The best moments of Thanksgiving are those that bring us together with friends, family, and remind us what we’re thankful for in our lives. As the holiday approaches, you may be searching for ways to inspire those moments, cut down on stress, and create a meaningful day for yourself and your loved ones. Here are eight simple ideas that can have a big impact on your Thanksgiving celebrations:
Be Conscious About Giving Thanks
It can be easy to get caught up in the stress of travel, cooking, or accommodating guests. But don’t forget what this holiday is all about: being grateful for the good people and moments in your life. Take some time this Thanksgiving to remember what you’re thankful for. You can write down a list, take a meditative break to reflect, or share with friends and family around the table.
Press Pause on Shopping
Buying a bunch of new items can create a distraction from the spirit of the holiday. By putting the credit card down, you may find that you’re able to focus more fully on what you already have. If shopping is an important part of your family’s Thanksgiving tradition, consider a new rule that you will only buy gifts for one another this year. This rule will help you appreciate your time together, rather than focusing on your personal shopping list.
Cook and Bake Together
Another excellent way to enjoy time with friends and family is to create a Thanksgiving meal together. You may find that the holiday becomes more communal and conversational when your group is working together. Baking simple treats such as cookies with kids is an especially great way to include them in the holiday and give them something to be proud of at the Thanksgiving table.
Take Time for Photos
After all the time spent preparing, cooking, and looking forward to seeing old friends and family, Thanksgiving day can fly by before you know it. Whether you take the time for a group photo or just snap candids throughout the day, you will be glad to have memories preserved after the holiday ends.
Serve One Another at the Table
This is a subtle change that can have a significant impact on your holiday. When guests serve themselves, they are focused on their plates and their tastes. When they serve one another, they are focused on the people around them. It’s a great way to get conversation flowing and to make sharing an integral part of your Thanksgiving celebrations.
Plan a Group Activity
For many families and friend groups, Thanksgiving is one of the few times in the year that loved ones are all in the same place. A group activity will help you appreciate the time that you have together. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Take a nature walk together
- Watch home movies
- Play a board game
- Make arts and crafts
Reduce Food Waste
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans purchase roughly 730 million pounds of turkey for Thanksgiving, of which about 204 million pounds goes to waste. That translates to 1 million tons of wasted carbon dioxide and more than 100 billion gallons of water that went into the meat production. Cutting down on portions this year, or asking your guests to bring the side dishes potluck-style, can help you celebrate a more eco-conscious holiday this year.
Give Back to Your Community
One of the most important ways to have a meaningful Thanksgiving is to share it with others in your community. You can volunteer your time at food drives, food banks, and shelters; try to set aside some time ahead of Thanksgiving day, because helping these organizations prepare for the holiday can be particularly useful. Read here for volunteer opportunities in your local community.