When it comes to most holidays, including Thanksgiving, it’s typically the same course of events each year. Wake up early, cook, possibly travel, eat, nap, and then indulge in more food. This Thanksgiving, try something new and start a new tradition. They don’t have to be boring or time consuming like people may think; these ideas are fun, easy, and family-friendly!
9 New Thanksgiving Traditions to Start
1. Recipe Swap: This will be easy and fun, especially if you’re hosting as a potluck. If you are, ask your guests to bring the recipe for the dish they shared. If it isn’t a potluck, ask them to bring any of their favorite recipes. This will give your guests something to talk about aside from the weather and the game on T.V.
2. Hold a Raffle: Ask each guest to bring a nonperishable food item to donate to a food pantry; each item gives them an entry into the raffle. Have fun with the prizes, first choice at the turkey or dessert, rights to the wishbone, goofy sunglasses or toys from a dollar store – the sky’s the limits, use your imagination!
3. Guess the Thanks: Each year people tend to go around the table and share what they are thankful for that year. Instead, have your guests write down on a piece of paper what they are thankful for and put it in a jar. When it’s time to eat, you will each read a submission and take turns guessing the anonymous submission.
4. Hand-Me-Down Exchange: Holidays are a perfect time to clean out the closet, especially if there are kids in your home. Encourage your guests to bring any items they are no longer wearing, winter coats, boots, shirts, you name it! Chances are one of your friends or loved one could use the item, or knows someone who’s in need!
5. Ditch the Football: Okay, maybe not entirely, but keep in mind not everyone wants to watch football for six hours. Instead, add in some classic T.V. sitcoms – especially any that have Thanksgiving episodes.
6. Those Who Cook Don’t Clean: If you cooked, kick your feet up after the feast is over; those who didn’t cook will do the cleaning! This can be viewed as more of a principal than a tradition, call it what you will, it is something that should be adopted in each household.
7. Pre-Dessert Walk: Something so simple, we almost didn’t think of it. Rather than crashing on the couch and recliner, get everyone up and moving. Go for a walk in the park or down a peaceful road before having dessert.
8. Bring a Game: Chances are, if your family plays a game – they play it every time they’re together. There’s nothing wrong with playing the same game, but, it’s fun to mix things up and try something new. Introduce your friends and family to a game they haven’t played before, you never know, it could become a new favorite.
9. Book Swap: Don’t think of this as a book club, simply a swap. Guests can bring a book (or two, or three) and pass them along to one another so that others can enjoy their favorites. This will help give your guests something to talk about and perhaps introduce them to an author they wouldn’t normally read. It will also help kids become comfortable if they aren’t as rowdy as some of the other young ones.