Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love the idea of an entire day dedicated to being thankful. An entire day designated as a break from the fast-paced hustle and bustle of the daily life to pause, be with family, and just be thankful. Unlike other holidays (I’m talking to you Christmas!), there is no expectation of gifts or presents or rewards. It is simply just a day to be with family and friends. Ahhhh, I love it!
To celebrate Thanksgiving, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite Thanksgiving celebrations and crafts you can do with your family. We challenge you to ring in the spirit of the holiday and spend time together with loved ones as you create lasting memories together.
Hapari's Favorite Way To Celebrate Thanksgiving
The Thankful Tree
The Thankful Tree is one thing I will definitely be doing this year. It’s a simple reminder of all the things we have to be thankful for. It’s also a great tool for introducing kiddos to the concept of Thanksgiving.
Simply use construction paper to create a ‘tree.’ On each of the leaves have your family and friends write one thing they are thankful for this year. To make it more like a countdown, I like to have each of our family members write on one leaf per day and hang it up. That way we are constantly reminded to be grateful and can think of new things to hang up each day.
Everyone’s a Cook
One of the most stressful things about Thanksgiving is preparing the feast. For many parents, the task of cooking falls on us. This year, we encourage you to try a different approach. Instead of getting stressed and overwhelmed about the idea of cooking the entire meal, make everyone a cook! That means whomever you’re inviting for your Thanksgiving meal, they each have a food assignment. The kids, the parents, the aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends, etc. — they all help out! For kids, try having them prepare a simple dish like the cranberry sauce. You can take your kids to the store and let them do everything from picking out the specific cranberries to getting the other ingredients for the recipe. Then they are in charge of following the recipe directions and clean-up afterwards. Yes, they’ll still require supervision, but it will teach them a lot about cooking and take some stress off your plate. Having friends and family help divvy up the dishes should make it so each person is only in charge of a few dishes instead of the entire meal.
Instead of worrying about your own Thanksgiving dinner, why not try volunteering this year to provide Thanksgiving to those in need? Or volunteer in the morning and spend the evening with your family. Many homeless shelters are in need of volunteers to donate their time on Thanksgiving morning. Having your kids join in is a great opportunity to teach them to serve others. Besides homeless shelters, you can volunteer at animal rescue, helping troubled youth, volunteering with refugees, etc. There are many opportunities to help those in need this holiday! A great source for finding volunteer opportunities is at VolunteerMatch.com.
Football with Family + Friends
One of many people’s favorite Thanksgiving day traditions centers around football. Whether watching the game, playing in a local tournament or hosting a backyard game, people love football on Thanksgiving! So, why not embrace the tradition and incorporate football into your Thanksgiving. Pack the kids up and go watch a local game. It’s always fun cheering for family and friends! Or, host a local pickup game in your backyard. Make it flag or touch football, and all the kids can participate. It’s also a great way to burn calories before the big feast!
Family Movie Night
Thanksgiving is notorious for the release of epic-blockbusters. Most people are off work and spend time with their family on Thanksgiving, so it makes perfect sense for the long awaited family-friendly movies to be released on this day. We couldn’t be more happy they are! Having great movies (ahem, Mocking Jay!) come out on Thanksgiving, makes it a perfect time to hit the theaters with the fam. Bundle up, grab some popcorn, and chow down for a midday movie or go after the festivities and stay up late for some Black Friday shopping.
No matter what you do this Thanksgiving, we hope you celebrate the meaning behind the holiday and have a great day with your family and friends. We’re certainly thankful to have all of you as part of our Hapari community.