A table filled with turkey, cornbread and stuffing is a telltale sign that Thanksgiving is here. While most of us will spend the holiday season gathered around the table feasting with friends and family, there are plenty of other ways to build traditions during this holiday of giving thanks. From brisk after-meal walks to sharing gratitude with friends and family around the dinner table, these Thanksgiving traditions will add meaning and memories to your holiday this year.
Participate in a Family Turkey Trot
Thanksgiving is the most popular race day of the year, with nearly a million people toeing the line before digging into their turkey and dressing, according to Running USA. Start a healthy tradition your kids can carry on into adulthood by signing the family up for a Thanksgiving morning turkey trot. While the excitement of a large organized race is fun, you can also make up your own turkey trot. Just plan out a route through your neighborhood and tackle a few miles with the family—no bibs required.
Cook or Bake Thanksgiving Dishes Together
From candied yams to buttery mashed potatoes, the meal consumed on Thanksgiving might just be the best of the year. But all that delicious food requires many hours in the kitchen. Have your kids lend a hand creating your family's favorite dishes, and they'll not only make some great memories but develop their confidence in the kitchen, too.
Record What You're Thankful for
Thanksgiving is, of course, a great time to reflect and count your blessings. Keep track of all that your family has to be thankful for by recording your gratitude in a notebook each year. To create this family keepsake, just date a page in your notebook and have everyone in your family write down what they're most thankful for. Over the years, this book becomes a record of family Thanksgivings and will be treasured for generations.
There's perhaps no better way to show your kids all they have to be thankful for than to volunteer serving others that are less fortunate. Whether your family is packing and sorting food at the local food bank or serving up a warm meal at a homeless shelter, incorporating a volunteering tradition into your Thanksgiving routine is a memorable way to give back.
Share What You're Thankful for Around the Table
It's not often that you have your most beloved friends and family gathered around one table. Make the moment even more special by asking everyone to share one thing they are thankful for. This simple yet meaningful tradition is a heartfelt way to share gratitude with the ones you love.
Challenge Your Family to Complete Random Acts of Kindness
One fun and meaningful Thanksgiving tradition is to challenge your family to complete random acts of kindness in the days and weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and then share those things around the dinner table. The challenge will put your family in the spirit of the season and keep the conversation going while you eat your favorite foods.
Make the Most of Traveling
Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year. If your family is one of the many that will pile into a car or airplane, create a special tradition around the act of travel itself. Whether you listen to the same songs each year on your drive or spend the time trapped in tiny airplane seats playing 20 Questions, building traditions around travel will make the miles tick away faster.
Create After-Meal Traditions
Once the turkey has been carved, the pies cut and all of that delicious food consumed, continue the traditions by doing something together as a family after the meal has been eaten. Whether you choose to take a group walk, play board games or build a fire in the fireplace and sit around chatting, the time spent together after the meal is just as important as the time spent together during it.
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