Holiday traditions in your family can be passed down from generation to generation. Starting a new tradition can be fun and exciting, taking you out of the normal routines of a typical Holiday. Here are 9 Thanksgiving traditions that you can start in your family this year.
1. Examples of Gratitude: Instead of each person telling what they are grateful for, ask each family member or guest to bring 3 things that they are grateful for. You will probably get a cell phone and an iPod, but sometimes it is a homemade item or sentimental item a person possesses that they are most grateful for.
2. Trim the Turkey, then the Tree: After the dessert is gone and the dishes are put away, set the family down at the table and create homemade Christmas tree ornaments. A nice family tradition that keeps everyone talking about which family member created each ornament year after year.
3. Leaf it to your Loved Ones: Make Thanksgiving cards for family members to far away to come. Start by going on a leaf-collecting hike. Make sure to get leaves fresh off the tree (dry leaves will only crumble). Then take your collection back home and start the card making process. Fold a piece of paper (any color) in half. Place the leaf, vein side up, in-between the folded sheet of paper. Then, rub a crayon or a colored pencil over the leaves to create the design of the leaf. Then remove the leave and finish decorating your card.
4. Cook a Beloved Family Recipe for the Feast: Find a recipe that has been in the family for years (it doesn’t need to be a Thanksgiving inspired recipe) and cook/bake it for Thanksgiving. Make sure to make the same recipe each year to continue the tradition. If you don’t have a recipe, find one on the Internet and make it apart of your family.
5. Make a Gratitude List to Display and Save: Throughout the month of November, have each family member write something they are thankful for each day (set up the chart where everyone can see it each day). On Thanksgiving day, let each family member read what they were thankful for during the month.
6. Call Faraway Relatives: Sometimes family is just too far away to come for Thanksgiving. Make sure during Thanksgiving day that you call your relatives with everyone standing by to join in the conversation. You can also use Skype to talk face-to-face with your relatives.
7. Add Handprints or Notes to a Keepsake Tablecloth: Either buy or make a tablecloth that can be written on. Let each family member and guest write Thanksgiving notes and special messages on the tablecloth (make sure to put the year on each message). Continue to use the tablecloth each year, writing new messages on it.
8. Play a Family Football Game: Before eating your grand feast, play a friendly game of touch football. Make sure to divide the teams up evenly with kids and adults and make sure to have prize for the winners. The prize can be as simple as having the winners be the first in line for dinner.
9. Start Decorating for Christmas the Day After Thanksgiving: After doing your early morning shopping, get the family together and set up the Christmas tree.
Do you have a special Thanksgiving tradition you do with your family and guests? Share it by posting a comment below.
Looking for games to play during Thanksgiving, read our blog post, “Thanksgiving Day Games for the Whole Family.”