Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, gratitude and a thankful heart. We nearly always have more to be thankful for than we do to complain about, but we often need reminders of that truth. Why not make this Thanksgiving the beginning of some new traditions. Instead of taking our blessings, including our family and friends, for granted, use Thanksgiving as a time to create memories and encourage each other.
This year you could make the time you have with loved ones extra special. Here are some ideas for activities to make your Thanksgiving Day gathering more meaningful:
- Make Thanksgiving decorations. Get into the holiday spirit by getting together early and making your own Thanksgiving decorations. You can find plenty of ideas online or in craft stores and kids love to show off their turkeys and other handiwork.
- Personalize Your Thanksgiving table. Set a festive Thanksgiving table with your own decorations, and place name cards with a thankful thought on them at each plate at the table.
- Write down things you’re grateful for. Before the meal when everyone is seated ask them to take just a few minutes to reflect and share just a few of the things they are thankful for with each other.
- Go for a walk after dinner. Get some fresh air and exercise by going for a walk before or after dinner. This is a great way to help digest all that food!
- Play Thanksgiving-themed games. Play some fun Thanksgiving-themed games, such as Pictionary, charades, or trivia. This is a great way to get everyone laughing and having fun.
- Share stories and memories. Instead of watching sports or TV, take some time to share stories and memories from past Thanksgivings. This is a great way to connect with your family and reminisce about the good times.
- Create a Thanksgiving memory book. Ask everyone to bring a photo, recipe, or story about a past Thanksgiving celebration and create a memory book. This is a great way to cherish the memories for years to come.
- Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Eat early and invite everyone to volunteer their time at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter afterward. This is a great way to spread some Thanksgiving cheer and feel good about helping others as a family.
These simple ideas might seem like they would take too much energy along with cooking and clean-up, but if everyone participates you might be surprised how fun and encouraging they can be. Your family or friends are very likely to feel it was one of the best Thanksgivings ever! We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving this year!