Sometimes it can seem like Thanksgiving is all about eating. But if you’re looking for fun Thanksgiving traditions that will enrich your holiday experience and bring the family together--and that don’t involve having to unbutton your pants to sit down--look no further.
Give thanks. An obvious Thanksgiving family tradition involves giving thanks. Play the gratitude game. Go around the table one by one and have each family member or guest express one thing for which they are grateful. The gratitude game can accommodate shy guests by allowing them to write down what they’re grateful for.
Give thankfully. It’s one thing to express thanks to family members through words. It’s an even more enriching experience to express thanks by giving to those who are less fortunate. Opportunities abound around Thanksgiving for delivering food to the needy, volunteering at a local food bank, or making a donation to a charity. Try to get the whole family to agree on a volunteer activity and make a day of it. Doing so will bring lifelong benefits to the entire family.
Make crafts. Young kids love making crafts. Organize a family holiday craft day and hold it on the same day every year. Younger kids can begin with the traditional hand-traced turkey on construction paper and advance to turkey pins, bread baskets, or more complex turkey designs. A really fun craft tradition for the entire family is to make a Thanksgiving scrapbook. Instruct each member of the family to list five things they’re grateful for and put it in a scrapbook. Add to the scrapbook each year and leave it out to look at afterwards. Other craft ideas that make great traditions include making a special Thanksgiving tablecloth by providing fabric paints or markers for guests to write things they are grateful for. If you’re not the Thanksgiving host, show your appreciation by making a gift for the person cooking this year.
Celebrate the family. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving can be stressful for parents and grandparents, especially if they’re cooking the meal. Family time, as a result, sometimes goes by the wayside. The day after Thanksgiving, designated unofficially as family day in many communities, should be just that. Start a day-after-Thanksgiving tradition by taking the entire family to the park, a movie, or a skating rink.
Establishing traditions helps unite families. And that’s something you’ll always be thankful for.