From The Bench

18 Awesome Thanksgiving Traditions for Families

For many people in the United States, Thanksgiving is the most delightful time of the year: a time to gather with loved ones and give thanks for all the good in the past year. That’s why thanksgiving traditions for families are a must.

If you’ve started a new family, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with some new traditions and customs to enrich your family life. Thanksgiving traditions for families are certainly not new, but you can innovate, add new elements, or even invent new activities to make the day even more special.

Thanksgiving was originally a harvest celebration, one of the most important holidays in the United States.

People gather to eat and contemplate what they’re thankful for throughout the United States. However, when it comes to Thanksgiving, there’s more going on than simply eating. Thanksgiving is observed in several ways, including parades, shopping, jogging, and volunteering.

Some of the basics for a Thanksgiving celebration include family, friends, a few glasses of wine, a delicious dinner, and more pie. What comes after that, well, it’s up to you to decide. For example, suppose your family has a long history of Thanksgiving celebrations. In that case, you may have developed some old family rituals, such as watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in bed, reading a good book, or even playing a game of football before and after the meal. Alternatively, you may have developed a new tradition, such as making your own Thanksgiving dinner.

Here are some suggestions on how you might enhance your celebrations in unique and creative ways. To help you get ready for Thanksgiving, we’ve collected a list of some of our favorite new customs for a holiday.

This list of old and new Thanksgiving customs is guaranteed to help you appreciate your blessings and be more appreciative than ever before, no matter where or how you celebrate Thanksgiving (in the United States or abroad, you name it).

Xinar’s List of New (and Old) But Completely Awesome Thanksgiving Traditions for Families

Thanksgiving is for everyone, and regardless of your cultural background, if you celebrate Thanksgiving in a country that regularly practices it, there’s no reason not to join and enjoy the festivities. Below are some ways to enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends.

1. Watch the Macy’s Parade on Thanksgiving Day

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has become one of the most recognizable American holiday traditions. Hundreds of thousands of spectators throng Manhattan’s streets in New York City. Giant inflated balloons that soar between the city’s buildings and tower above the crowds are a signature feature of this specific procession.

2. Invoke some good fortune by breaking the wishbone

This may sound like a joke, but it’s not! Immediately after slicing the turkey, the wishbone (a Y-shaped bone that carries a lot of superstition) is laid away to dry. Next, two individuals make wishes and break the wishbone once the supper is finished. It is thought that whoever wins the more significant piece will have their desire granted and be blessed in the next year.

3. Create Thanksgiving charm bracelets and other crafty items

Charm bracelets are among the most attractive and thoughtful items you can give to friends and family on Thanksgiving and during the holidays or any time of the year. Xinar has an entire collection of Christmas and Thanksgiving charms to choose from! But, of course, the charm or pendant is the heart of every design, and choosing the perfect charms is part of the fun of creating these Thanksgiving charm bracelets.

Whether you’re into turkeys or cornucopias, there are so many ways to liven up crafting and jewelry design – and all you’ll need are suitable sterling silver charms.  

4. Spend and enjoy Thanksgiving Day with family and friends

The traditional dinner is a must-have for every Thanksgiving celebration. Items like Brussels sprouts, steamy roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing are all traditional Thanksgiving fare. Don’t forget the sides, though. Popular in the Midwest, green bean casserole is a comforting side dish. For dessert, there’s no better choice than pumpkin pie. So, now it’s time for the next custom to begin.

Since most individuals spend Thanksgiving with family, the importance of spending time with friends has grown. Friendsgiving, a modern custom, is a gathering of friends. You may enjoy one other’s company and lunch together before returning home to see your family.

5. Get some much-needed snooze

Many take a siesta in the middle of the day after a long day of cooking and eating. The high concentration of the amino acid tryptophan in turkey makes it a well-known culprit in the fast onset of tiredness.

