Thanksgiving is a great time to catch up with family, indulge in lots of yummy food, and acknowledge all we are thankful for. However, it can be easy to overlook the significance of Thanksgiving. Before we get consumed by the whirlwind of the holiday season, can we take hold of the moment and be intentional about connecting with others to make Thanksgiving even more meaningful?
Here are 10 Thanksgiving traditions that are sure to bring joy to your family and be memorable for years to come:
1. Create a Thankfulness Jar
Pull out the art supplies and have the kids decorate a jar. Designate a spot in your home for the jar, paper scraps, and a pen. In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, have your family write something they’re thankful for that day, and drop it into the jar. During dinner, dump out the jar and look back on all the blessings! Hold onto the jar as a keepsake to use year after year!
2. Get Out & Support Your Community
Ask each family member to bring canned goods, diapers, hygiene products, and other supplies to dinner to be brought to a local organization.
3. Compete to Bake the Best Pie
Pumpkin, apple, sweet potato- you name it. Have a pie bake-off and put the kids in charge of voting for the best pie of the evening. Have a special prize ready for the winner!
4. Make Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments
Feeling crafty? Try these DIY Christmas ornaments, only applesauce and cinnamon are required. Bake them in advance and set up a station for the kids to decorate while waiting for dinner. Or bake them right before dinner for a warm and inviting scent in the house.
5. Start a Family Secret Santa
Get into the spirit of giving by writing and drawing names out of a hat! The name you draw is who you’ll be getting a Christmas gift for. No telling, it’s a surprise! Take the strain off everyone’s budget and agree as an extended family to only purchase a gift for their drawn name. Kids will be excited to choose a special present for their relatives.
6. Bring a Meal or Dessert to Hospital Workers of First Responders
Give to those that are sacrificing time with family to care for others. Call ahead and ask if the hospital will accept meal donations. Kids can write and color cards to drop off with the meal. This is a great opportunity to teach kids the importance of showing appreciation with action and words.
7. Start a Pick-Up Football Game
Bring the family outside, invite your friends & neighbors, and start an annual Turkey Bowl pick-up football game. If football’s not your thing, have a cornhole or ladder ball tournament!
8. Have a Non-Traditional Meal
Who says you must have turkey and stuffing? Switch it up this year and have tacos, pizza, sushi, or whatever your heart desires! Pick a theme and run with it. If your relatives insist on keeping it traditional, there’s always Friendsgiving.
9. Take a Family Walk
Bundle up and take a walk around the neighborhood or your local park. Take the opportunity to connect with your neighbors by leaving a special treat like cookies or a card on their porch to let them know you’re thinking of them.
10. Write Thank-You Notes as a Family
Take some time to write a note to thank someone who has impacted you over the last year. This could be a friend, a teacher, or a coach. Have everyone in the family put theirs in the mailbox at the same time for the notes to arrive just before Thanksgiving.
No matter what new tradition you try out this year, your family will remember and appreciate the intentional time spent together as you reflect on all you’re thankful for.
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