2020 has been a whirlwind of craziness! We have experienced a plethora of changes, altered schedules, and trying to mask up and “just deal” with it all. I have found that adding new activities and traditions to our family has been a great way to help us stay sane and united during these challenging times.
Having good strong traditions in your family is a great way to strengthen your family bonds. Strong family traditions will help you teach values, give your family added comfort and security, and help create strong, lasting memories. My kids said they love our traditions because “It gives them something to look forward to”. In our family, I have seen strength come from our traditions. I would recommend you take some time this week to examine just what your family traditions are (big or small) and what new traditions you could add.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started creating lasting memories together.
- Have a special family dinner on a different day from Thanksgiving. We usually eat at grandma’s house on Thanksgiving. So we like to eat the Thanksgiving food on a different day. I like to buy a turkey when they are cheap and then freeze it until we want to have our small family dinner at home. Sometimes we add candlelight to make it even more fun.
- Volunteer as a family at a Soup Kitchen or Food Bank. Or you can do a food drive and collect food.
- Join a turkey trot race. Even if you only walk it can still be a lot of fun to do together. You could even add matching turkey shirts!
- Make a Gratitude Tree or a Thanksgiving Pumpkin. This is a great way to count your blessings. You can fill in all the leaves in one day or spend the month writing down your blessings. My neighbor actually started a list and got over 1,000 things on their chart.
- Make a special family dish. My mom’s no-bake pumpkin pie with gingersnaps is a favorite from my childhood. We always ate it at Thanksgiving. So I make sure we have lots of it in the fridge around Thanksgiving time.
- Write Thank you cards as a family. Just think of the endless possibilities of people you could thank.
- Break a wishbone. Maybe draw names of who gets to do it. Or have a prize for the bigger piece.
- Make a little treat for each place setting for Thanksgiving. Here are some turkeys. My mom always made cute turkeys or cornucopias out of food. (So we could snack while we were waiting for dinner). They are a lot of fun to make!
- Play Thanksgiving Football. My family has done this for years on Thanksgiving morning. Snow or sunshine they love it!
- Call, Skype, Face Time, or Messenger your loved ones. We are so blessed with so many options for technology. Call extended family and say Hi!
- Have a family game night. We had so many board games that we couldn’t remember playing. So we made a pile to play and tried them all. It was a lot of fun.
- Learn how to make homemade pies. There are so many resources online now that you can learn to do just about anything. My kids loved learning how to make them and especially eating them afterwards.
- Share family stories. My kids love to hear stories of when we were little and got into trouble or silly things they did when they were little.
- Go for a Fall walk together.
- Have a movie marathon…Like: 15 hours of Lord of the Rings/Hobbit or all of the Harry Potter Movies in a row.
- Play Thanksgiving themed games.
- Take a Fall drive together. We do this every year and love to get out in nature and see all of the Fall colors!
- Fall Puzzles and Movies. Puzzles are so much fun to do together. We sit on the floor and do them while we watch something together.
- Decorate for Christmas. We actually decorate the day before Thanksgiving every year. It is our time to say goodbye to Fall and start Christmas.
- Make cheesy soup in homemade soup bowls. So easy! That is a Fall favorite here.
- Thanksgiving pictionary. Here’s a free printable word list.
- Have a fall service day. Here are some service ideas.
- Here is my post about Fun Fall Family Traditions.
Whatever you decide to do, talk with your family and ask them what new traditions they would like to try this year. Go for it! Have fun creating memories together. Even failed attempts can be fun. Some of our favorite memories were laughing about something that didn’t go quite as planned. Traditions will definitely help your family grow closer!
Do you have a tradition that you do for Thanksgiving that wasn’t on the list? I’d love to hear more about it.
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