Even though tryptophan is known to aid in releasing melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone), it isn’t solely due to the turkey. Eating more sugary meals (like pie) might make you feel even more fatigued. Everyone needs a break from the hectic pace of the Christmas season!

6. Look back at the current year with happiness and gratitude

Thanksgiving is a beautiful opportunity to reflect on the year with loved ones. In the middle of dinner or later in the day, walk around the room and share something you are very thankful for with your loved ones. Everything sounds better when people reminisce on their best moments or experiences from the last year, right?

7. Football!

Thanksgiving Day football games have been a tradition in the United States since at least 1876 when the game was first introduced. Family and friends come to watch one of America’s most popular sports, football. Alternatively, some families break into teams and play a game of football to burn off some of those Thanksgiving calories.

8. The Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot

Running a marathon during America’s largest food festival may seem contradictory (or clever), but turkey trots are growing in popularity in the United States on Thanksgiving Day. They are named after Thanksgiving’s most famous dish, the turkey. Local towns are flooded with runners, walkers, and spectators for these races, from 5K fun runs to half marathons. It’s a fun way to earn and burn Thanksgiving dinner calories.

9. Black Friday is the best day to go shopping

The day after Thanksgiving is an influential sales day for nationwide retailers. This day has become a mini-holiday because of its rechristening as “Black Friday.” Despite the development of e-commerce, many individuals still wait in line for hours to begin their Christmas shopping early in the morning.

10. Sharing the blessings and returning the favor

Many towns around the United States participate in yearly food drives that collect non-perishable packaged and canned goods for needy people in the spirit of giving gratitude and helping others. These groups also hold Thanksgiving feasts to ensure everyone has a place to eat.

11. Make a list of all the things you’re thankful for.

With all the festivities, it’s easy to lose sight of the real reason for the holiday: appreciation. Invite your guests to write what they’re thankful for on a butcher paper tablecloth before the meal begins. You can keep the sheets as a memento of the experience.

12. Breakfast pie is a delicious option.

Start the day by having a pie for breakfast instead of waiting until 3 p.m. to eat. Then, try one of these dishes, which are just as good the next day as they were the first time around.

13. Bloody Mary bar, anyone?

A Bloody Mary bar should be set up for visitors to prepare their brunch classics while the entrée is roasting and baking. Garnishes such as bacon, shrimp, and lobster get extra points for being extravagantly presented.

14. Stay in touch with loved ones who live far away.

Last year’s vacation was one of the few positives of that time off. Finally, more options exist for staying in touch with loved ones, no matter how far apart they may be. This year, carry on the tradition and ask those who can’t attend in person to participate digitally. For example, if someone cannot join you for dinner, arrange a virtual happy hour or a video call for them before, after, or even during the meal itself.

15. Create unique place cards to go with your dinner.

Gather your friends and family and ask them to tell you what they love or admire about each of your guests. Note the guests’ kind words on a place card with their names on it, and they’ll be surprised when they sit down to discover the lovely surprise. Add this to your list of Thanksgiving traditions for families.

16. Keep a jar of thanks in your home.

Make your Thanksgiving traditions for families lasts a whole year. A thankfulness jar is an excellent way to remember all the good things you’ve received from your family and friends over the year. So post dinner, take out the jar, and share the small acts of kindness that touched your heart.

17. Organize a holiday ornament trading party!

The Christmas season officially begins when Santa’s sleigh appears at the end of the Macy’s Parade. Invite each Thanksgiving guest to bring an ornament to exchange to kick off the holiday season and keep the excitement continuing through December for those who celebrate Christmas.

18. Watch a Christmas classic on television or the big screen.

After dessert, gather the family around the TV to watch a classic Thanksgiving movie to keep the turkey coma at bay. You may watch the same movie yearly or have fun allowing a new family member to select the movie. This is a nice touch to your Thanksgiving traditions for families.

Please contact us if you have any questions or comments. Thanks for reading!

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