Fun Traditions for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is full of traditions, some new and quirky and some time-honored.  Here is a round-up of ideas for both!

Add a New Side Dish for SmilesThanksgiving veggie tray

Having a big meal with a roasted turkey as the centerpiece is a tradition to that many of us enjoy.  In addition to mashed potatoes, rolls, pumpkin pie and other side dishes, why not add something new, like a turkey-shaped side made out of fruit or veggies.

Entertain with Games and Puzzles

Spending time with family, some of whom you haven’t been around for months or even years, can be challenging.  What to talk about? How to connect?  Try a rousing board game, pitting the men against the women, or the first generation against the second generation.  You will quickly find out who is the most competitive in the group.

For a quieter activity, start a jigsaw puzzle and chat with family and friends while you work together to complete the puzzle.  Concentrating on the puzzle removes those long silences that can be awkward.family-putting-puzzle-together

Volunteer this Thanksgiving Season

While finding the perfect gift for loved ones is a delightful tradition, this year plan to give back to the community.  Volunteer at a Food Bank or Soup Kitchen, ring the bell for The Salvation Army or offer to help senior citizens with cleaning, grocery shopping or other chores.  Contact local churches for more ideas.serving meal at soup kitchen

Create a Memorable Tablecloth

Is your family growing each year, as children and grandchildren introduce spouses and babies into the fold? Use paper table clothes and have everyone sign their name and draw pictures.  Take photos of the tablecloths year over year and you will have an “attendance record” of each holiday.drawing on Thanksgiving tablecloth

Extend the Invitation to Your Table

This year, find a co-worker, church member, or neighbor that doesn’t have family in town and invite them to your gathering.  You could also check with local colleges and see if there are international students who are not able to travel home over the holidays.  Spending a traditional American holiday with an extended family might be the cure for loneliness or being homesick.

However, you choose to spend your Thanksgiving, enjoy being with family and friends and take a moment to list those for whom you are grateful.

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