Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks, but around that day of thanks we tend to create a lot of traditions, from football games to roasting a delicious turkey. Make some new traditions this year with your family with these five ideas.
Plan a Volunteer Project
Prior to turkey day, pick out a charity that you and your family could help. This could take a lot of forms; it could be time spent serving dinner in a soup kitchen, or perhaps working with Habitat for Humanity building a house for a deserving family. The family can also head to a local Vet Center, where you can spend time with veterans, thank them for their service, and hear their stories. Not only will you be doing good and spreading kindness, but you’ll be spending time together as a family.
Create Unique Centerpieces
Make your decorations and centerpieces totally unique this year by crafting something related to the holidays and the season. While you can always draw inspiration from Pinterest, one cute idea is to use Oreos, candy corn, and peanut butter cups to build edible turkeys. Alternatively, get all the guests involved by making a center piece before they arrive—made with branches in a vase—and then having guests write what they’re thankful on construction paper leaves and attaching it to the branches.
Thanksgiving is a day of feasting, and as such, there are always a lot of dishes out on the table. Rather than roasting your turkey this year, consider grilling or deep frying it. Your creativity can even extend to the appetizers, like a salmon pate, and side dishes, such as caramelized onion mashed potatoes. While Thanksgiving may not seem complete without pumpkin pie, consider making a pumpkin cake or pumpkin ice cream! Your family can decide what new dishes they like best and want to be added to the menu every year.
Reminisce Over the Past Year
While this seems like it may be more appropriate for New Year’s, since Thanksgiving is a time of thanks, the holiday is a great time to reflect on what blessings the past year has brought, especially since the whole family is more likely to be together at this time. One way to do this is to create a photo book that you can pass around to the entire family to write in alongside the photos. This is also a great after-dinner activity that can bring out some of the favorite and most memorable stories of the year—and with the book, you’ll never forget them!
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Chilly weather may have descended on your part of the country, but there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors. Start the day with a family turkey trot or 5K organized by your town. Alternatively, after dinner, you can get your blood moving and work off that turkey by heading out for a hike in the woods, if you’re in a more rural area, or taking a stroll around the block in the city.
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not blogging about food, she’s working part-time at a culinary vacation company, The International Kitchen, based in the Windy City, as well as repping Younique cosmetics and skincare products.