Two years ago was the first time I had ever hosted Thanksgiving. At the time, I had a 2 year old and knew it was time to start our own family traditions. I wanted my son to always have a Thanksgiving he would remember and traditions that became embedded into his childhood memories. Below I have listed 5 family traditions that are fun and festive:
Everyone help bake the pie.
This has become a new family tradition for my family. The day before Thanksgiving, my family and I will run out to a local farm and either pick or buy apples. We of course, enjoy some while going for a nice nature walk, as we begin to talk and prepare what we will do the next day. The rest of the apples from the day are saved for a lovely apple pie. One of the first things we do when we wake on Thanksgiving morning is to turn on the parade, and gather in the kitchen to make our pie. My son helps with the pie crust, my husband chops the apples, and I make sure we have everything together and everyone stays on task. This year, my baby girl will take residence on my hip. It is the absolute best way to start the day and warm the house with the scent of Thanksgiving.
Set up a kid’s art table.
This is a fun way to keep your children and any others involved in the festivities. My son really likes to have a project that can be used during the day. So, we typically have him create Pilgrim hats and bonnets for everyone to wear during dinner. He is very official and sizes everyone’s head to make sure they are perfect! He is involved and makes us look silly and festive while feasting!
Other fun Thanksgiving art projects include: Thanksgiving themed coloring pages, hand turkeys, turkey napkin rings, Native American head-dresses, and leaf rubbings.
This is a more obvious Thanksgiving tradition. However, my family has taken a new spin on this old tradition. Before dinner, each person writes down what they are thankful for on a peice of paper without showing anyone. We then place them inside a jar (or homemade pilgrim hat) and wait for dinner to begin. When each person is sitting, the host can begin to read each piece of paper. For example, he/she may read, “I am thankful for my mommy” aloud, and then to rest of the guests will try to guess who wrote each one. It is a fun way to see how well your guests all know each other.
Touch football in the backyard.
Sure, Thanksgiving is always about the turkey, but for some, football is just as important. So, each year, after dinner and before desert, we have a quick game of touch football. We keep it fun and simple! We laugh, we run, we sometimes tackle, and we forget that we are wearing our nice clothes, and just let loose!
Football game bets.
My family and I all place bets on the football games. We each choose who we think will win each game, and whoever gets the most right at the end of the day gets some sort of reward. For me, I choose a back-rub, my husband chooses to get out of any leftover cleanup, and my son usually chooses to have an extra desert!
Thanksgiving traditions are a great way to ensure happy memories and the involvement of the whole family! Have fun, and be creative! Happy Thanksgiving!!