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10 Ideas for Celebrating Thanksgiving This Year

Ideas for Celebrating Thanksgiving This Year

The Holiday season is upon us. Needless to say, this pandemic has turned our world upside down, but that shouldn’t stop us from celebrating with those near and far. We just have to adjust and be a little bit more creative this year.

Thanksgiving has been the most popular american holiday since 1863. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, and Americans usually continue the celebrations for the whole weekend.

Pretty straightforward, as the name suggests, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for the things you are grateful for. Usually family and/or friends gather together around a meal consisting of mainly turkey, potatoes or squash and a wide variety of vegetables. Cranberry sauce and stuffing for the turkey are also staples for a traditional thanksgiving meal.

thanksgiving pumpkins

If you are a history enthusiast, there are many resources such as Google, Youtube or Ted talks, among many others, for those who want to know how this popular holiday became what it is today.

Here are some suggestions for those of you planning to celebrate Thanksgiving this year but not too sure what to do.

Charitable dinner

Charitable dinner

For the more fortunate ones, organizing a charitable dinner for those who are not as lucky is a great way to give back to your community, especially if you can fund the whole meal. Of course, these are just some ideas, but you can pull together a few people that are lonely or have lost their jobs and give them a nice meal and a reason to celebrate.

Just like in your family, you must know who’s the master of the bird, who’s sweet potatoes are just perfect or who makes the best pie. Organize yourself in advance and delegate tasks to people. That way it takes some of the pressure off you, but it also makes the people involved feel appreciated. Consider using an online invitation maker to quickly invite your guests and save valuable postage time.

Think active

Think active

While for some people Thanksgiving means stuffing your face and not moving from the couch, for others it is an opportunity to get moving. Whether it is just for a long walk in nature or an organized run, getting active has many benefits. It is not only great for your physical health, your mental health will also thank you.

Some will prefer to take a walk alone so they can clear their heads, but some prefer to get together with a significant other, friend or neighbor and catch up at the same time. Whichever works for you!

Do some crafts

Do some crafts

Crafting is a popular hobby which can be done no matter your budget. All you need is a little imagination and whatever materials you can get your hands on. Kids especially love doing crafts and are usually more creative than adults, so you’re guaranteed a few hours of quiet fun.

  • Pick up some leaves from your walk or even your backyard and make a wreath out of them.
  • Craft turkeys from pine cones and construction paper.
  • Make pilgrim’s hats, paint and decorate them.
  • Play the popular game pin-the-tail, but instead of a donkey use a turkey. If you can’t find one at the store make your own.
  • Dig up for that puzzle you’ve been meaning to do.

Or you can just work on whatever house project you’ve been putting off. The possibilities are endless.

Watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Or.. maybe not this year. Honestly, I’m not sure if this year the parade will go on due to restrictions throughout the world. New York will probably still be in partial lockdown, but they might still host a different version of the traditional parade. Something to keep an eye on.

The first parade organized by the great department store Macy’s took place in 1924. Obviously it was not as big as it is today, but still brought many people together. Until 1946 it was only broadcast on the radio, but as it became more popular it started being televised that year in New York and the following year nationwide.

Today the parade is known worldwide for its famous giant balloons, marching bands, floats filled with entertainers du jour, singing and acrobatics. It offers something for everyone.  And if it doesn’t happen, just Netflix and chill!! That is always a good backup plan!

Watch football

Watch football

If the parade is not a sure thing this year, football is. This season is very different from previous seasons because the players are performing without an audience, which I’m pretty sure feels weird to the players as well as to the viewers. Die-hard football fans will still watch regardless, so at least that’s an option.

Another option is to organize your own pick-up game either in your backyard or at a nearby park.. Conditions permitting, of course, and practicing caution.

Family photoshoot / Zoom celebrations

Zoom celebrations

With Christmas around the corner, another tradition many people practice is taking family portraits during the Thanksgiving break for their Christmas cards. Whether you can afford a professional photographer or not, it is a nice thing to do as a family.

If you don’t live close to your family, the new norm is hosting Zoom parties. This way everyone can participate while practicing the required social distancing guidelines that are still in place in many parts of the world while connecting with one another.

Decorate for Christmas

Decorate for Christmas

For most people Christmas is a joyous occasion and they look forward to it the whole year. Which better time to start decorating for their favorite holiday than during the long Thanksgiving weekend?

The whole family is together so they can all help out and contribute to make it a fun family activity. Getting a head start on holiday decorating is always better when you have extra hands available.

Volunteer

volunteering

There are so many vulnerable people in the world, volunteering makes a great difference in someone’s life, especially during the holidays . Giving back is not only beneficial to those in need, the ones doing the giving find the experience very rewarding.

If you’ve never volunteered before you can just look on the websites of many organizations or community groups, or meals- on wheels. There are lots of different charities you can lend a hand to for a few hours that day, and to some people it brightens their whole day.

Prepare your Black Friday list

Prepare your Black Friday list

Another tradition that has become popular worldwide in the last few years is the ‘Black Friday Sale’. It is the Friday after Thanksgiving, and it has taken such importance in American culture that it is a socially acceptable norm as part of the holiday.

Most people prepare their Christmas shopping list and get most of their shopping done on that weekend since merchants offer huge discounts that particular weekend into Monday, which has become Cyber Monday.

Give Thanks

Give Thanks

It goes without saying, but just in case you got carried away with all the activities, amazing food and fun things you had planned for Thanksgiving weekend, the purpose of this holiday is to be grateful. Give thanks, appreciate what you have, and don’t forget what is most important to you on this meaningful holiday.

We can all be grateful to be ok during these uncertain times, and that should be enough reason for anyone to be thankful. The new normal is hard on everyone, so be kind to one another. Thank you for taking the time to read this!

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