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Best Thanksgiving family traditions to start

Make your Thanksgiving gathering even more memorable with a new family tradition. Photo credit: Stock photo

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As families gather around the table to celebrate Thanksgiving, the focus often extends beyond the delicious turkey and pumpkin pie to the cherished traditions that make the holiday memorable. Establishing family traditions not only strengthens bonds but creates a sense of continuity and warmth. Here are some of the best Thanksgiving traditions to start for a truly meaningful and joyful celebration:

1. Gratitude jar: Encourage family members to write down what they're thankful for throughout the month of November and place the notes in a decorated jar. During Thanksgiving dinner, take turns reading these heartfelt messages, fostering an atmosphere of gratitude and appreciation. 

2. Recipe exchange: Create a family recipe book where each member contributes their favorite Thanksgiving recipe. This not only adds variety to the meal but also ensures that cherished family recipes are passed down through generations. 

3. Thanksgiving volunteer day: Dedicate a portion of the day to giving back to the community. Whether volunteering at a local shelter or organizing a neighborhood clean-up, participating in acts of kindness reinforces the spirit of gratitude and teaches valuable lessons to younger family members. 

4. Turkey Trot tradition: Participate in or organize a family-friendly "Turkey Trot" or walk on Thanksgiving morning. This healthy and active tradition promotes togetherness while burning off some calories before the big feast. 

5. Thanksgiving tree: Decorate a tree with paper leaves, and have each family member write something they're thankful for on a leaf. As the tree fills up, it becomes a visual representation of the family's collective gratitude.

6. Family photo time capsule: Take a family photo each Thanksgiving and store it in a time capsule. Open the capsule the following year, reminisce about past celebrations, and add a new photo. Over the years, this tradition creates a beautiful visual timeline of family growth and change. 

7. Storytelling circle: After the meal, gather in a cozy space and share stories. This could include recalling favorite Thanksgiving memories, funny anecdotes, or expressing gratitude for each other. It's a simple yet powerful way to strengthen family bonds.

8. Thanksgiving movie marathon: Create a lineup of favorite Thanksgiving-themed movies and enjoy a cozy movie marathon together. From classic family films to heartwarming stories, this tradition provides entertainment and relaxation for all generations. 

9. Create a thankful tablecloth: Lay out a plain tablecloth and provide fabric markers. Ask each family member to write down what they're thankful for on the tablecloth. Over the years, this becomes a cherished keepsake, capturing the evolving sentiments of each Thanksgiving. 

10. Decorate together: Involve everyone in decorating the house for Thanksgiving. From crafting homemade centerpieces to creating a welcoming atmosphere, this collaborative effort enhances the sense of togetherness and anticipation for the holiday

These Thanksgiving traditions are not only enjoyable but also serve as a foundation for creating lasting family memories. Whether it's expressing gratitude, giving back, or simply enjoying each other's company, these traditions add a special touch to the holiday season.

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