Thanksgiving weekend usually brings large family gatherings, traveling, and community events. The ongoing pandemic, social distancing guidelines, and other restrictions are changing your typical Thanksgiving plans. But, staying close to home provides the perfect opportunity to start new traditions.
Ways to Make Thanksgiving Special This Year
This year, celebrating Thanksgiving at home may result in smaller family gatherings. In whatever way you define your family (yes, your dog or cat counts), check out the following ideas to make Thanksgiving special.
Before Thanksgiving, make decorations together. Crafting is a fun activity. Younger children love to create.
- Placemats: Make paper placemats. Use construction paper to draw, paint, or color designs. If you want to save your creation, laminate the final product. You do not need a laminator machine. Clear contact paper works exceptionally well, especially for larger pieces.
- Place Cards: Create place cards as part of your table setting. Color a design on folded notecards for easy place card settings.
- Centerpiece: Create a centerpiece for a focal point on your Thanksgiving table. A basket with fall-themed flowers is an easy task to add beauty to your table. If your budget’s tight, check out your local dollar store for inspiration.
- Other Table Embellishments: Gourds, miniature turkeys, and other small items create the perfect Thanksgiving table decorations. Allow your children to decorate the table.
- Tree of Thanks: Create a tree of thanks. Using a small branch or painting a tree on a poster board, add different colored leaves. On each leaf, write down why you are grateful.
Time to Eat
One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is the meal.
- Traditional Home Cooked Meal: Bake a large family meal together. Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, yams, or your version of a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Don’t forget dessert.
- Buffet Style: Place everything on the table or counter. Allow everyone to pick and choose from the options.
- Picnic in the Living Room: Is your Thanksgiving going to be a casual affair? Turn your simple meal into an indoor picnic.
- Pre-ordered Meal: Order your meal from a local restaurant. Many restaurants are hurting due to the pandemic. Pre-ordering a Thanksgiving meal helps small shops stay open. A pre-ordered meal is simple to heat and serve.
- Candle Light Meal: Light candles or use flameless ones to add a special touch to your Thanksgiving dinner.
- Toast or Prayer: Say a toast or prayer before eating. Depending on your children’s age, ask each member of your family to give a gratitude toast.
- New Recipes: Is there an old family recipe or a new one you want to try? Thanksgiving is a wonderful day to try something new.
Starting New Traditions
Staying at home for a long holiday weekend is a great time to start new traditions.
- Go Hiking: Hit the local trails to burn off all the extra eating.
- Nature Walk: Get outdoors and go for a slow nature walk.
- Toss the Football Around: Playing football is a long-standing tradition on Thanksgiving.
- Go for a Ride: Pack up some leftovers and go for a long drive.
- Decorate for Christmas: Put up your Christmas tree, decorate your home, or put lights up outdoors.
Enjoy every minute of your Thanksgiving weekend. Take lots of pictures to use in a scrapbook later.