It feels like every year the time between when we hang up our Halloween costumes and start holiday prep gets shorter and shorter. It’s goodbye pumpkin spice and the crisp smell of fall leaves and hello to peppermint mocha and the cozy smell of pine needles.
I don’t blame us though. Christmas has bright lights, sugar cookies, and SANTA! I mean, it’s hard for Thanksgiving to complete! However, I think there’s just something about having family gathered around delicious food and the warm colors of fall that feels so nostalgic. It takes me back to my childhood and it feels like home.
I talked with some mama friends about their favorite Thanksgiving traditions, so if you’re considering starting a new one, here are a couple of ideas to get you started.
1. Handmade Placemats
Gather all the children together the day before, or the morning of, Thanksgiving to create individual placemats for your big dinner. This is a great way to entertain the littles while the adults are in the kitchen. (Pinspiration: Handmade Placemats)
2. Cooking Together
Some of my favorite Thanksgiving memories are helping my great-grandmother make mashed potatoes and rolls for dinner. They were special moments that now, over 25 years later, I cherish so deeply. She had the tiniest kitchen but always made room for me and my sister when it came to cooking holiday meals.
3. Share What You’re Grateful For
This is a great conversation to have during your meal! Everyone takes a turn going around the table and sharing what they are grateful for this year. We also like to include one wish for the New Year.
4. Movie Marathon
PJ pants. Hot cocoa. Cuddles on the couch. I’m just going to leave this right here … Thanksgiving Day Movie Marathons.
This year I am starting a new Thanksgiving tradition with my family by playing the Saran Wrap Ball game. Every year around the holidays these videos circulate online and they’re hilarious! The best part is you can get the supplies rather inexpensively and it looks like a whole lot of fun. (Pinspiration: Saran Wrap Ball Game )
Do you prefer Black Friday shopping or Small Business Saturday? Either way, you’re bound to have some fun while burning off some of those extra feast calories. Best advice: go with a plan, some comfy shoes, and a whole lot of patience.
7. Christmas Decorations
One of our favorite family traditions is to put up our Christmas decorations, tree included, the day after Thanksgiving. We like to light some candles, turn on Shrek the Halls (which if you haven’t watched before you should), and dive headfirst into the holidays. This is also a great day to relax and enjoy some yummy leftovers.
8. Ornament Making
Another fun way to entertain the kiddos while all the cooking takes place – or even during post-dinner nap time – is to make ornaments together. These would be great to gift the Thanksgiving cooks or to take home to hang on the tree. (Pinspiration: Ornament Making)