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  • Writer's pictureChelsea Wilson

Thanksgiving Traditions: What's Your Tradition?

When is Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving 2021 is almost here. It's hard to believe that it's November already and Thanksgiving is right around the corner on November 25th. Family traditions are a large part of the holidays and each family has their own set of traditions they like to do year after year. Family traditions create nostalgic and happy memories for kids and adults of all ages. Everything from Thanksgiving dinner to playing games can be found here.

If you're looking for new family traditions to start or are curious about how others celebrate the holiday, look through this list to get ideas on how you can apply them to your celebration.

Thanksgiving Food

  • Turkey is not popular in our family, so last year we did a fondue feast for Thanksgiving. Cheese fondue for dinner, chocolate fondue for dessert. All of us (6 kids plus parents) agree it was the best Thanksgiving EVER! Doing that again this year- hooray for new traditions! - Jennifer, Dinkum Tribe

  • One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is my aunt making homemade noodles from scratch. Noodles aren’t typically a food most people associate with Thanksgiving, but in our family they're a staple. Thanksgiving noodles is by far one of my favorite memories from my childhood and something the entire family looks forward to every year. She would get up early every year and roll out the dough, and cut each individual noodle. They would make the entire kitchen smell amazing - and we all knew we were getting such a treat once it was time to pile our plates. - Natasha, No Dash of Gluten

  • Every Thanksgiving, my mom and I run around like crazy, picking up Perkins pies and making stuffing to take to our family lunch. The food is amazing, the company is great, and all the ladies in the family are talking about Christmas shopping the next day. We love fueling up on Thanksgiving leftovers before hitting the shops for Black Friday, where we treat ourselves to a fancy lunch at Macy's Lakeshore Grill. The whole week of Thanksgiving is all about coming together and making new memories with the ones I'm most thankful to have in my life. -Rachel, Help A Girl Out

  • Years ago it was looking at the ads and making a plan for day after to shop and have lunch. Now its baking pies and the excitement of my uncles dinner and his sweet potatoes! Not the casserole like everyone else has. These are baked and good. I love that he uses his moms china platter every year even though I am always scared to wash it! And making plans to meet the girls in the family for lunch the day after. - Heather

  • Growing up it was the wishbone! Now as an adult, it’s the scent of dinner floating through the air as people laugh telling stories while we eat. -Katlyn

  • My favorite thanksgiving tradition has to be cooking with my family. Growing up in a family that loved a good meal, I was in the kitchen with my mom and sisters ever since I can remember. Every year, my immediate and extended family gathers in my house to cook our meal. Over the years, the dishes that we prepare have varied immensely, but preparing them together has always been a constant. We all jump back and forth between the cooking in the kitchen and the thanksgiving day parade in the living room, all while laughing, eating, and bonding as a family. While getting together at night to eat the food is always amazing, the journey of making the meal has to be one of my favorite memories of the holiday. -Brianna, Simply Life by Bri

  • A Thanksgiving tradition for my mommy and I was we would go to the store and come home with an explosion of food. My mom would put on her Barry Manilow, which is not my favorite. She would sing to me and even though I hated Barry Manilow I loved my mommy singing it. I can't stand cutting onions. They always make me cry, so I would cut up the celery while Mom always did the onions. We would make the stuffing and cook the turkey all night long. We always started cooking the day before Thanksgiving. I would sneak in the middle of the night and try the turkey. Mom always knew it was me but never got mad. We would finish the rest of the side dishes later on so we could be on time to watch the football game. Even now, I still cook Thanksgiving dinner the same way minus the Barry Manilow music, but of course now I must cut up the onions. The best traditions to me always include music and laughter. That will forever be the soundtrack to my life. -Renea, IntoTheSunshineFromOutOfTheRain

Thanksgiving Activities

  • For many years we had the Thanksgiving tradition of BINGO! The prizes changed every year (thrifted things or "yard sale" things from our homes), but the most common prize was socks from L.L.Bean. -Maggie

