Gratitude: A fun and creative way to commemorate the holiday is to have a plain tablecloth and have everyone sitting around the dinner table take a permanent marker and write out 1-2 things they are thankful for. After each use, wash in gentle cycle and reuse again the next year. This makes for a creative way to reflect on the past and see how people change each year.
Food, Food and more food: The traditional Thanksgiving meal in America generally consists of turkey or ham as the main dish with mash potatoes, cranberry sauce, and more. In order to put a new twist on the typical food traditions, incorporate a “fun food” into the menu. Let the kids pick something crazy or try to make something unusual. Donuts, crab legs, or pancakes are some unusual picks! Have fun with it and try something unexpected.
Let Everyone Toast! Show your gratitude by going around the table and giving a toast. Let the kids join in as well and give them the floor and toast with some sparkling non-alcohol cider. This is a great way to engage and involve the entire family and allow for the sharing of memories.
Create a Craft Project: A fun way to pass the time before enjoying your Thanksgiving feast is to engage and occupy the family (while the food is cooking) is to create a Gratitude Tree. Prepare ahead of time by cutting out leaf shaped tree branch and tape to the refrigerator. Prepare leaf shaped paper cut outs in various shapes and colors. Let each family member write down a great memory or something they are thankful for and attach to the branches on the fridge. Throughout the preparations for the Thanksgiving meal, sneak peaks at each new ‘leaf’ that gets added to the tree.
Give Back: Given the occasion, there are many ways to giveback for Thanksgiving. You can create your own food drive in the weeks leading up to the holiday and bring the donated food to a local shelter. There are also many volunteer opportunities at local shelters, places of worship and schools. An alternative would be to participate in your local “Turkey-Trot” which is a 5k run to support charity.
Skip the cooking all together! If you don’t enjoy the stress of cooking the most important meal of the year skip it all together and dine out. Order takeout from a take-out restaurant or make advance reservations at a fancy restaurant. Who says you have to cook your own food?
Take a Tech Break: Like many families, cell phone usage is constant. Make a pact and agree to put away cell phones, tablets and TV. Focus on ways to enjoy each other’s company without tech. Some ideas include playing board games, making decorations, decorating a Christmas Tree, going for a family walk, or playing a family game outdoors.