Friday, October 25, 2013

Fun New Thanksgiving Traditions for your Family

Every family has their own Thanksgiving traditions but it’s always fun to start some new traditions as well. Incorporating different things into your holiday celebration is a great idea if you’re having your first Thanksgiving in a new house, inviting a bunch of guests over, or are just looking for a way to keep your regular customs from getting old. Below are some fun Thanksgiving ideas to try this year!

Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry are the Thanksgiving usuals, but there are plenty of other food items that are on the menu in some kitchens on Thanksgiving.

Pigs in a blanket
These quick and easy appetizers are a great way to keep guests fed before the big meal. People can get cranky when they have to wait to eat, so in order to avoid bad moods make sure guests aren’t famished while waiting for the big meal. Put them on a decorative serving platter for a festive feel!

Grilled Turkey
Some cooks choose to grill their turkey for a smoky delicious flavor. Grilling the turkey is a new spin on an old favorite, and a very practical way to free up more oven space for other items that need to cook.

For whatever reason, olives seem to be a popular favorite to snack on before the main meal, or even during the big meal. Kids love the big black olives that they can pop on their fingers and bite off. A small glass serving bowl is a good way to jazz up ordinary and inexpensive olives.

A Maryland favorite, Sauerkraut actually compliments the regular Thanksgiving fixings nicely (and even tastes good with some gravy on top). This is also a good option for people who don’t like the typical Thanksgiving vegetables of green beans, peas, carrots, etc.
Forget the Turkey Altogether
While most people cook a turkey, ham is also very popular for Thanksgiving. Other people opt for fried chicken, ribs, or even bratwust. Some vegetarians and pasta-fanatics even enjoy a delicious home-made lasagna instead of the traditional bird.

Arts and crafts are a good way to keep the kids occupied while the grown-ups cook and chat. Crafts also make memories for later on in life.

Make a Scrap Book
If you have kids a great idea is to make a Thanksgiving scrap book – with a new page for each year. Have kids make drawings and write messages to remember the holiday when they are older. Or, if you want to take it a step further, get a recordable scrap book and have the kids record a holiday message each year.

Thank You Table Cloth
A really adorable idea is to buy a cheap table cloth each year and give kids fabric markers to write what they are thankful for on the cloth. Then use the table cloth to set the table so that all of the guests can read it.

Make a Gift for the Host or Hostess
A good way to express gratitude after having a delicious Thanksgiving meal is to give the cook a special gift. Having kids make a gift for the hostess is a sweet way of saying thank you, and will give them something to do together.

Make a Thankful Tree
Have each guest write what they are thankful for on a slip of paper and hang it on a tree. The tree can be a real tree outside, or a re-purposed card tree on a coffee table or desk.

Use Leaves to make Name Cards
If there are leaves on the ground have kids collect some leaves and write everyone’s name on a leaf to serve as a name card. Put leaves on rustic placemats to let guests know where you want them to sit.

Get Active
For most people Thanksgiving is all about eating to excess, but if you are trying to be healthy there are plenty of ways to celebrate without gorging yourself.

Turkey Trot
Many communities have a race on Thanksgiving day, but if your city or town doesn’t have one you can make your own turkey trot by inviting friends or family members for a run. Kick it up a notch by turning it into a competition and awarding a prize for the first place finisher.

Play a Game of Football
Football is a Thanksgiving tradition, but most people watch football from the couch instead of getting out there and playing. For a more active holiday tradition get out there and play a little touch football.

Give Back
Invite Someone Who’s Alone
The holidays can be a really hard time if you are by yourself, so this holiday season if you have the space and the food consider inviting someone who doesn’t have anyone to share the holidays with them.

Bring left overs to the needy
Holiday leftovers are delicious, but the satisfaction of helping the less fortunate is even better than the taste of eating holiday extras. Bring leftovers to the homeless or volunteer at a soup kitchen to give back to people in your community who have less than you do.

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