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16 New Thanksgiving Traditions To Start This Year

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When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of all the traditions that my family has made throughout the years.

It sort of doesn’t matter what we do, it’s just super special to have the entire family together, under one roof, with pretty much the same goal in mind — even if it DOES revolve around food.

We already have some traditions that we have made, and they carry on year after year.

But, we like to add in a new tradition or two every year. Sometimes we may not repeat it from year to year, but it’s fun just being together and trying something new.

If you need some ideas, here are some things we have done, or are implementing this year, to make it the best Thanksgiving Day yet!

Ideas For Thanksgiving Traditions

1) Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. (Yes, it’s BACK this year!)

I think MOST people do this, but there was a slight hiccup last year with COVID. But, the parade to end all parades is back this year, and promises to be better than ever.

We love to stay in our comfy jammies, grab a bit of breakfast, and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a family. Granted, the kids probably enjoy it more than the adults, but it’s nice to all be together.

Make sure you catch Santa, who brings up the rear of the parade and starts the “official” Christmas season.

2) Start your day with orange rolls.

Every year. We have to do this every year. The kids make sure to remind us about the orange rolls WEEKS before. I’m pretty sure we would have a revolt on our hands if there was a year without orange rolls.

3) Run a Turkey Trot.

I know. That word belongs on the naughty list — RUN. But, Turkey Trots are a good time.

Participants sometimes dress up in turkey costumes, and don’t really run as if it’s a race. Families take their time, and just enjoy it!

You can find Turkey Trots that are anything from a 5K to a full blown marathon.

You will ALWAYS see me scooting my way through a 5K. No marathons for this momma!

It’s a great way to burn off those calories that you’re going to be eating later at your Thanksgiving meal.

4) Volunteer at a soup kitchen.

I don’t even have to tell you why this is a good thing. The first year I took my daughter to do this, she came away with a totally new understanding and respect for the food we have at Thanksgiving — and all throughout the year.

5) Everyone make their own place holder for the table.

This is fun for the entire family — and keeps them busy while you are cooking the food.

You can do things as simple as craft paper, scissors, and markers, or make it fancy with gordes and ribbon.

What traditions can YOU think of??

6) Everyone make a centerpiece for the table.

We love to see if we can make the centerpiece better from year to year — kinda outdo ourselves in the crafting and creativity realm.

You can use leaves and branches that you have the family collect outside. OR, you can even go to a craft store pre-Thanksgiving, and find things that would make a fun addition to the centerpiece.

7) Start an heirloom tablecloth.

This is a GENIUS idea created by Deb Mills in Missouri. She has a cloth tablecloth that she uses for every Thanksgiving dinner year after year.

She has everyone who is present for dinner sign the tablecloth, then she embroiders the signatures into the cloth.

Now, I don’t sew or embroider, but I can sure go to the store and buy some fabric markers to make my own Thanksgiving tablecloth. So can you!!

8) Break the wishbone.

Simple, but fun!

Carefully take the wishbone out of the turkey, and let the kids each grab a side and make a wish. Then they PULL. Whoever gets most of the wishbone — their wish will come true next year (like a birthday cake).

9)Try a new recipe.

Don’t stick to the same ‘ol menu. Throw in a new recipe to throw the crowd off, and maybe start a new traditional dish.

You can go straight to the Totally The Bomb website for a bunch of yummy Thanksgiving side dish ideas!

10) Catch a movie as a family.

Gasp! Go to the theater on Thanksgiving?

Yes! We do it every year, and you’d be surprised how many families have this same tradition.

There are about eleventy million movies coming out on Thanksgiving weekend. Pick one, and go to it!!

11) Write down a list of “Thankfuls,” and share them with family and friends.

This is a great reminder for EVERYONE of the good in life. Even if it’s been a crap-storm of a year, there are ALWAYS things to be Thankful for.

What NEW traditions are you going to try this year?

12) Watch the football game.

Now, I don’t PERSONALLY watch the football game every year, but I know it is a huge tradition for all you sports nuts out there. Instead of WATCHING the game, my family goes out and plays a game of touch football.

13) Bake Christmas cookies.

No time like the present to start baking those Christmas cookies.

Of course, you will probably want to wait until Thanksgiving Dinner is finished, and clean up has happened.

14) Have a family game night.

Bust out those board games, because it’s about to go down!!

In my family, I can already promise you we will be playing some version of Monopoly. My kids are obsessed!!

15) Put up the Christmas tree. Maybe visit a tree farm, and buy a fresh Christmas tree this year.

Do you put your tree up Thanksgiving night?

Maybe go out and get special new ornaments — one that everyone in the family individually picks out.

Just make it fun, full of family, maybe some friends, and make those memories!

16) Head to Walgreens to get stocking stuffers.

This may seem like a weird one, but we do it every year. Walgreens is open every Thanksgiving, so when it gets slow, and when there’s a lull in the food and conversation, we head the Walgreens.

Sometimes we just look. Sometimes we buy some wrapping paper, bows, and tape. Sometimes we go all out and buy stocking stuffers.

If you want to be nice, take the people that have to WORK at Walgreens on Thanksgiving something nice — gift cards, pre-wrapped cookies or candy, etc. I’m sure they’d be so surprised and appreciative.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving full of new traditions!!

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