  • In my family, Thanksgiving has taken on many different forms from year to year. I have memories of Thanksgiving with more than 20 extended family members around the table, Thanksgiving with my best friend in a college apartment, Thanksgiving in Mexico followed by snorkeling with sea turtles, Thanksgiving with my immediate family hosted at my house, and Thanksgiving in the mountains with snow falling. The one consistent Thanksgiving tradition I have is that I am with people I love. It may not be all of the people I love, or even the same people year after year. But each year, I love the person or people that I spend quality time with on Thanksgiving. Isn't that really what it means to be thankful at Thanksgiving? - KayBee Lives

  • I first started working at a local cafe when I was 16 years old and worked there actively for about 5 years. Every year at Thanksgiving time we got a TON of pie and sweets orders, so I would stay and help my boss (who is my friend) bake pies and sweet two days before Thanksgiving. We would end up staying there until about midnight or 1am getting everything cooked, packaged and labeled. We would take breaks to sit and chat and eat takeout and it was so much. I did this for about 11 years and it was my absolute favorite day out of the year, I always looked forward to "pie night." -Chelsea, TheBestOf_Blog

  • Our favorite Thanksgiving Tradition is being at home and hosting friends & family. While we love being on the road, Thanksgiving is a time to cozy-up at home and spend the day eating, laughing, and enjoying the company of loved ones! What's my tip for the perfect roast turkey? Brine it overnight! It makes all the difference and we can guarantee your guests will declare it is the best turkey they've ever had! - Lauren, DogHop

  • For me Thanksgiving is for family time. My family and I usually have Thanksgiving dinner early in the day. Instead of eating dinner around 5pm or 6pm we have Thanksgiving meal around noon. I personally love this Thanksgiving Tradition. Everyone gets to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade and then we get to have our Thanksgiving meal. In addition, everyone gets to say what they are thankful for while we are eating our dinner. It’s good to remember every day for what we are thankful for. -Deborah, HeadPhonesThoughts

  • One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is making sure we have dinner together. It is funny how often dinner time as a family can be overlooked due to various reasons. These can include: different schedules or eating before getting home. For the most part, there may be other things taking place while trying to eat dinner, so we may not be giving each other enough quality time together. No matter the reason, it changes on Thanksgiving for our family. We all have agreed that on that day, we all have to be at the dinner table ready to eat without the TV, cell phones or any other distractions. My husband and I want to cherish this time together and have created this tradition early on in our marriage. It has been the most enjoyable moments as we get to talk and eat together. -Blessings Pastor Natalie, ExamineThisMoment

  • My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is a kids craft that was started by my mom and created lots of happy memories so now we keep the fun going with our children! Every year on Thanksgiving weekend we enjoy a family hike gathering beautiful fall leaves then craft a thankful tree! It is a meaningful holiday craft that is so easy and fun to make, anyone can do it! First, trace everyone's hands and arms on brown paper to make the tree. This is both easy and nice to see the little hands grow year after year! Next, have fun doing leaf rubbings with each family member writing what they are thankful for on a leaf. Finally, tape both the real leaves and leaf rubbings on your Thanksgiving tree! Our tree decorates the dining room wall for Thanksgiving dinner and we even play pin the leaf on the tree for some extra holiday fun! -Sarah, Happy Moments Mom

  • Last year, our family transitioned from 8 to 6 when my husband's little brother and my little brother moved out. So, I decided I wanted to have a touch of everyone that could be remembered. I came up with an easy DIY thanksgiving family decoration that would remind us of that sweet time for years to come! Check it out here - Sarah, Grace This Place


Now that you've read some of peoples' favorite Thanksgiving traditions, does it give you any new ideas? What do YOU do during your Thanksgiving celebration that is your favorite tradition? Leave a comment below to add to this list to give other's ideas and to spread the joy.


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