Thanksgiving as a celebration can be paired down to the essential elements needed for a holiday: a meal, some sides, your family, and perhaps a few family traditions that come with the celebration. Whether your traditional meal for Thanksgiving is turkey, Hasselback potatoes, turkey mole chili, or potato gnocchi, if your family is anything like ours, your kitchen or dining room table is no doubt packed. You have several family traditions—either dishes or things you do on the occasion that makes your family feel one of a kind.
Unlike Christmas or other holidays, for many people, Thanksgiving presents itself as one of the few (and sometimes only) chances we have all year to gather with those friends and chosen family we love and share a fabulous meal. It’s a chance to give thanks and be grateful for everything we can. Every year many of us develop our own special Thanksgiving traditions in order to enjoy each other’s company and make the time as memorable as possible. Whether those traditions are utterly goofy, or perhaps emotionally touching, culinary fears, exceptionally crafty, athletic, or relaxing—but what do you do if you’re a new family? Or, where to start when you want to try starting a new Thanksgiving tradition?
We’re here to eagerly help inspire you to create a new Thanksgiving tradition that you’ll love year after year.
Don’t discount “Me Time!”
Thanksgiving focuses on the people you love, from friends and family far and wide. This can be an intensely wonderful and tiring time. Before your house gets flooded with sights and sounds of the holidays—especially if you are hosting—ensure you set aside an hour for yourself and everyone to be able to do their own thing with no obligations for cooking, cleaning, or making conversation.
Let you and your family, housemates, or spouses enjoy some time and space to breathe and do their own thing without the hustle and bustle. Setting aside some time for yourself will help you be in a much better mood to handle the excitement of everyone celebrating.
Ask Someone Else to Cook Breakfast
If you’re the host and the cook and have done this countless times before, you know how much work goes into the entire meal before that first rewarding bite. You’ll no doubt be in the kitchen most of the morning and afternoon, working over and with a hot stove, mixing and stuffing, boiling, and baking. Take some of the weight off by asking someone to cook breakfast that morning for you, and feel free to enjoy that time, even if it’s a run to get coffee and donuts from your favorite shop.
If you’re visiting family or friends and they are hosting you for Thanksgiving, make them breakfast! Even if it’s a bowl of cereal and toast, it’s one less thing they’ll have to do!
Start a Sharing Table
Everyone loves spending lots of time catching up with those they haven’t seen in a very long while. These conversations tend to be held all over the entire house or place you’re holding Thanksgiving. With kids running around and chit-chat in various volumes along with everything you need to do—it can become repetitive and maybe even a bit redundant with small talk that doesn’t often go beyond the surface level.
It’s when we all gather around the table that we’re primarily gathered in one spot.
This moment is ideal for allowing everyone to share something new and positive about themselves, creating a ‘sharing table.’ Perhaps it’s a new and exciting job they’ve been hired for, a new home project, a new addition to their family, or something they’ve just learned to do as a hobby. It doesn’t really matter what it is. What is essential is that they’ll be able to share with everyone and your chosen family gets to know each other a little better without the distractions of before and after the Thanksgiving meal.
Remember Lost Loved Ones
On a day meant to be about spending time with those you love and care about the most, it’s unfortunate not all of them may be able to be there this year. Don’t be afraid to set aside a little time for yourself or your family to think of those who have passed on, as it’s natural to miss those who have gone. Feel free to ask your loved ones to tell the funniest story they remember about them, or memory that stuck with them the most—so that their legacy can be passed down to the next generation, and perhaps this tradition will also get passed down.
If you wish, you could even consider asking everyone to bring their most cherished photo or video of them if they have it.
Thanksgiving Photo Op – Time to go Full Butterball!
Before or after the big meal—up to you—why not ham it up with a goofy, delightful, grin-inducing photo to commemorate the celebration? Not just any picture, of course, but the ultimate and cozy photo op! Go full jammies!
With the changes in what more and more of us adjust to, from working from home to finding comfort in challenging times, why not toss the semi-formal dress up for Thanksgiving and embrace the softness of PJS? These days, entire matching family pajama sets can include grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins, moms, dads, babies, toddlers, teens, and yes—even puppies too!
We’ve got some fantastic sets you might want to look at in our holiday collection that will have your entire Thanksgiving clan laughing and smiling for decades!
Full of Turkey? It’s a Movie or TV Marathon time!
We all know the effects of after-turkey eating. Whether you’re the host that’s been cooking all day, or the lucky visitor that got to sample the turkey and every side dish everyone brought--you’re full, the kids are full, perhaps Uncle Tim is already nodding off, and several belts have been loosened. Do you know what time it is? It’s time to get cozy.
Let everyone (including yourself) digest their second helping in comfort by settling in from the TV for bonding over a favorite movie or seasonal show. Break out the blankets and settle in to relax and put your feet up.
Not keen on screen time? This is also the perfect time to break out the easy, fun, and casual family games.
The past few years have no doubt been one for the books—whichever books those may be.
No matter which new tradition you decide to embrace, we hope that we’ve helped you enjoy spending this Thanksgiving with those you love. From our LazyOne family to yours, happiest of Thanksgiving!