Traditionally, Thanksgiving is a monster-sized holiday. Family and friends crammed into one house with enough food to collapse the table. But what happens when the family is small and the friends all have their own plans? Do you still need to prepare that 25lb turkey with all the fixings? Of course not. The old traditions are great, but no greater than the new ones you can start for your family. Here are some ideas to create your own Thanksgiving traditions without all the fuss:
- 1. Make a difference as a family.
Visit your local food bank or volunteer at a soup kitchen. Perhaps your church is offering a meal and could use help serving. Or maybe contact a nursing home and visit with some seniors who are missing their own traditions.
- 2. Spend the day out and about.
Many businesses don’t close on Thanksgiving. Check in your area: take the kids for a round of miniature golf or go to a matinee. Many retail stores are open to get the jump on Black Friday shopping…start yours or if your children are younger, let them start their wish list for Santa. Walking up & down the toy aisles while you keep notes will definitely be a highlight of their day. Eat dinner at a restaurant. Your kids can get the chicken fingers and fries while you can get the turkey dinner without doing the work.
- 3. Plan a long-weekend trip.
If you aren’t stuck in the same Thanksgiving routine as most families, then you are free to do what you want. Check around to find good weekend destinations just outside your area. Or fly the family to some place you always wanted to visit. Check with your travel agent to see what Thanksgiving travel specials are being offered.
- 4. Stay home for some family down-time.
We could all use a break once in awhile and Thanksgiving is as good a day as any for one. Sleep in (if your kids will let you), cook a big breakfast with all your favorites, and spend the day in your favorite sweats. Everyone can pick a movie and settle in for a marathon. Get out the board games you haven’t played in awhile. Go through family photos together. And as for dinner, resist the urge to go big. Try using turkey breasts halves (instead of a full bird) and pick one or two sides your family loves (hopefully they’re ones that can be made ahead of time). Buy a pie from the bakery for dessert.
No matter what you choose to do for Thanksgiving just remember that the what is never as important as the who. Spending time together as a family (big or small) is a tradition in and of itself.