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New Thanksgiving Traditions - Nov. 2021

November 15, 2021

Does your family already have fun and meaningful Thanksgiving traditions? Ours do too! As we were pondering this year’s fast approaching holiday, we realized a lot of traditions have been done over and over again! From turkey trots, to breaking the wishbone, and even watching the Macy’s Parade; if you’re like us, you are just ready for something new. 

For inspiration, we’ve collected a few fun new ideas that you can try with your friends and family this year. Have other cool ideas that aren’t on the list? Jump over to our Instagram page and drop it in the comments!

Roasting the whole family

Thanksgiving is the perfect day to roast more than the bird. If you’ve never attended or watched a comedic roast, the concept is simple: go around the table and allow everyone to take turns telling funny stories and jokes about the person being roasted! For example: have an Aunt who’s ring ended up inside the stuffing one year? Better tell her to keep her hands out of the bird. Did your sibling have a little fender bender as a teenager that dad never knew about? Slide in a quick joke before he gives them the keys to pick up extra rolls from the grocery store!

Pro tip: 

Try to keep the jokes light, and don’t share any secrets that the roastee wouldn’t appreciate being shared! 

Involve everyone in the cooking

Lot’s of professional chefs have golden nuggets of wisdom they have acquired from years and years in kitchens. Whether from grandparents or mentors, they range from food preparation tips to powerful life lessons on patience, determination, and love. In our busy modern world filled with iPads and Netflix, one of our favorite quotes involves going offline and is simply 4 words: “Cook with your children”! If you don’t have kids, we recommend finding anyone who wants to learn more about cooking! Home made meals certainly are not what they used to be, but that doesn’t mean taking the time to teach a young person how to cook won’t inspire the next Julia Childs or Gordon Ramsey. 

Pro tip:

Thanksgiving is a great meal to involve children of all ages due to all of the recipes involved. You can safely give young children jobs like adding ingredients and stirring, while older kids can help with cutting and even items being heated!

Go old school and snap a polaroid

In the 21st century, digital photo galleries and social media platforms are what many people think of now in terms of photography. While image quality is incredible, and photos are very accessible, they are also fleeting. You take pictures, and forget them as they get filed away on your phone or memory cards! To start a new tradition with your friends and family, try going old school with polaroid photography! You can give visiting friends and family members individual photos, or give the camera to kids and send them on a scavenger hunt. At the end of the day, you may go through a couple boxes of film, but you’ll have memories you can actually put in your pocket!

Pro tip:

Several companies have modern versions of cameras that DO give you instant physical photos including Polaroids and Fujifilm.

Throw a Thanksgiving tailgate

This may be one of our favorites! The pressure of a more formal meal, and having everything “just right” can be a lot for anyone. But the casual, go-with-the-flow vibe of a tailgate is a great way to start your holiday. Set up in the driveway or cul-de-sac, and invite more people than you can fit at the dinner table to stop by for a pre-dinner drink or snack. You can set up a cornhole tournament, play a little football, or just hang out in lawn chairs. It’s not formal, hopefully outdoors (if weather permits), and the perfect way to get ready for the main event!

Host or attend a virtual Thanksgiving cooking class

We came across several fun examples of this, and as some people still won’t be able to gather in person this year, we thought it would be good to include. This can take lots of different forms: 

  • Is there ONE recipe that everyone in the family has always cherished? Get that recipe creator, or the most experienced keeper of it, to lead the class!
  • Do different parts of the family prepare the same dish a little differently? Try to do it “their” way and see if you like it better!
  • Get an outsider to teach everyone how to make specific parts of the meal, and then make each person responsible for bringing that to Thanksgiving dinner!

Pro tip:

Using a program like Zoom or Facetime so that everyone can see each other and speak at the same time.  

Guess the gratitude

Finally, this activity is a great way to end your mealtime together. The premise is very simple: have everyone write something they are grateful for on a slip of paper, and then fold and place it in a jar. At the end of dinner, everyone reaches into the jar and blindly removes a slip. They read it aloud to the table, and then try to guess who wrote it. The purpose of this exercise is not only to show how people appreciate things differently, but also remind everyone of the collective list of things to be thankful for. It should be lots of fun if you have all age groups involved as well!


Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and we hope you enjoy making new memories and traditions this year!