If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, and you just want to go with the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, that’s certainly not a bad choice. As long as you have the right people to share it with, it’s great to have the turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, and all the rest laid out buffet style, with some good wine, maybe some flowers and some candles, and of course a fresh baked pumpkin or apple pie to top it off.
But there’s also something to be said for mixing it up a little-or a lot-and doing something creative for the holiday. Here are a few ideas for hosting a unique Thanksgiving:
1. Costume party
Turn this year’s get together into a costume party, and see what people come up with. No doubt you’ll get plenty of Pilgrims and Indians, and maybe the occasional turkey, but you may get some creative surprises as well. You could even have a contest at the end of the day, where whoever is voted as having the best costume gets a prize.
2. Football party
Often there’s a tension at Thanksgiving, where some of the people want to watch football, but others feel it’s detracting from the family experience of having a holiday dinner together. So each side compromises, and neither is fully satisfied.
This year just give in to the football fanatics and organize the equivalent of a Super Bowl party, where the day’s festivities revolve around watching the games. Get out your football decorations and serve all the usual football snacks and beverages, but replace the barbecue or whatever you would normally have as a main course with a nice roasted Thanksgiving turkey.
3. Formal affair
One option is to go formal this year-tuxedos and formal wear, fine china, the whole nine yards. Depending on the amount of space you have and your budget, maybe even hire a small band or have your dinner professionally catered.
4. Helping the less fortunate
Instead of hosting a big Thanksgiving dinner at home like usual, take the money you would have spent on that, and donate it to a shelter, mission, or church that is providing Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless and people in need. Then, along with your family, donate your labor as well, helping to cook and serve the meal. In the end, join the recipients and the other volunteers in partaking of a meal that’s more in the holiday spirit than most people will ever experience.
5. Vegetarian meal
With turkey and ham being by far the most common main dishes, Thanksgiving is typically not a very vegetarian or vegan friendly meal. But if you’re a vegetarian, why not host a special meal for your family and friends who also don’t eat meat? Of course you can invite non-vegetarians, to show them that meat is not essential for an enjoyable holiday meal.
If you’d like some ideas on dishes you could prepare, check out this page from The Veggie Table.
Whatever you do, approach the event in the spirit of fun. Get creative and have yourself a good time.