Thanksgiving Day is an annual national holiday in the United States and Canada. It used to be a celebration of the harvest, but why do we celebrate Thanksgiving these days? Thanksgiving has evolved to become a secular holiday where we celebrate gratitude and spend time with our loved ones.
While many families only focus on the Thanksgiving feast, there are many other ways to have a Thanksgiving celebration with your family. It's easy for the true meaning of Thanksgiving to get lost in all the decorations, food, and activities. The stress of the day can easily overshadow the joys.
So, keep reading to find out more about the five tips you need to know to help you celebrate Thanksgiving with your family in style.
1. Plan Ahead!
Thanksgiving is always on the fourth Thursday in November. So there's no reason for you to get caught unaware and add unnecessary stress to your life.
Confirm who will be joining your celebration early in November to ensure you have enough time to adequately prepare. When confirming, also double-check if there are any dietary requirements that you might have missed. Having a headcount will also help you plan for the day.
Once you know who will be attending, you can start planning out your food and activities. This will give you enough time to buy all the ingredients you need without breaking the bank with one big shop.
If you're planning on making turkey, you also need to get that sorted as soon as possible. You don't want to end up making chicken because the store ran out of turkeys.
When it comes to planning activities, you need to factor cooking and prep time around them. If all the cooking is done beforehand, then you can go ham on the activities, but you don't want to burn the food because you were busy playing a game. But don't spend the entire day in front of the stove either!
2. Keep Kids Engaged
If you have children, you'll know how difficult it can be to cook a big meal and plan a party while they're running around. So plan ahead and have some crafts and activities set out for them to keep them occupied.
You can also use Thanksgiving as the theme for the activities. Your kiddos can make hand turkeys and decor to use at the celebration while you get all the last-minute jobs done.
3. Practice Self Care
It's easy to get lost in all the hubbub of Thanksgiving and work yourself ragged. Planning and setting up a Thanksgiving celebration can be incredibly stressful as you need to work with everyone's schedules and needs.
On this day of giving thanks, it's important to take some time for yourself. This can be anything that brings you peace, be it reading a few pages of a book, or going on a quick jog.
To ensure the day doesn't wear you down, you need to take a few mindful breaks throughout the day to center yourself. It won't be worth it to put on a fantastic celebration if you're too burnt out to enjoy it with your family.
4. Make Your Own Tradition
Thanksgiving day has copious amounts of traditions for you to choose from. Most Thanksgiving traditions are passed down from family to family, but there is no rule saying you can't start a new tradition.
There is nothing better to mark the start of a new beginning than the start of a new family tradition. You can pick something simple like a family-themed drink to include in your Thanksgiving feast, or you can go all out and plan a tradition that will be used for years to come.
When making your own traditions, you need to base them on something. If you simply use something you saw on Pinterest, there won't be any personal ties to it. You're less likely to keep up with these traditions if they don't mean something to you.
So take the time to sit with your family and brainstorm some traditions that will withstand the tests of time.
5. Consider Community Service to Help Locals
To truly get into the spirit of Thanksgiving and cultivate gratitude, consider doing some community service with your family. There is nothing better than spending the day with your family while giving back to your community.
You can check out if there are any locally organized community service events that you can join, or you can plan one yourself.
Community service doesn't need to be big and bold. You can get together with your family and clean up your local park. This type of community service doesn't require much prep, and the whole community can benefit from it.
You can also consider partnering with a food bank or shelter to help them create a Thanksgiving meal. Everyone doesn't have the opportunity to spend this holiday with their family, so you can help them feel welcome.
Celebrate Thanksgiving by Showing Gratitude
How you celebrate Thanksgiving will depend on what you value and enjoy. If you want a Thanksgiving celebration based around turkey and decorations, then that's what you'll do. If you want to rather take some time off and simply relax with your family, then that is just as valid as planning a Thanksgiving feast.
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