Does your family have a unique Thanksgiving Day tradition? Why not share some of your favorite holiday traditions with others:
The Start of the Holiday Season
- After Thanksgiving dinner, we all draw names, for Secret Santa, everything you need to make the gift has to be recycled in someway, either bought from a used store or consignment store, nothing can be bought brand new. On Christmas Eve we open the homemade gift, over the course of the weekend we put up all the Christmas decorations, inside & out, while we are decorating, we play Elvis Presley Christmas songs.
- —Guest Angie
Our Favorite Thanksgiving Day Traditions
- Everyone can't be off Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. but we wanted to include as many of our family that we could in our yearly celebration. Most Thanksgivings we got together on the Sunday after Thanksgiving with one group of our relatives and friends. We put the Christmas tree up and exchanged handmade gifts, "gag" gifts, and toys for the young children, but not all out like Christmas Day. Then when Christmas Day came we enjoyed it with a second group of relatives and friends. It was a lot of fun and took a lot of pressure off of Christmas and gave our Thanksgiving more meaning.
Thanksgiving Table Cloth
- I got an inexpensive white sheet large enough to cover the dining table and a large supply of waterfproof markers in various colors.I cover the table with plastic in case any of the markers bleed through and then adults and children all draw a picture of something they are grateful for and then date and sign it. It is then used as the table cloth for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. It is fun to see from year to year how the childrens pictures change and it generates a lot of quality conversation.
- —Guest Jodi
- After the meal on Thanksgiving, after the nap, we all watch National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. It's not a Thanksgiving without the movie.
- —Guest LeVasta
Leaves of Gratitude
- I've been hosting Thanksgiving for over three decades and I'm always looking for new traditions to share with my family. A few years ago I came up with one that's fun for all generations. Go to a craft store and buy some paper fall-colored leaves. As your guests arrive and are awaiting the big meal, ask each one to take a leaf and write something they are grateful for on the leaf. Ask the youngest children, who don't know how to write but understand the idea, to tell you what they're grateful for and write it on a leaf for them. Tell them not to show it to anyone. Collect all the leaves in a basket and put them away until after the meal. After the dishes have been cleared, bring out the basket and pass it around the table. Let each person pick a leaf and make sure it's not the one they wrote. Then take turns going around the table and ask each person to read the leaf she selected and try to guess who wrote it. You'll have fun hearing what different generations write.
- —Guest Donne
- Cherry pie is a Thanksgiving tradition. The past year has been a grace. I celebrate with family.
- —Guest Mellisa.
Miracle on 34th Street
- I always end the day by watching Miracle on 34th Street. It starts at Thanksgiving and ends with Christmas. It really gets me into the mood.
Annual Tree Ornament Hunting
- Every year when the grandchildren are over during Thanksgiving time we go out shopping for their new Christmas tree ornament. Some always look for the same type of ornament such as a snowman, others try to find an ornament that has significance to that particular year. The year my youngest son started bowling he found an ornament with a bowling ball & pins. Then we come back to my place and put up the tree and hang up all the ornaments new and old. At some future time when they have their own place, they will get to take their ornaments home with them. The hope is that this tradition will carry on and that each year they hang up the ornaments they will be reminded of past Christmas's and loved ones. On my tree I also have ornaments that specifically remind me of loved ones that are no longer with us. For example my mother loved cardinals and one year I founds one for the tree. My father loved going fishing and one of the ornaments is called, "Catch of the Day."
- —Guest Susan B.
Crescent Rolls & Thankful Thoughts
- Since my two kids were little (they are now grown and married), I have made homemade crescent rolls for them. The first pan out of the oven is ours to devour while warm. The family sits around a table of jams and jellies and butter and we just enjoy the fresh bread and togetherness. My youngest, now married, shares this favorite family tradition with his wife. In fact, it was she who called me and said, "Don't forget to make the rolls!" During the family dinner, we go around the table and each one shares what they are thankful for.
- —Guest Leta
- After the Thanksgiving meal everyone writes down on a piece of paper something they are thankful for. The slips of paper are folded up and placed in a basket. We then draw each piece of paper out, read it aloud and try to guess who wrote it.
- —Guest LisaD
Favorite Dish ... Just for You!
- I always fix one dish for each member of my family, just for them! My grandson's favorite is turkey, so since he was 6, he believes I fix turkey each year just for him ... how cute is that?!
- —Guest Gloria
Opening the Holiday Season with Music
- In my family, our Thanksgiving tradition is this: after the meal we open the Christmas season by playing a holiday tape by Kenny G. I inherited it from my mother seven years ago, and now it is always the first Christmas music we listen to every year. Then on New Year's Day we play it again and it's the last Christmas music of the season that we listen to. I know it sounds goofy, but it really doesn't feel like the Christmas season until I hear that tape.
- —Guest Eric