In today’s world of so many distractions, Thanksgiving traditions pull us together. For this special day, families look forward to sharing a magnificent meal, enjoying special dishes … and anticipating their favorite pumpkin or pecan pie.
As the years go by, you’ll literally savor your favorite traditions, and perhaps add a few new ones. Check out the ideas below for the best Thanksgiving yet!
Time for a New Thanksgiving Family Tradition?
Families hold on to some traditions because they truly cherish them. Many enjoy cooking a turkey, eating a favorite green bean casserole, and then taking a family photo after the table is cleared. As families grow and change, it might be a good time to look at other traditions. They could become your favorites in the future.
1.Update Your Thanksgiving Sides
Part of the joy of Thanksgiving is the feast that makes you “gobble ’til you wobble.” The table, laden with all that scrumptious food, is often so impressive that visitors take photos after they express awe and delight. Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without the favorites everyone is expecting. But if you are adventurous, you could consider some new twists on traditional fare:
• Tofu “turkey” for the vegan/vegetarian in your group
• Cauliflower and potato mash (See Prevention, November 2018)
• Wild rice and cider cranberry pilaf (See Country Living, October 2018)
• Roasted butternut squash with cider vinaigrette (See Country Living, October 2018)
• Spice-roasted carrots and parsnips with yogurt and turmeric vinaigrette (See Prevention, November 2018)
• Roasted butternut squash with frizzled sage (See Prevention, November 2018)
• Shaved brussels sprout salad with hazelnuts, broiled lemon, and pecorino (See Prevention, November 2018)
• Baked pears with cinnamon and currants (See Good Housekeeping, October 2018)
• Cranberry and apricot compote (See Prevention, November 2018)
• Brioche Bread Pudding with Bourbon Caramel Sauce (See Good Housekeeping, October 2018)
• Maple-Pear Tarte Tatin (See Good Housekeeping, October 2018)
• Cranberry pear pecan crumb pie (See Woman’s Day, November 2018)
• Thanksgiving cake instead of pie (Check out recipes for Pumpkin Cake, Bourbon Pecan Cake, and Cranberry Ginger Cake in Woman’s Day, November 2018)
2.Dress Up Your Dressing
What’s your stuffing preference? You can personalize your traditional dressing and have fun experimenting with some of these alternate ingredients:
• Dried cherries or cranberries
3. Thanksgiving Turkey Trots
Some communities plan Turkey Trots or other morning runson Thanksgiving. Usually participants can run or walk and often raise money for a charity. These events, which typically cover about one to five miles, don’t require a lot of training. They encourage healthy exercise and give participants the joy of knowing they are helping others. If you’re an active family, this tradition may be for you. Another way to get some exercise the morning of your celebration is to host your own “Turkey Bowl” football game with friends and relatives.
4. Count Your Blessings on Thanksgiving
This holiday is a time for celebrating and remembering. Bring out the photo albums or group shots from previous festivities. Go around the table and give each person a time to share what he or she is thankful for. It can be enjoying the delicious meal or a significant achievement. And some families make sure to share memories of cherished deceased loved ones. It’s a good time to keep their memory alive, especially with younger family members.
5. Thanksgiving Vacations
Are you looking for an adventure? Then why not consider taking a Thanksgiving vacation? For many, this four-day weekend is the perfect time to take off. Instead of gathering at someone’s home, your group could head to a new destination – from a tropical resort to a cabin in the woods. Perhaps you want to visit a community that has special meaning for your family. You may enjoy this new family tradition that combines dedicated family time with exploration.
6. Celebrate with Friends
You may prefer spending Thanksgiving with close friends. Consider “Friendsgiving” parties, which are growing more popular, as intimate dinner parties. Invite your friends to contribute to this special meal. And make sure to celebrate your close friendships.
7. Share Your Bounty with Others
You don’t have to look far to find individuals who need help. How can you give back this holiday season? Demonstrate the value of volunteering by serving Thanksgiving dinner at a homeless shelter. Orinvite a lonely friend or neighbor to join you. Let the children create Thanksgiving cards to go with a plate of food for shut-ins. You’ll be teaching your children important life lessons and bonding as a family as a family during service projects.
8. Capture the Moment
What will you remember from this Thanksgiving? Take a group photo, but don’t forget those spontaneous moments. Look for grandparents playing with their grandchildren or your four-year-old petting the visiting dog. Have you set an amazing table? Snap a photo. And then look back at those memories when the holiday has passed with one of our photo canvas prints. They are sure to make you smile.
Thanksgiving is a beloved holiday. Look for ways to enhance your traditions to make them even more meaningful for you and your loved ones.