6 Thanksgiving Traditions to Start This Year


Are you looking for a new tradition to start with your family this Thanksgiving? Here are 6 Thanksgiving traditions to start this year. Choose one or two or all of these ideas to start implementing with your crew to celebrate the togetherness, gratitude, and giving spirit of the holidays.

Gratitude Jar
Start the first day of November. Gather a jar, some writing utensils, and small slices of paper. Decorate the jar if you want. Place all the supplies in a prominent place in the house where everyone will see it and be reminded to use them. Ask each family member to write at least one thing they are thankful for on a piece of paper and place it in the jar every day until Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving Day gather the tribe together and have fun trying to match each slip of thankfulness paper to the author. This is a great way to reflect on events of the month and be reminded of all there is to be thankful for.

Cooking Teams
Take the pressure off Mom and make Turkey Day prep fun by dividing family members into cooking teams. You can assign teams based on specific dishes or general categories like appetizers, veggies, deserts, etc. If you’ve got a really competitive group set up an anonymous voting system to determine a winning team. Maybe even get some sort of relic to be a trophy that is passed around annually.

Name Draw Seating Chart
Ditch the kiddie table and mix it up. Put everybody’s name in a hat. Start with the person that usually sits at the head of the table and have them pull a name out of the hat. The person with the drawn name sits to the left of the head and pulls another name to see who will be their tablemate. If you’re having a huge dinner with lots of extended family or friends of friends this is a great way to mingle over dinner.

Find a way to get involved in your community by volunteering as a family. Many communities serve Thanksgiving dinner in soup kitchens, deliver turkey and dressing to the elderly, or host food drives in the weeks leading up to the holiday. Do a little research about these kinds of events in your area and get your whole family involved.

Soup Kitchen Scene from Dear Santa

Parade Judging
Use paper plates, wooden craft sticks, and markers to create your own Dancing with the Stars style scoring system. As you watch the Macy’s parade judge each performance and float with the numbers. This is a fun way to make an activity that might already be a tradition for your family more interactive.

Invite New Guests
Do you know some folks who have just moved to the area? What about international college students that will be stuck on campus for Thanksgiving? Seek out people that don’t have Thanksgiving plans and invite them to dine with you. Sharing your home and hospitality with new faces is a fun way to celebrate Thanksgiving every year.