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Thanksgiving Traditions (Old and New)

Thanksgiving is a holiday that surrounds two of the most beloved ideas. Food and family. Whether you’ve been visiting grandma’s house for the last 15 years or you’re hosting for the first time, the same Thanksgiving traditions you know, and love, will carry over. But don’t be afraid to create some new traditions. Let’s look at these Thanksgiving traditions, old and new, that you might see this upcoming holiday season.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

It’s long. It’s in the morning. It’s the perfect piece of entertainment to put on the TV while preparing your meal for the 23 people invading your home. There’s always that moment when you say to yourself. “I think I’ll go to the parade next year.” But then you see how cold it is. You see the throngs of people slammed against the metal railings that line the parade’s path. And suddenly the warmth and comfort of your own home feels extra special. Plus, everyone knows that we can’t start the Christmas season until Santa ends the parade!

Specialty Cocktail

There are always the standbys when it comes to libations on the holiday. No one is suggesting you put aside the usual glass of wine or pumpkin beer. Rather, the Thanksgiving holiday is an ideal time to serve your guests a specialty cocktail. Find a recipe that might entice more than one family member’s interest, such as a Pumpkin Pie Martini or an Apple Cider Mimosa. This is a holiday! There is precedence to kick back and relax with the help of a tasty beverage. Why not do so with a new cocktail?


Even non-fans of the NFL, know that the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions play football every year on Thanksgiving. We’re not suggesting you sit around the television and watch the games. You can, for sure. Plus, it’s the perfect way to keep people out of the kitchen when preparing the feast. But how about heading outside to toss the football as well? If the mood is just right, perhaps a small game of touch-football will spring up. More importantly, either by playing football or watching it, the escape from a hot kitchen is a welcome respite.

The Gratitude Toast

You’ve seen it in every Hallmark holiday movie. A family gathers around the table. Smiling faces. Kids behaving. The room is lit with a warm, soft glow that conveys the feeling of a great big hug from your favorite relative. Usually, someone will stand up, glass raised, and deliver a saccharine-filled toast about family.

While more times than not, the scene just described rarely occurs in homes across the nation during the holiday season, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Share what you’re most thankful for, despite the eyerolls you’ll see from the teenagers and the quiet, looks of judgement from that one inappropriate uncle. There will be at least one person at that table who will be moved by your toast and that’s the exact reason why opening your heart to others is worth it.

Activity Time

Dinner is over. Dessert is about to be served. Don’t retire to the couch to watch TV. Make this time an activity time. Take a walk around the neighborhood. Perhaps this is the time to escape to the backyard for that football game mentioned above. If you’ve been on your feet all day, then maybe a board game would serve you well. There’s always a deck of cards in the house. Gin Rummy, anyone? Of course, there’s the ultimate form of relaxation. The nap. And if you can grab a quick 15-to-20-minute snooze, go for it. We’re jealous.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re celebrating the holiday with family or hosting an annual Friendsgiving, the important thing to remember is that you’re surrounded by people you love. Life can be difficult at times and over-whelming when facing it alone. Your friends and family are the support system you need to live your best life. And remember, you’re their support as well. We all play different roles with different people in our lives. The holidays, while hectic, are born from a place of love, compassion and togetherness.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


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