While most people associate holiday traditions with Christmas, Thanksgiving traditions for families can be just as wonderful. Thanksgiving traditions can bring your family together in new ways and also help you reach out to those in need during this special time. In fact, the best Thanksgiving traditions are sometimes the simplest.
Here are some simple ways to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with joy and gratitude including ideas for traditions for Thanksgiving Eve, crafts, books, and more.
Thanksgiving Eve Dinner Ideas
Most families have special foods that they serve on Thanksgiving. But what about having a special meal each year on Thanksgiving Eve? Since most of the time people are busy with final preparations, make it something easy.
There are lots of Thanksgiving Eve dinner ideas. Carryout? Chinese? Pizza? Or maybe do a finger food buffet where each member of the family requests a favorite easy finger food and this becomes the meal.
Thanksgiving Year Round
Choose a special box, jar or tin to be the Thanksgiving Box. Each week have each family member write on a slip of paper something for which they are thankful that week as well as their name. Each slip gets deposited into the Thanksgiving Box without being shared with anyone else.
Beginning the week before Thanksgiving, remove several slips each day and read them aloud. If the author wishes to share more about what motivated the slip, allow time for stories to be shared.
Set up a table or workspace where your children can do special Thanksgiving crafts for the week or so before Thanksgiving. Make the goal to create special items that can be shared with the elderly, shut-ins, or someone who is far away from family during the holiday. Deliver the craft and a small food gift on the day before Thanksgiving.
Share Thanksgiving Traditions with Others
Many people either do not have family with whom they can share the holiday or they live too far away to gather with their loved ones. This might include singles, college students far from home, international students, or widows/widowers. Consider inviting a few such people to share the bounty at your Thanksgiving celebration.
Invite them to join your family for a meal and informal time spent playing board games, doing puzzles, telling stories, singing, or just hanging out together. Sharing your fun family Thanksgiving traditions with others may make them even more meaningful!
Thanksgiving Traditions Remembered
Each year, prepare a page in a scrapbook for each member of the family. Include a few pictures from the previous twelve months and leave room for each person to add their own Thanksgiving thoughts. If your family keeps a Thanksgiving Box, the slips of paper in there can be very helpful in deciding what to write on the page. Over the years you will collect a wonderful collection of memories!
Put all of your Thanksgiving books in a basket and place it in a cozy corner along with some comfy blankets.
If you really want to make it cozy, set up their own little cottage where they can snuggle and read (and stay out of your way while you are cooking!).
Friday Family Ideas
Instead of joining the millions of other people out frantically searching for a bargain the day after Thanksgiving, stay home and make it a yearly Family Friday. Establish a tradition of eating Mexican, pizza, or something else completely different from the Thanksgiving meal. (The leftovers will keep until Saturday!)
Turn off the devices. Wear comfy clothes, play games, watch a movie together, and just generally enjoy being a family. Rather than rush off from Thanksgiving, extend the holiday and spend it truly enjoying one of the things for which you are most thankful – your family.
Craft Ideas to Enjoy
If you are short of time or just want something fun to do, check out these Thanksgiving crafts.