15 Thanksgiving Traditions Your Family & Friends Will Love
When it comes to Thanksgiving there are a few essentials: family, friends and food.
Over the years my family has developed a few traditions. We rotate hosting duties between relatives' homes to break up the work of cooking and entertaining a large number of people. Each family also brings a couple dishes, and we've kept the "kids table" going (even though we're all adults now - some married with their own kids).
Even with existing traditions, it's never too late to find ways to make the holiday even more special and memorable. Thanksgiving is at my family's house this year and I've been thinking of some new traditions we could add to the day.
Below I've put together a list of 15 of my favorite Thanksgiving tradition ideas I've seen around the internet. Whether you're celebrating with friends, family or just as a couple, I hope it inspires you to add something new as well.
1. GRATITUDE GUEST BOOK
Similar to a wedding guest book, start one for Thanksgiving and have each guest write down something they're particularly grateful for that year. Eventually it'll be an archive to look back on full of great memories.
2. PIE FOR BREAKFAST
In my family it's an ongoing tradition to have a piece of pumpkin pie with coffee the next day, but why wait?! Why not start Thanksgiving Day with a slice?
3. SET UP A BLOODY MARY OR MICHELADA BAR
How nice would it be for guests (and you!) to have a bloody mary or michelada bar set up, while dinner is being prepared? Everyone can make their own. For a bloody bar think: celery, bacon, cornichons, shrimp, fresh dill, pimento or blue cheese stuffed olives, lemon wedges and pickles. For a michelada bar you could include: Clamato Tomato Juice, worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, tajin seasoning, limes, lemons, Mexican lager beer.
4. GO FOR A POST DINNER WALK
Between dinner and dessert it could be a good time to grab a warm drink and take a walk around the neighborhood, look at the holidays decorations and enjoy each others company.
5. TAKE A GROUP PHOTO
This one seems simple, but I know my family has never taken one with all of us. Gather everyone together and make it a tradition to capture the group every year.
6. BREAK THE WISHBONE
Before dinner, hide the wishbone around the house. After dinner, pair the kids in groups of two and have them search for it. The team that finds it gets to break the wishbone and be first in line for dessert.
7. HOST A PIE COMPETITION
If you have a family with people who love to bake, host a friendly pie competition. Most bakers have a pie recipe they swear by, so why not put them all to the test? And everybody wins.
8. COLLECT CANNED GOODS OR VOLUNTEER
I don't know about you, but every year the family is all together I feel more lucky for all the abundance in our lives. It's a great time to let guests know they can bring canned goods for donation or organize somewhere you can volunteer and send out an invite.
9. MAKE PERSONALIZED PLACE CARDS
This one is very sweet. Before Thanksgiving send around a guest list and ask everybody to share one thing they love or respect about each guest. Compile the list on a place card with each guest's name and they'll have a heartwarming list of anonymous appreciation to sit down to.
10. WATCH A CLASSIC HOLIDAY MOVIE
After all the festivities most of us just feel like laying around. Why not put on a holiday movie. You could go with the same one every year, or pick a title out of a hat.
11. CREATE A BEAUTIFUL CENTERPIECE
Tablescapes are always a big part of celebrating the day. Why not create a new centerpiece each year? Try to make them a height where you can still have conversations across the table, and don't overlook hanging something from above.
12. HAVE A POLAROID CAMERA SET OUT
I've been to a few weddings where the couple set out a polaroid camera (and lots of extra film) by the guest book so everyone can take a photo and write a note. This would work just as well for Thanksgiving.
13. CREATE A FESTIVE ENTRYWAY
Whether you feel like decorating for Thanksgiving or the upcoming holidays, welcome guests with a festive entryway. If you're going for fall vibes you could include pumpkins, lanterns, a wreath and some potted plants like rosemary.
14. SET UP A CRAFT FOR THE KIDS
Kids are a huge part of what makes the holidays more fun, but it's also so nice for the parents to be able to relax for a bit and catch up with family and friends. A solution they'll love you for is having a table set up with Thanksgiving coloring sheets, beads for gratitude bracelets or turkey crafts. A google search will give you plenty of ideas.
15. HAVE A FAMILY GAME NIGHT
Game nights are always a good time and this is one way to keep the family together after the big meal. Board games, card games or a version of charades are fun for everyone.
Do you have any family traditions you love? Please share and I'll post them on Instagram.