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The countdown to Thanksgiving is officially on and with it comes the chaos of the holiday season. Thanksgiving tradition may be all about togetherness and family, but it’s easy to lose sight of that when you’re up at 4 am putting a turkey in the oven. Why not take this year to start some new family traditions to help your whole family remember the importance of the holiday? Here are some ways you can incorporate new Thanksgiving tradition into your line-up and get your littles involved in the festivities.
Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for the gifts we’ve been given, but the reality is that a lot of families won’t have the means to put a full meal on the table. Gather up the family and spend a day in the service of others. It’s a great opportunity to talk about the meaning behind the holiday season with your kids and the whole family (and to get them off their cellphones for a few minutes.)
There are several churches and food banks in the area that provide services to the hungry Sacramento community. Call your local church or you can contact Sacramento Loaves and Fishes which will be serving a Thanksgiving meal on Tuesday, Nov 20th. You could also call a local Assisted Living Center and spend some time after your own Thanksgiving meal visiting with the elderly who don’t have families. No matter how you choose to celebrate the holiday season, taking the time to help others is a worthy way to bring your family closer.
Write down all of your family’s favorite recipes and put them into a cookbook. It’s an amazing way to keep track of what your family loves each year and will be the perfect gift to hand down to your kids when they strike out on their own (much sooner than you are ready for). If your family is more of the potluck kind, have everyone write their recipe down or bring it with them. Each year your cookbook will grow and be beautiful preservation of everyone’s contributions. Who doesn’t love to look at old handwritten recipe cards?
How about starting up (or enhancing) the age-old Thanksgiving tradition of telling everyone what you are thankful for this year? You don’t have to be a Pinterest mom to get a little crafty with the kids. How about a fun and interactive Chain of Blessings made with construction paper slips and a glue stick? Going for the rustic table setting? Pick up a roll of butcher paper and some silver sharpies at the craft store. Each guest can write what they’re thankful for by their place settings?
Or maybe you’re the baking type. Have each guest write what they are thankful for on a small slip of paper. You can bake the papers right into the bread rolls before serving. When everyone digs into the meal they can read their papers out loud and guess who wrote it! The possibilities are as endless as your imagination and your family will love being involved.
Let’s face it, whether you’re just bringing a side dish to a gathering or hosting the meal at your home, this holiday season means a lot more time in the kitchen. Spend more time with the kids by bringing them into the kitchen to help prepare the meal?
Start by picking an easy side dish that you can task them with. Toddlers enjoy mashing potatoes with their hands, older kids could assist in tasks like rolling out the dough for pies. By putting the kids in charge of their own dishes you’ll be able to watch them grow up perfecting it. What a great memory for them to hold on to each year!
A new and fun Thanksgiving tradition to start could be a new board game. Gathering your family around the living room to play a game is a great way to keep everyone connected and give your kids that closeness feeling that family gatherings bring. Making it an annual game played every Thanksgiving will engrave a wonderful memory in your kids that they will cherish their whole life.
After a marathon of a meal, how about getting the whole crew outside for a little exercise and conversation? Take a walk around your neighborhood or put together a quick game of football or soccer in the front yard. It’s a great way to work off all that food and to make room for pie!
You can view more things to do with your kids in our growing list of articles on our Blog page.
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