Creative Thanksgiving Traditions

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“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.”– W.T. Purkiser

Thanksgiving is all about family, counting your blessings, amazing food and all the tried and true traditions you’ve enjoyed for years.  I’m sure that if we asked around, we would hear a familiar order of events at most family holiday gatherings…lots of cooking and overeating, football and the Macy’s Day parade; to name a few.  As fun as those traditional holiday experiences are, it may be time to kick it up a notch and start some new fun traditions for the whole family!

It’s a perfect time to celebrate all that you’re thankful for by giving back to the community and people less fortunate than you.  Reach out to your local foodbank or homeless shelter and volunteer to assist in the kitchen or serving food that day.  What better way to teach your children about giving back than to devote your time to the service of others?  Those memories and life lessons will last a lifetime!

If time or opportunity to volunteer is an issue, pass around the family offering plate and pool your funds to donate to a charity or a family in need.  Make it a tradition to decide together which charity to give to or let each member take a turn choosing a cause they have a passion for.  Even the little ones can get in on the giving spirit by going through old clothes and toys to donate to your local Goodwill donation center.  Clean out the closets in time for Christmas and start a tradition you can feel good about!

Most of us are fortunate enough to get to spend Thanksgiving with our favorite family members….and even put up with the crazy ones!   But, not everyone is so lucky.  Wouldn’t it be a treat to visit a local nursing home or hospital and spend time with those that can’t be with their loved ones?  Take some time to spread the love and give someone else something to be thankful for!

We would be remiss if we overlooked everyone’s favorite tradition….eating too much!  We all have our favorite holiday dish; why not have everyone in the family contribute the recipe to their signature dish and compile a family cook book?  Pass out copies to the whole family as Christmas gifts or pass them down to future generations to keep the tradition alive!

After eating all that delicious Thanksgiving Day cuisine, get everyone moving and support a good cause.  Sign the family up for a Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot, burn some calories and help give back to the community.  That is a gift that keeps on giving!