Thanksgiving is a time to be with your family and be thankful for your blessings in life. Whether you have aging parents who are well into their golden years or small kids, now is the time to start new traditions. While stuffing yourself with delicious Thanksgiving meals is nice, doing something meaningful is better.
Good traditions are the cornerstone of a close, loving household. If you’re looking to create more memories with your family, here are six traditions you can start that will help you bond over this wonderful time of the year.
Record Memories With Your Family
For those who are looking to make their Thanksgiving memories wonderful, a good tradition to start is to record each other’s stories. Talk to elders in the family, more so those who have a story to tell like veterans and medical frontliners. This is a great activity that even introverts would love to do.
Listen to their stories and write them down in journals or digitally, if you can. Unique experiences can be precious family memories, no matter how big or small they can be. Dad getting his pants on fire when he was younger or your grandfather joining the war in his youth are quite the story to keep for the family.
Add to the tradition yourself too. Talk about your experiences and try to influence families and friends to do the same. This lets you learn more about the people in your household, as well as open yourself up to them even more.
Volunteer in Soup Kitchens
On Thanksgiving, a great way to show you’re thankful for all the blessings in your life is to pay it forward. On Thanksgiving, why not convince your entire family to help feed the homeless? Volunteering is a noble tradition that you would want to foster, especially if you have small children.
Volunteer at a local soup kitchen. There is always a shortage of volunteers who can cook, serve, and feed those who are in need. Not only will you be helping others, you’re also setting a good example for your family. This is also a great foundation for teaching kids about charity early on.
Call ahead to make sure a soup kitchen can accommodate your group. If your family enjoys it, you can also keep volunteering well after Thanksgiving. Trust us, you will be transforming people’s lives and helping them get back up.
Connect With Family Virtually
One of the upsides of the pandemic is everyone tried many other ways to connect with each other. Talking online became a norm and many people learned how to deal with and, surprisingly, many became even closer to each other. This doesn’t have to go away as restrictions change across states and countries.
If you have family who can’t be there for the festivities, have them join you virtually. Give them a video call and talk to them throughout the celebration. Follow up with their lives and see if there are things they need help with. Listen to what they have to say because they’re likely missing you too.
Set up a happy hour period before, during, and after the Thanksgiving Dinner. Eat with them virtually. Encourage friends and family members who will be alone for Thanksgiving to connect with you and each other.
Make Your Own Dessert Recipe and Pass It On
Every Thanksgiving, you’ll be enjoying a healthy helping of desserts left and right. Whether it’s cherry pie, pumpkin pie, or a Turkey pot pie, you may have a special recipe that you’re keeping in the family. This is the best day to teach it to your kids or other family members and make it a family recipe.
Not all pies are made equal. Some add a little extra to it that makes it extra moist or a little bit sweeter. Your special recipe should be something that the next generation gets to make for themselves. Kids would love to spend time with you in the kitchen and you just know it will taste better because they made it with you.
If you don’t have your own pie recipe, try something you find online. There are tons of pie recipes available out there and it’s about time that you start making something for your family. Your parents, kids, and relatives would enjoy something you made by hand.
Say Thanks To Emergency Workers
Emergency workers generally stay at work to be ready for people needing their services, even during Thanksgiving. They don’t get these holidays off and most have nothing to show for it. If you’re looking to start a new tradition, why not say your thanks to these brave men and women?
Show your gratitude by visiting them or sending them some food to share with each other. Bring whatever extra you have, whether it’s pies, turkey, sides, or fruits. Help them celebrate and feel like the community they’re serving appreciates their work.
EMTs, firefighters, police officers, and even medical staff would appreciate a little extra food they can eat apart from what they have. If you don’t have extra money, some thank you cards will be very much appreciated. Kind words can go a long way in a thankless job.
Reserve An Empty Seat At The Table
Not everyone has a place at a Thanksgiving table. Depending on the circumstances, a lot of people will be spending their holidays alone, with no family to spend time with. When this happens, it’s best to leave a few seats at the table and have someone lonely join you during your celebration.
Invite a lonely elderly neighbor who can’t have their families visit or a single co-worker who won’t have anyone to celebrate with. If they opt to stay at home, prepare them a special Thanksgiving plate and bring it their way. If you opt for the latter, make sure that it’s done with sensitivity.
Do your part in sharing the love during Thanksgiving. If you think the neighbor or co-worker won’t appreciate “charity”, leave it at their door and ring it. Make sure that they can also eat what you serve them, taking care to follow any dietary restrictions they have.
Thanksgiving Day is more than its historical context. It is a time to reunite, come together, and be thankful for the good things that you experience in life. Make new traditions with our suggestions above and you’ll surely have a beautiful, meaningful day with those you love the most.
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