’re grateful for.
To make it even more interesting, you can set up a butcher cloth on the Thanksgiving table where everyone scribbles down their gratitude list. Once done, go around the table, reading aloud what each member is thankful for. You can keep this documented information as a memory for the future.
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All you have to do is ensure your content is created around these products, and everyone participates in various affiliate programs to get paid commissions on chosen products.
Send Guests Home with Leftovers
Too much leftover food can be overwhelming after a Thanksgiving ceremony. For this reason, you want to pack some of the food in containers your guests can carry. If it is possible, ask them to carry leftover containers before coming. What’s more, educate your family and friends on the different dishes they can prepare using the turkey so it becomes easier to consume it.
For instance, they can have a turkey sandwich in the morning with cranberry sauce and some turkey staffing in the evening.
Break the Wishbone
Splitting the wishbone, according to legend, gives specific privileges to the finder. For example, whoever finds and breaks the turkey wishbone during Thanksgiving gets their wish answered. So, why not make an exciting game out of the wishbone legend? Hide the bone and ask your kids to look for it; whoever finds the wishbone first gets a prize.
Rewards can be simple things, such as getting the largest share of dessert.
Go Down Memory Lane
Stories are part of every excellent Thanksgiving ceremony. And there’s no better way to tell tales than reliving fond memories about the past. So, after the Thanksgiving meal, gather everyone around to tell their past family stories. If that alone won’t work, getting some old albums with pictures will spark some interesting conversations.
Take a Vacation
If you hang around a small group of friends or family during Thanksgiving, this could be the ideal time to suggest a vacation. Thanksgiving isn’t all about being busy in the kitchen but taking the time to unwind and reconnect with your people at an exotic location.
Most Thanksgiving accommodation is pocket-friendly, so you can afford a budget for a small group of people. While on Thanksgiving vacation, book a big table so that you can all share meals and bring back that homely feeling.
Have Some Alone Time
At the dawn of Thanksgiving, before the guests arrive, you should make it a tradition to reflect on what you’re thankful about. In addition, considering you’ll be busy almost the entire day and won’t get a chance to yourself, this might be the best time to get some quiet downtime alone.
Sip on your favorite cup of coffee, do yoga, meditate, or whatever else will prepare you for the hectic day ahead.
Involve the Kids in Preparations
If you don’t want your kids bored all day, get them involved in some Thanksgiving preparations. For example, let your kids make some of the light dishes, especially the older ones. The younger kids can handle simple responsibilities like serving dessert. However, getting your kids involved during Thanksgiving is a tradition they might also transfer to their children.
Tighten Family Bonds With Thanksgiving Traditions
Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays of the year. You get to eat and drink to the fullest, appreciate what matters most, and spend time creating fond memories with friends and family. If you want to establish long-lasting Thanksgiving traditions, even for the younger generation, these ideas will greatly help.
Here are some new and trending Thanksgiving traditions for 2023
Volunteer Together: Emphasize the importance of gratitude by volunteering as a family at a local charity or food bank.
Host a Friendsgiving: Invite friends and their families for a potluck-style feast, encouraging dishes from various cultural backgrounds.
Outdoor Adventure: Plan family activities like hikes, bike rides, or nature walks to enjoy the fall weather.
Cultural Exploration: Explore different cultures by preparing meals inspired by various countries and learning about their traditions.
Crafty Creations: Engage in arts and crafts, such as making handmade greeting cards, holiday ornaments, or unique table centerpieces.
Cooking Challenge: Host a family cooking competition, with each member responsible for a different course.
Gratitude Scavenger Hunt: Create a scavenger hunt based on things you’re grateful for, encouraging mindfulness and appreciation.
Movie Marathon: Dedicate a day to watching Thanksgiving-themed movies and shows.
Family Game Day: Organize a tournament with a mix of classic and new board games.
DIY Home Decor: Make your own holiday decorations, like wreaths, painted pumpkins, or custom tablecloths
These traditions offer a mix of community service, cultural appreciation, outdoor activities, and creative family bonding, making them ideal for a contemporary Thanksgiving celebration.
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