Thanksgiving is only a week away (I KNOW) and my husband and I have been busy thinking of new family traditions we want to have with my stepchildren this year. We think this holiday gets overlooked by all of the anticipation of Christmas and we want to remind Chloe and Trey how wonderful Thanksgiving truly is. If you’re in the same boat, try out a few of the traditions we thought up and see if they put you and your family into a gobble gobble mood!
Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
This one is a total no-brainer, I know, but we always seem to forget until the parade is halfway over! Last year, we remembered, and while the smells of Thanksgiving were wafting out of the kitchen, we had two kids eating their cereal in the living room, FREAKING OUT over every single character they recognized. Plus, I’m a suck for Macy’s AND a sucker for a parade, so this is basically like another Christmas morning. It’s such a fun, happy way to start off your Thanksgiving and is steeped in so much history, it’s hard not to love!
Let the Kids Bake With Leftover Pie Crust
When I was a kid, every time my granny made a pie, she would give me all of the scraps, a rolling pin and some cookie cutters. I would ball all of the dough up, roll it on and cut out my own little shapes. She would then brush them with melted butter, add some sugar and pop them in the oven. I can still remember how special I felt to know that I baked something, all on my own, AND got to pick out the shape. It’s hard when I’m baking a pecan pie for Thanksgiving to not let my kids spread green sprinkles all over it, but giving them the leftover pie crust to do what they want is a perfect solution. Plus, if they decided not to eat it, you haven’t lost any ingredients or time!
Talk About Being Thankful
I think everyone includes this on their traditions, but it’s something my husband and I have just started. The month of November is perfect for teaching about gratefulness and being thankful, but Thanksgiving obviously tops it out. This year, we hope to go around the table and have the kids say what they’re thankful for and how grateful they are.
Volunteer and/or Donate
If you think you’re out of time, you’re not! My stepson’s pre-school is doing a canned food drive and our church bags up sack lunches for the homeless. There are plenty of ways to get your family involved in spreading some holiday love and reaching out to those less fortunate. Talk about what it means to be fortunate, what it means to have more than just the basic provisions and teach them to always give to those who aren’t as lucky. Kids are impressionable; they’ll remember this talk.
Write a Letter to Santa
To end our Thanksgiving night, we’re planning on hot chocolate, watching the tree lighting in our city and having the kids pen their first letter to Santa. It’s a great way to end such a memorable day and have them be excited about Christmas in just a month! Pull out the big toy books and let the kids go to town. Also, if you take the letter to your local Macy’s, you can drop it off to help raise money for Make-A-Wish and send your list off to the North Pole! Win-win!
Whatever you do this Thanksgiving, I hope you and your family enjoy every second of it! Hug each other tight, pass the dressing and relish in the fact that this day comes only once a year. Make the most of it! Happy Thanksgiving!