All traditions had to begin somewhere so make this year the start of something new. What seems like an unusual Thanksgiving tradition now may turn out to be the holiday tradition that your family looks forward to for years to come.
Instead of eating so much turkey that you wind up catatonic, watching football on the couch with you pants unbuttoned you can get up and run for charity. A Turkey Trot is a Thanksgiving Day run when people participate while dressed in costume. Most people will wear a variation of the turkey costume but don’t be surprised if you see pilgrims and Indians running side by side as well. The best part of this tradition is that you’ll burn plenty of calories so you won’t feel so guilty about eating that extra slice of pie.
Christmas Shopping at Midnight
Get an early jump on Black Friday. Many stores open at midnight and some even open their doors starting at 9pm on Thursday night. Imagine being able to have all of your shopping done before Black Friday officially begins and also be able to take advantage of the early bird specials. If you could get all of your holiday shopping done in one crazy night then that would be a tradition worth sticking to.
Bring Thanksgiving outside, Pilgrim style
Do it with an open fire and an open mind. You’ll need a bonfire or an outdoor hearth where you can heat food that is prepared in advance. You can try going all out and cooking your turkey on a spit and making your cornbread stuffing in a cast iron skillet over the fire. Serve warm beverages like mulled cider and cocoa. Make seats out of blanket covered hay bails and set a long buffet table filled decorated with fruit, nuts and autumn flowers. Many parks have pavilion shelters with large hearths that would be perfect for such a celebration.
Have a Thanksgiving Dinner Leftover Party
Thanksgiving Day is for the family but make the leftover party for friends. One day is for the people you have to see and the other is for the people you want to see. By the Sunday after, most leftovers are on their last leg so reserve Saturday or Sunday for this tradition. You can also invite your friends to bring their leftovers and have a potluck. It’s fun and nothing goes to waste.
Volunteer as a Way to Give Thanks
The only thing unusual about this is that not enough people do it. If you are not the one hosting, you may have enough time to volunteer at a shelter or church in the morning and still make it to your party before the appetizers hit the table. The most basic thing for which we are most thankful every year is the roof over our head and the food on our plates. Consider the people that don’t have it and do what you can to make this day something that they can be thankful for too.
The Tablecloth of Thanks
For many Americans, Thanksgiving includes going around the table and saying what you are most thankful for. Many people find this boring and think it takes away valuable eating time. Instead, opt for a white or brown paper cover over your traditional table cloth and give everyone a marker so they can write the things for which they are most thankful. It is fun to see things in everyone’s own handwriting, especially the young children. Besides, not everyone is comfortable verbalizing their thanks and prefer writing it down. Then, as the dishes get cleared you will see a collage of thankful sentiments that everyone can read (if you can see past the gravy and cranberry sauce spills).
If you choose to keep your annual Thanksgiving customs traditional that’s great. Familiar things are comforting and what holiday has more love, family and comfort food than this one. One the other hand, doing something offbeat even if it is just once in a while is a good way to keep the holiday exciting.