While most people associate holiday traditions with Christmas, family traditions at Thanksgiving 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. These ideas include Thanksgiving traditions 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.
Thankful All Year – Thanksgiving Box
Choose a special box, jar, or tin to be the Thanksgiving Box. Every 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 is 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.
Thanksgiving Craft Corner
Set up a table or workspace where your children can do special Thanksgiving crafts for the week or two 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 favorite 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.
Thanksgiving Book Nook
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 and special for your children or grandchildren, set up their own little cottage where they can snuggle and read (and stay out of your way while you are cooking!).
Family Friday 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.
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