Interesting fact: Thanksgiving, the quintessential American holiday, was first celebrated in Canada 40 years before it became a tradition in the States. Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October.
Every family has tried and true Thanksgiving rituals. Why not “shake it up” a little this holiday season by adding a new tradition (or two) to your Thanksgiving holiday.
Here are a few not-so-typical traditions to consider adopting for a joy-filled celebration.
Enjoy some “me-time” before the festivities.
Whether you’re spending Thanksgiving day with your entire extended family, a group of friends or with your significant other, consider dedicating an hour or so early in the day to enjoy your own company obligation-free. Take a morning walk in nature, enjoy a carefree soak in the tub, or savor a cup of your favorite tea in front of the fire before the hustle-and-bustle of the day’s activities start.
Share a recipe, create a recipe.
Ask members of your family to pull out their recipe collection and share a favorite recipe and an associated memory. Or, leading up to the Thanksgiving gathering, request suggestions for new recipes and then invite the cooks in your family to create a couple of new dishes together on Thanksgiving day. Add the recipes that everyone enjoys to the collection.
Set up a wishbone scavenger hunt.
Keep kids of all ages entertained after the meal with a scavenger hunt. Early in the day, ask teens or adults not involved in meal preparation to come up with scavenger hunt clues and then scatter the clues around the house and yard. After dinner, send the kids out to search for the hidden hints, which will eventually lead them back to a secret spot where you’ve stashed the turkey’s wishbone.
Give thanks in a new way.
At the beginning of the Thanksgiving celebration, hand out notecards and ask your guests to spend a moment writing down what they are thankful for. Once everyone has congregated for the meal, read all of the submissions out load and have guests guess who wrote what. Place all of the cards on a piece of string and display it across the mantel for guests to read at their leisure.
Let the kids handle dessert.
Make kids a bigger part of the celebration by putting them in charge of dessert and coffee after the Thanksgiving meal. Let the little kids take orders for dessert and then have the older kids cut the pie, plate it, scoop the ice cream or whipped cream, and pour the coffee. The younger kids can also serve dessert – don’t forget to tip!
Go for a turkey run.
In preparation for indulging in one of the most memorable meals of the year, find a local “Turkey Trot” to participate in. Even if you’re not much of a runner (it’s only a three-mile run, after all), there is no better way to step out of your comfort zone than in a homemade turkey costume complete with feathers – and bystanders encouraging (or laughing) you to the finish line. Afterwards, go ahead and eat an extra slice of pumpkin or pecan pie – you’ve earned it.
Whatever your plans for Thanksgiving day, enjoy the celebration with family and friends!