This Thanksgiving, why not start some new family traditions? Thanksgiving is one of the few days of the year when extended families are typically gathered together. What better time to start some new holiday customs?
How about a long walk together after dinner? I'm sure everyone would welcome the chance to walk off that turkey and the extra helping of mashed potatoes! If there's nowhere to walk in your neighborhood, you could always drive to a nearby park or trail.
One idea I'm sure the hostess would appreciate is drawing names for chores. Since the person hosting has gone through all the work of preparing the meal, it's only fair that everyone else should pitch in with setting the table, clearing the table, loading and unloading the dishwasher, etc.
A particularly nice tradition, in my opinion, is to invite friends or acquaintances who are not having their own family get-together to celebrate with your family. If your guests are from another country, have them bring a traditional dish from their homeland to share. This should bring some new and interesting foods into the mix!
Some families pose with the entire clan for a picture on Thanksgiving Day. This photo is then used to create their annual Christmas cards. In larger families, sometimes names are drawn on Thanksgiving for the Christmas gift exchange as well.
Another nice idea is a toast at the dinner table in honor of family members who have achieved something during the year. It could be a promotion, high school graduation, a marriage, the birth of a new child, beating cancer, etc. For non-drinkers, make sure to have some sparkling cider on hand so they can participate.
After the table is cleared and everyone is in a turkey torpor, why not pull out those traditional holiday films and get into the holiday spirit? It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street are two of my favorites.
If the women in your family usually go shopping on Black Friday, what about having the women in the family sleep over so they can get an early start in the morning? While they are pounding the pavement for deals, the men can be pulling out the Christmas decorations and getting a jump on decking the halls!
I hope this post gives you a few new ideas for ways to celebrate Thanksgiving with your family. I would love to hear what some of your traditions are, too!