From Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Years, the weeks blur by. Family gatherings, shopping, decorating, and devouring great foods, becomes the priority for the next several weeks. I’d like to slow down a little and think of the family traditions we have in place and really savor them this year. With my Grandma’s recent passing, my sister and I spent several hours reminiscing on the good times. We came up with Thanksgiving tradition ideas to share with you, and hope you never let one slip by.
Thanksgiving Tradition Ideas
#1 – Giving thanks. Sit down with your family and write a list of what you are thankful for this year. I really like the idea of the Thanksgiving word cloud (shown below). Or you can cut leaf shapes out of a variety of fall colored paper and hang them on branches or on a poster board to create a Thankful tree. Check out this creative Thankful Tree using wooden chalkboard tags.
#2 – As the days lead up to Thanksgiving, you can involve the whole family in your planning. Let each person pick their favorite dish and help create a special menu.
#3 – Participate in a food drive and teach your kids the importance of giving.
#4 – Teach your kids how to make one of Grandma’s pie recipes that one day they can teach their kids. I remember making apple pies with my Grandma and it’s a memory I will cherish forever.
On Thanksgiving day, there are many ideas that come to mind for starting as traditions:
#5 – Set the table together. Incorporate fun decor elements that allow each person to participate. Check out this very awesome table runner made with kids handprints to paint turkeys, and each year you add more turkeys!
#6 – Many cities host fun runs and charity runs in the early morning of Thanksgiving day. The whole family can make it a yearly event.
#7 – Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade. I loved doing this as a kid and it’s been years since I’ve actually watched this. Can you believe it’s been running strong now for 88 years?! While my memory seems to fade as I get older, one thing I remember is the excitement over watching the extravagant floats and the gigantic balloons. Check your local listings to find the time you can watch it with your family.
#8 – Play a game of powderpuff football before relaxing in front of the TV to watch the NFL. Don’t know how to play? Here is a great introduction to the rules of powderpuff football. Not up for that much exercise? Play a board game or a card game. There’s nothing better than a little family competition to get the laughter rolling.
Traditions don’t have to stop just because dinner is over. Here are a few more ideas:
#9 – I’m sure everyone stuffed themselves silly with food. It’s time to either walk it off or snore it off. 🙂
#10 – Save the wishbone to break together as a family. Everyone makes a wish.
#11 – Let the men do the dishes! Most often, it’s the women in the family that find themselves behind the apron all day. In my Grandma’s house, the men always did the dishes while the ladies relaxed after dinner with a drink of their choice.
#12 – Use the turkey bones to make turkey soup. I still don’t have this one down, and I wish I had learned this from my mother.
#13 – Dare I say go shopping on Black Friday? I’m not sure if I wanted to include this item. But I know my friend Kerry takes Black Friday very seriously as a family tradition. They plan the day together and they have fun waking up early, getting hot chocolate and getting their Christmas shopping done.
#14 – Last but not least, our Christmas tree goes up after Thanksgiving day. I just love getting the tree up and having the festive music on while we turn our house into a little bit of magic.
Remember that the holidays don’t have to speed by. You can slow them down! Take a bit of time to continue or start new family traditions. Good memories will be created for everyone.