By in Holidays

Ideas for New Family Thanksgiving Traditions

Sometimes life gets in the way of holiday traditions, and families need to come up with new Thanksgiving activities. Have you recently started your own family or moved overseas? Perhaps the kids have all grown up and moved away. Life's milestones such as these often mark the beginning of new Thanksgiving traditions.

Thanksgiving Traditions for a Small Family

If there will just be two or three of you at the dinner table this year, it may be best to keep it simple. Make your own homemade pizzas or fill the table with dozens of yummy appetizers in place of the traditional turkey and mashed potatoes. One year, I spent Thanksgiving with two of my sisters and we mixed some of our favorite appetizers in with the mashed potatoes and biscuits. If you are alone, why not spend the holiday volunteering at a local shelter or helping serve Thanksgiving dinner to people who in need of a good meal?

Thanksgiving Traditions for a Medium Family

Come up with a different theme each year and tell everyone to bring their favorite dish to fit in with that theme. Decorate the house with decorations to match the theme and play suitable games. For example, you could have a Mexican fiesta one year and a Hawaiian luau the next. Whatever you choose, don't forget to incorporate Thanksgiving somewhere into your festivities.

Thanksgiving Traditions for a Large Family

After Thanksgiving dinner, have everyone sit down at some point to make an ornament. You could either buy matching bulbs for everyone to decorate, or just throw a bunch of craft supplies out there and let them create their own ornament. Once everyone has finished theirs, set up the Christmas tree and let them hang their ornaments wherever they choose. If you don't celebrate Christmas, consider it a holiday tree, minus the Christmas theme.

If your family has recently undergone a change, from growing in number to growing apart, it may be the perfect time to start a new family Thanksgiving tradition. Whether you are looking to slightly tweak your holiday routine, or you want to completely turn things around, make this traditional change a good one. And just remember - if it doesn't work out perfectly, you can always switch it up again next year.

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poddys wrote on November 8, 2014, 4:45 PM

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving for 2014.

No celebrations here in the UK, even though I am an American Citizen, since I am the only one who is in the family, but we will be celebrating big at Christmas as usual.
Not sure what's happening this year though, since my wife's kids are going to their other halves families on Christmas Day, so it could well be just the two of us.
Plenty of things to do though, but it's never the same having a festive meal without the whole family around is it.

paigea wrote on November 8, 2014, 7:30 PM

For sure it is something to think about each holiday. This is a second marriage for each of us. Our family is farflung and we have no easy way to figure out what to do or who to do it with each holiday. I would like to just stay home and go to a shelter to volunteer and forget everything else. Seems hard to just tell everyone that's what we are doing.

Chelle wrote on November 8, 2014, 8:29 PM

I love the idea of everyone decorating a Christmas ornament! You have a lot of great ideas here! I really appreciate this article at a time when it seems like Thanksgiving is forgotten by most of our society!

LeaPea2417 wrote on December 27, 2015, 7:00 PM

A lot of time has past since this post. I hope you had a good Thanksgiving in 2014 and 2015. I hope you also had a great Christmas a few days ago and I hope you will have an amazing New Year in 2016.