People make a genuine effort to come home and celebrate thanksgiving and then Christmas with their family and friends. Sometimes, the celebrations become monotonous. If you want Thanksgiving Day to be different than the rest of the days, you need to make an effort.

So why not think out of the box and set your own holiday traditions this season? Here is a list of delightful ways to lure your family this year and create a bank of beautiful memories for years to come. Spoiler alert: It also includes watching Halloween movies on Netflix. Let’s begin…

1: Start With a Big Breakfast

Start the day by having a big breakfast. You can also simply choose to serve bagels and sweat bread to everyone. Since it’s an important day, it deserves a wonderful opening.

2: Name the Bird

Why not name the turkey? It will be a playful way to add some fun and involve the kids in the preparation of the meal.

If you have a large family, invite everyone to sit together one night before thanksgiving and name the bird. You can also share anecdotes about the life of the turkey. It’s going to be fun.

3: Create a Thanksgiving Banner

Create a banner that you can display in the dining room. You just have to do it once and reuse the banner year after year. For this, you don’t really have to rush to the craft store to buy extra supplies. Here is the list of materials you will need:

  • Fabric scraps to cut letters
  • Fabric tape
  • Ribbon
  • Glue

You can also cut out pages from an old book and create letters for your banner. It totally depends on your creativity.

4: Create an Annual Holiday Scrapbook

This is another way to set traditions and take the input of your family. Include the holiday menu, name those members who helped prepare each dish and took part in the decorations and so on. Take photos of the family while cooking the meal until the end of the table when all the guests join the holiday dinner. You can also record the family recipes that are handed you down for generations.

5: Don’t Forget the Pie

Usually, it’s a pecan or pumpkin piece that’s served on the dinner on Thanksgiving Day. Ask your mum or grandma for help. Kids should be a part of this dessert-making effort too. This tradition will become a memory of a lifetime.

6: Appreciation Gift

You are not hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year? No problem! There are still ways to set traditions. For instance, you buy an appreciation gift for your host. It could be anything – pumpkin bread, a jug of apple cider or even a pie. If you are the host, then you can place thank you note cards beside each table place thanking everyone for joining the dinner and making the night special.

7: Watch a Thanksgiving Movie

There’s a whole list of the best thanksgiving movies you can watch together with your family. Pick the one that appeals to people of all ages. There is nothing more gratifying than sharing laughter with your family.

8: Read a Thanksgiving Storybook

Another great idea is to read a thanksgiving storybook each year as a family. Choose a different family member each year to read the story out loud. You can also reenact the story with the children.

9: Reach Out to Your Neighbors

Reach out to your elderly or single neighbors and invite them to join you over for the thanksgiving dinner. Another kind gesture is to hand-deliver thanksgiving cards to neighbors, postman, and anyone you wish to. Make others feel special this day.

10: Share the Bounty

Before Thanksgiving Day, see if you can afford to donate food or clothes to the homeless. It’s best if you call a soup kitchen or a shelter home in advance to see what they really need. You can also choose to volunteer at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving Day. Make sure kids take part in this activity so that they carry on this tradition for years to come.

11: Create a Holiday Music Tradition

Music can always light the night up. Is there someone in your family who plays a Cello, guitar or piano? Encourage them to play something on thanksgiving. If there are no musicians in your family, no worries, just pick some albums and play the music. In my family, we use the Internet provided by Optimum plans to play music on Spotify. Everyone suggests their favorite song for the holiday and that’s how we create a playlist.

With these tips, embrace the spirit of the holiday and set a new thanksgiving tradition that highlights gratitude.