10 Thanksgiving Traditions to Start With Your Family This Year

‘Tis the season for turkey and traditions. What makes holidays like Thanksgiving so memorable? Long after the food is gone, the memories that families cling to are the special traditions you share together. If you’re looking for some new Thanksgiving traditions to begin with your family, try one (or more) of these this year.


Thanksgiving is a holiday that’s rooted in tradition. Nearly everyone has memories of their own family’s celebrations of this day. But, if you’re doing the same old same old, year after year, it can be hard to remember why exactly you’re doing those things in the first place. A great way to remind yourself and your family about what Thanksgiving means to you is by starting a new tradition. This list of 10 Thanksgiving Traditions to Start with Your Family is sure to help you find something new and meaningful that your family can do each year.

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1. Set up an ornament creation station to keep the kids busy while dinner is being prepared. Since many families put their trees up the weekend after Thanksgiving, now’s a great time to get started on homemade ornaments. If you’re not in the Christmas spirit just yet, make these Turkey Paper Bag Puppets instead.

2. Create a signature Thanksgiving drink. Make sure it’s non-alcoholic so the kids can feel included, too. I’ve seen some fantastic and yummy drinks this week, including this Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider, or this Pumpkin Spice Frappe. We have a yummy Pumpkin Spice Latte for all you coffee lovers, too!

3. Provide games and contests for the kids if you’re hosting or attending a large Thanksgiving dinner. Pin the Tail Feathers on the Turkey or a good old-fashioned turkey-call contest are fun themed activities that will have everyone roaring with laughter.

4. Display a Thankful Tree in your kitchen or dining room. Provide each guest with a leaf and a pen to write down what he or she is thankful for. Read the leaves aloud as they are taped or pinned to the tree.

Related: 13 DIY Thanksgiving Decorations to Spruce Up Your Home

5. Gift the dinner host or hostess with a new set of Tupperware. This is more about good manners than tradition, but you can make it a little of both! When a host sends leftovers home with guests, he or she rarely gets all the containers back. A new set of food storage containers would be a welcome gift for anyone on Thanksgiving!

6. Share a favorite scripture or poem about Thankfulness when everyone is gathered around the dinner table. It may seem a little cheesy, but considering all the commercialism surrounding the holidays, it’s a good reminder that it’s supposed to be more about giving thanks and less about being stuffed with turkey.

7. Set out grateful place cards. Set out one of our printable Gratefulness place cards for each guest at your dining table. Allow each person to write what they’re thankful for, and then designate someone to read them out loud. You can put these in a scrapbook or photo album to reflect on every year.

Download these Thanksgiving Gratitude Place Cards printable thanksgiving gratitude place cards

8. Create a keepsake tablecloth. Buy a (durable) tablecloth, and have everyone present sign their names on it. If you have children that are too young to write their names, have them leave a handprint or footprint on the cloth. Use the same tablecloth each year. You’ll love to see how much your family has grown, and it’ll be really special to see the handwriting of those who have passed after years have gone by.

9. Make a cornucopia with your family and fill it with objects that are meaningful to everyone. After you’re done, use it as the centerpiece for your table so that everyone can be reminded of their blessings throughout the whole dinner.

10. Give a Thanksgiving meal to people who can’t afford one. Whether you can afford to pull out all the stops, or you can only give a small amount, it will likely make someone’s day, and it’ll get your family in the giving spirit.






Everyone loves a good meal, but it takes extra thought and care to make your Thanksgiving special. Hopefully, this list has given you plenty of ideas to bring back to your family’s table, so your holiday can be even more meaningful.

10 Thanksgiving Traditions Your Family Will Love Year After Year

If you enjoyed this post on Thanksgiving traditions, check out more ideas for turkey day:

36 thoughts on “10 Thanksgiving Traditions to Start With Your Family This Year”

  1. I love these ideas! Really like the idea of providing games for the kids…it will help keep them from getting bored and into trouble.

    • Exactly. I remember often being bored on Thanksgiving because it seemed like such an “adult” holiday. No presents! LOL But having some crafts, games, etc. for the kids will make it more pleasant for everyone.

  2. These are all great ideas. I like the idea of a signature drink! could also be fun to do a new one each year and vote on favorites as the years go by.

  3. I love these tips. We are going to our parents’ for Thanksgiving even though we are in our 30s but I can’t wait until we start our own tradition with our family.

  4. I love the idea of a Thankful tree! I first heard about it earlier this year and I can’t wait to do it this year <3

  5. We don’t celebrate thanksgiving in NZ but I really think we should, it’s such a great idea to actually stop and think about what you are grateful for as not many people do that and there is so much to be grateful for!

  6. I love the gratitude tree idea!! 🙂 if we had a big family gathering we would love to do something like that. meanwhile i keep my own personal gratitude jar which has been working great for me.. but it’s def not ornamental.

    • Hey, whatever works. I love the idea of the gratitude jar, though. Easy to pull something out whenever you’re having a bad day to remind yourself of all you’ve been blessed with. Thanks for the comment!

    • That’s wonderful that you make the holiday fun for your kiddos. I remember being “bored” as a kid because it seemed like a holiday for adults. We want to keep it fun for our little guy. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  7. I saw this too late for this year but these are all really great ideas! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Share The Wealth Sunday!

  8. Pingback: Thanksgiving Day Mistakes That Will Cost You Money

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