How to Create New Thanksgiving Traditions

How to Create New Thanksgiving Traditions

Breathe new life into stale Thanksgiving traditions with our creative ideas.

How many of us march through the holidays to the same rhythm every year? You really do have a choice for Thanksgiving. You could fall in line and stay the course, or you could choose to do some things a little differently this year.

There’s no one way to bring any holiday or tradition to life, despite what grandma and Aunt Nancy have told you over the years. It’s about making it your own. It’s time to make new traditions that you and yours can enjoy.

Be Bold
You likely have the same core group of guests show up year after year. Start a new trend and invite someone new each year – a new friend, your hairstylist or someone you know doesn’t have a particular “home” for the holiday. It will add a unique sprinkle into the mix of people and everyone will experience the joy of having someone new at the table.

Be Brave
Location. Location. Location. If you’re fortunate enough to travel during the holiday, plan to make your turkey on neutral ground. Many families will swap hosts from year to year to alleviate pressure of both hosting and traveling. Break the routine and find a central location where you can rent a large cabin, campground or other venue – a getaway for everyone!

Push Your Palette
When it comes to food, you don’t have to commit the usual suspects for every dish. Maybe you make a turkey, but you experiment with a deep fried version. Or create a potluck online where folks can sign up for a course and decide what to bring. Consider hosting a themed Thanksgiving, or an un-thanksgiving (bring only non-traditional Thanksgiving items). And there’s always the Friendsgiving for friends only.


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Tip: Take the festivities outside with a fire pit, a cooler of drinks and tune in the game.

Game on
Pull together a mix of board games, cards or any other source of entertainment. Think everything from beanbag toss to basketball. Sign up your group to walk or run a 5k or any other excuse for a little healthy competition.

Some Kid-friendly Crafts
Help the host create a craft area for the little ones. Ask someone different to bring the craft supplies each year, and cover a range of projects to keep them engaged.

  1. Table Decorating: Invite all of the guests to sign or decorate a white, washable tablecloth with permanent markers. Just be sure to watch the markers around the little helpers, and line your table so the markers don’t bleed through on the table. Even the grown-ups can flex their creative muscle.
  2. Hand-tracing Turkeys: This go-to fall project never gets old. Offer a twist with felt and foam pieces to build in texture and interest.
  3. Painting Small Pumpkins: Lay out some newspaper, get the paints and let everyone get creative.

Share your family’s unique, fun and creative traditions with the community in the comments below!

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