We all want some Unique Thanksgiving Traditions that we can adopt. Thanksgiving celebrations all but require the same items: a roast turkey with stuffing (or dressing, depending on the country you originate from), mashed potatoes with gravy, pumpkin pie with whipped cream for dessert, and plenty of supporting Thanksgiving side dishes. You probably have at least a few holiday traditions that are truly unique to your family, if you’re like mine.
Thanksgiving is one of the few times during the year when we can gather with our families and our chosen families to share a fabulous meal, give thanks for our blessings, and enjoy each other’s company. Every year, families and groups of friends create their own special Thanksgiving traditions they carry out every year on Thanksgiving. These can be goofy or touching, culinary or crafty, athletic or relaxing – and they typically require little or no additional materials, other than everyone’s enthusiasm. Here are few Unique Thanksgiving Traditions that make the Good Housekeeping staff and a few friends’ holidays special. Choose a few of them to incorporate into your holiday celebration.
1. Describe what you’re thankful for.
Thanksgiving can be so fun and frenetic that we tend to forget the very heart of the holiday: gratitude. Give each guest a black sharpie and, before getting to eating, ask them to write what they’re thankful for on a butcher paper cloth spread over the table. Save the sheets so you can look back on them fondly.
2. Create a craft
The kids and the kids-at-heart can have just as much fun making Thanksgiving crafts. While the cooks are preparing the meal or cleaning up, you can make a seasonal activity to keep the children occupied. This can also be a good time to unplug.
3. A Christmas ornament exchange
Thanksgiving kicks off the festive season if you also celebrate Christmas. Invite your guests to bring ornaments to exchange. It’s even common for families to ask for handmade gifts, so you can hang a little memento of everyone on your tree.
4. A visit to the tree farm
Kick-off the holiday season with a trip to a nearby Christmas tree farm after Thanksgiving dinner. If you cut down your tree yourself, bonus points!
5. Organize a Friendsgiving
Host a Friendsgiving feast for your closest friends on Thanksgiving Day or another time during November. “There are friends, and there are families, and then there are friends who become families.”
6. Start Your Day With a Big Breakfast
You may want to start the day with a big breakfast if your Thanksgiving dinner is a little later in the day. Families serve mimosas and Bloody Mary fixings to kick off the festivities, while others set out bagels and pastries for snacking while preparing. You may be more of a quiche and egg casserole person. There’s a reason breakfast is the most important meal of the day, no matter what your personality is.
7. Stay in touch with family members who live far away.
Could this be one of the few upsides to last year’s downtime? There are more ways than ever to stay in touch with your loved ones, no matter how far they are from you. Let those who cannot attend your gathering join in on the festivities virtually this year. You can arrange a virtual happy hour or video call before, after, or even during your meal with those who cannot attend, so they will feel like they are there.
8. Make your place cards.
Send guests a guest list and ask them to mention one thing they love or respect about each other before the big day. Compile the compliments on place cards with each guest’s name, so they can discover a heartwarming list of anonymous appreciation.
9. With a twist, break the wishbone!
While everyone is eating, set aside the wishbone after you carve the turkey. To decide who will break the dish, draw names after you finish the dishes. Legend has it the winner will have their wish come true in the upcoming year. As a fun twist, let the winner eat dessert first!
10. Create a beautiful centerpiece.
In the world of Thanksgiving hosts, there are few things worse than having too many cooks in the kitchen. To keep your guests entertained while you finish preparing the big feast, ask them to decorate the table with a stunning centerpiece. In either case, you can either set up everything your guests will need-tiny pumpkins, wispy branches, multicolored gourds, scented pinecones, a few fallen leaves-or you can send them out to gather their seasonal supplies.