Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. There’s all the food and family togetherness. And it’s a day devoted to being thankful for everything we have. Thanksgiving is also a great holiday for family traditions. Not sure where to start? Here are 9 Thanksgiving traditions that would be great for any family:
Pie baking day.
In our family, the day before Thanksgiving has always been known as Pie Baking Day. It’s practically a national holiday, as far as we’re concerned. Get the whole family involved. Everyone can pick their own pie, learn how to make pie crust, and stir the ingredients. Crank up the music and dance in the kitchen.
Have pie for breakfast.
Yep, I said it. Let the kids have pie for breakfast. (Gasp!) Thanksgiving is a special day, so start it off with a special breakfast. My mom always made us our own tiny, kid-sized pumpkin pies that we ate while watching the parades. It was the best thing about Thanksgiving. Plus, you get cool-mom points. Besides, a tiny pie now might keep the kids from poking at the dessert pies that are for later.
Watch a Christmas movie after dinner.
I am one of those people that will absolutely ignore anything Christmas-related until after Thanksgiving. The after-dinner Christmas movie is a great way to kick off the holiday season. It makes it feel like Christmas is really coming soon. Our family favorite is The Muppet’s Christmas Carol. We’ve got the lines memorized, and we know all the songs.
Say what you’re thankful for.
When you sit down to eat have everyone say one thing they’re thankful for. If you want to make it entertaining, do several rounds of thankfulness. Maybe add themes. What’s something you’re thankful for at home? At school? If you’re starving after a day of cooking and smelling delicious food, you can do this while you’re eating, too.
Make a Thankful Tree.
I have seen so many of these on Pinterest, and there are so many different varieties. They all have the same basics though: something as a tree trunk, and leaves on which you write what you’re thankful for. Some options for the tree trunk are small branches you can put in a vase; construction paper you can tape to the wall. For the leaves I’ve seen traced handprints and large tree leaves that were collected outside.
The family clean-up.
I’m putting this one in there for all the exhausted cooks. Get everyone involved in the after-dinner clean-up. Someone can clear the table, someone can put the leftovers away, someone hand washes dishes, someone loads the dishwasher. This way the whole mess isn’t left to one person, and everyone can feel proud of the clean kitchen after it’s all done.
This one’s open to interpretation. You can have an annual family football or basketball game, or a trivia challenge. Boys vs. girls; kids vs. parents. Maybe play a board game like Monopoly or Apples to Apples. Give the winner(s) a trophy to be passed along next year.
Have a recipe swap.
Everyone that comes to dinner should bring their favorite recipe. Handwritten, printed, or torn out of a magazine. It doesn’t have to be their own creation, just as long as it’s one of their favorites. Throw them all in a large bowl, and then everyone can draw one out. You can even involve the kids in this one. Ask them what their favorite food is, write out the recipe for them, and then they can color or decorate it. When they draw one out let them help cook it later on.
This is a variation of the recipe swap, minus the children. Have adults bring a bottle of their favorite wine (feel free to set a price limit) with a gift tag. Throw all the tags in a bowl and let everyone draw one out.
Here are some free printable tags for the wine bottles! Just cut them out, string some ribbon through them, and leave them by the door for people to use! You can find them on the VIP Perks Page!
I have so much to be thankful for this year. I’m thankful for all the coffee. I’m thankful for potty training, wine, and chocolate. I’m thankful for my Hubs. I’m thankful for our family’s health and our home.
I hope you have fun with these family traditions. I hope they bring you years of laughter, bonding, and memories. What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? What are you thankful for this year?