Thanksgiving is that time of the year when family and friends come together to celebrate everything we are thankful for in our lives. It is an opportunity to step back from the craziness of everyday life, take a breath, and reflect on what is truly important to you and your family. The things we associate with this holiday such as food and turkeys aren’t what makes it special. It’s the traditions. Traditions help you bond with those you love, no matter which holiday. These experiences provide everyone with something to look forward to resulting in lifelong memories that can be passed down through generations keeping everyone in touch with the past.

Some don’t have holiday traditions, and that is okay! This gives you all the opportunity in the world to create your own. If you are looking for something new to start, who’s to say you can’t shake things up? Take a look at the 20 traditional and unique ideas listed below that are sure to bring your family closer – something we can all be grateful for!

A Special Thanksgiving Breakfast

The Thanksgiving festivities don’t have to start at lunch or dinner time. Start the day off with your family by cooking Thanksgiving breakfast together. Or dig into a slice of pie with your morning coffee. It is a holiday, treat yourself!

Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

While enjoying your pie for breakfast, tuning in to watch the parade is a fun way to start your day! Even having it on in the background while preparing your meals will put you in the spirit.

Donate to Your Local Shelters

It is always important to give back to your local community. Take the time to research food drives and shelters in your area to see how you can help. Whether the donation is either monetary, food, necessities, or care packages, anything will be a blessing. It is also a great idea to get your children involved to show them the importance of helping others, kindness, and being grateful for the things they have.

Engage in Family Fun Games

A little family-friendly competition never hurt anyone. Start an annual game to get everyone outside and active. This is a good way to burn off those extra calories from that second helping of dressing. Football is always a good go-to. Even if the kids are too young to understand the concept, they will be happy to join in and run around.

Move the Dinner Table Outside

If you are in an area that allows it, enjoy your Thanksgiving outdoors! It’s nice to have a nice breath of fresh air and a decorated space that allows for extra seating. The more the merrier!

Decorate the Dinner Table

A formal dinner table on Thanksgiving gives it such a special touch. This can make for special quality time with the family when you call them in to help. It will make dinner time more enjoyable plus teach kids about proper table etiquette. Even an informal table can be decorated with any fall decor of your choosing. Have fun with it!

Make an Outside of the Box Dish

Try something different! Bring or make something unexpected to switch up the traditional thanksgiving standard. Perhaps a dish from a different culture, a twist on one of your favorites, or dig out an old family recipe everyone loved as a kid. Who knows? Maybe you will uncover a new tradition.

Scavenger Hunt for the Kids

Keep the little ones entertained by organizing a scavenger hunt. Have them run wild while collecting things you have hidden for them. This gives the adults time to catch up and set up while the kids enjoy themselves.

Break the Wishbone

A very old Thanksgiving tradition for anyone unfamiliar. The objective is to have two people hold each end of the wishbone and simultaneously make a wish whilst pulling the bone apart. After the bone breaks, the individual with the larger piece gets their wish granted according to tradition. Just a fun lighthearted activity. Now, who are the two lucky individuals? Make it part of the scavenger hunt and send the kids out in pairs!

Serve a Signature Thanksgiving Cocktail for the Adults

Treat your guests to a Thanksgiving-themed cocktail! Search Pinterest and you are sure to find something for the occasion. Make it in a big batch for easy pouring.

Serve a Signature Mocktail for the Kids

Don’t leave the kids out! Make a batch of yummy apple cider, Shirley Temples, or a fruit spritzer.

Do a Game Night

If you would rather stay in after eating your second helping of dressing, bring out the board games. Your guests can play a classic such as Monopoly or something interactive such as Pictionary or Charades. You are still having good quality time without the hassle of a football game.

Plan a Friendsgiving

Thanksgiving isn’t only for the family, it’s about celebrating our chosen family as well! Reach out to your best friends from near and far to plan a Friendsgiving. Also, take the time to think about your neighbors and friends who do not have anyone to celebrate with.

Take a Family Vacation

Ditch out on tradition altogether and take that vacation with your family. You will most likely see that Thanksgiving is a slower season for tourism in some places. Take the stress out of Thanksgiving and take a relaxing vacation!


Bring your own tupperware! Ask your guests to bring to-go containers and help themselves to any yummy leftovers. This will reduce the hassle of lending out your own or having too much to eat yourself.

Arrange a Charcuterie Board

Avoid the “Is it ready yet?”A little bit of time, patience, and craft can result in beautiful charcuterie boards. It will give your guests something yummy to graze while waiting for the big meal. Plus, they are versatile! You can use any ingredients you like and make it your own! It is guaranteed to have something for everyone.

Decorate Christmas Ornaments

Decorate Christmas ornaments or do an exchange to get ready for the upcoming Christmas season. After all, Christmas trees tend to go up the day after Thanksgiving. Decorating ornaments is fun for all ages and a little keepsake memory of the time spent with loved ones.

Finish the Day off with a Christmas Movie

Whether this activity is with your family after everyone has left or with all your guests, ending the day with a Christmas movie is a good way to spread holiday cheer and get everyone in the spirit of what’s to come. It is also a great idea to have the movie on while decorating your tree ornaments or doing your exchange!

Host a Bonfire

After Thanksgiving dinner, cozy up by a bonfire! This is a great way to spend quality time with loved ones, make delicious s’mores, and drink all the cider and hot chocolate you can stomach.

Pre Order your Thanksgiving Meal

Last but not least, pre-order your Thanksgiving meal! Take the hassle out of grocery shopping, prepping, cooking, and cleaning, and find an easier alternative.

Here at Acres & Oak Kitchen, we would be honored to take the responsibility of serving your friends and family this season. Visit one of our stores and speak to one of the many friendly faces for more information on how we can serve you. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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