There are certain traditions we all recognize for Thanksgiving…football, turkey, pumpkin pie and the Macy’s Day Parade are staples. Thanksgiving should be made up of customs that you will remember forever. Passing down family traditions to your children and sharing them with a table full of friends and family is pure joy. If you are looking for new ways to incorporate some unique family traditions, we’ve provided a few!
Have a Special Breakfast
Everyone knows that Thanksgiving belongs to the turkey, but why not start a new tradition that includes a special breakfast as well? Most mornings are hectic and rushed…leaving little time for an old-fashioned family breakfast. Start Thanksgiving morning off with a relaxed meal of family favorites that is sure to set the scene for plenty of gratitude. Hot, fresh pumpkin bread, pancakes and maple syrup or homemade biscuits with country sausage gravy…what a perfect way start the holiday!
Pass Around a Gratitude Journal
Begin with a beautiful blank journal that your family can use for years to come. Then, before the turkey is served, pass the journal around the table and ask all of the guests to write at least one thing they are thankful for. An adult can record for children that are too young to write. Over the years, the journal will become filled with cherished comments and memories. It’s fun to reflect on these messages at Thanksgiving celebrations and see how your family’s gratitude reflections have changed over time.
Create a Thankful Tree
Place bundles of curly willow in a sturdy, tall vase. Spread out the branches to allow for plenty of room to hang the leaves. Buy or cutout a mix of paper leaves in fall hues of orange, red, yellow and brown. Using a hole punch, make a hole at the base of each leaf. Give each guest a leaf and pen to write what they are thankful for. Once they are finished with their gratitude message, have them tie their leaf to the branch with 3” strips of gold, white or black baker’s twine. Before sitting down for your Thanksgiving meal, invite your family guests to read and enjoy the notes of gratitude. Keeping the leaves year to year will help your family remember how many blessings they have in their lives.
Have a Table Toast
Sometimes, in the stress of preparing the meal and readying the house for family and guests, the most important part of Thanksgiving is forgotten…being thankful! If passing around a journal seems too formal or the Thankful Tree doesn’t seem to fit with your family, try a roundtable toast. Have each guest raise their glass – even if it’s a sippy cup – and make a toast for what they’re thankful for. It’s a great way to start Thanksgiving dinner and share some laughs and appreciation with those you love most.
Kick Off the Holiday Season
This year, Thanksgiving is very late in the month. So, instead of fighting the urge to delay the Christmas season, embrace it! Buy matching Christmas pajamas for all the kids – adults too if you want – and wrap them up in Christmas paper. After your last bite of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving evening, let the kids unwrap their first Christmas gift of the season. Your family will enjoy a special night of togetherness while in your matching pajamas watching your favorite holiday movie.