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11 THE BEST Thanksgiving Traditions for 2023

11 Thanksgiving Traditions to Warm Up Your Holiday will give you ideas on how you can celebrate the blessings in your life.  

If you’re looking for more ideas on making your Thanksgiving holiday one to remember, The Best Thanksgiving Turkey Brine and 21 Gratitude Quotes You’ll Love will help you on your path.

Best Thanksgiving Traditions for your family and friends - pumpkins with rolling pins, jar of cranberries, and pie.

Thanksgiving comes once a year, and its the one time we are able to gather together with our family and friends and give thanks for having them in our lives.  

Why not add a few new ways to celebrate Thanksgiving to your holiday and get the most out of this time together?  

What are some good Thanksgiving traditions?  Any tradition that brings your family and friends closer together.  

Finding meaningful ways to spend time together is what Thanksgiving is all about.  Traditions add the richness to the holidays.

Whether you have a small family Thanksgiving, or a large gathering – these ideas will help give you special Thanksgiving stories that will be passed down the generations.  

Even if you celebrate your Thanksgiving with no family – only friends – why not add traditions that will deepen your friendships?  

“Thanksgiving is a joyous invitation to shower the world with love and gratitude.”

Amy Leigh Mercer

Creating a Cozy Life Group

Since you’re looking for Thanksgiving traditions, I’m guessing you like all things cozy living. I created a Facebook group called Creating a Cozy Life with over 58,000 like-minded souls.

It’s a group where we share recipes, pictures of things that leave you in awe, and ideas on how to make your life just a little bit more snug.  Join here to be part of the virtual cozy cabin.

Here are the 11 Thanksgiving Traditions to Warm Up Your Holiday: 

1. Family Walk

11 Thanksgiving Traditions to Warm Up Your Holiday

One of the favorite Thanksgiving family traditions is to take a family morning walk in the woods on Thanksgiving morning.  You can use this time to collect greenery to decorate your home and to spend quality time with your loved ones.  

The kids look for natural elements like pinecones, holly, acorns and leaves to add special touches to the holiday decor.  

One family I know uses the greenery they retrieve on the walk for a wreath making party the day after Thanksgiving.  

If you’re looking for fun ways to celebrate Thanksgiving, this idea you’ll love.  Enjoying the fresh air, spending time in nature, and using natural elements to spark your family’s creativity will all be accomplished with one activity.  

2. Make something with pumpkin

Thanksgiving Traditions Ideas

Every Thanksgiving challenge yourself to find a new pumpkin recipe to serve your guests.  Enjoying pumpkin is one of the best old Thanksgiving traditions.  

There are so many different ideas to choose from; pumpkin dip, pumpkin scones, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin bread, pumpkin granola, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin bars, pumpkin ice cream, and pumpkin cookies are just some of the recipes you can try.  

You could also have a fun recipe contest between family members. Taste-testing pumpkin dishes is the perfect Thanksgiving entertainment everyone will love.  

Take pictures of all the submissions and award the winner a “Pumpkin King or Queen” trophy for the year.  

3. Thanksgiving tree

Thanksgiving Traditions to Start

Put up your Christmas tree early and decorate it with Thanksgiving decor instead of Christmas items.  

Start collecting small turkeys to hang, Indian corn to attach to the branches, pumpkin ornaments, and tiny scarecrows are just some of the ideas you can use to decorate your tree.  

Before Thanksgiving dinner, have pre-cut leaves from fall-colored construction paper made and have everyone at the table write down what they are thankful for and then hang on the tree.  

Your children could also make their own Thankful Turkey Craft. You can find out how here.

4. Memory quilts

Special Thanksgiving Stories

Thanksgiving means family, so making family memory quilts to keep you warm while watching fall-themed movies with some caramel popcorn.  

Memory quilts are created with old clothing of your loved ones and made into a patchwork design.  Even if family members have passed on, you can use a clothing item of theirs to keep the memory of them close to your heart.  

5. Using heirloom recipes

Thanksgiving Heirloom Recipes

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to dust off Grandma’s old recipes and teach the younger generation how to make the dishes.  

Making amazing food is one of the main secrets on how to have a good Thanksgiving.  

6. Annual Thanksgiving flag-football game

Thanksgiving Flag Football Tradition

Football and Thanksgiving go together like mashed potatoes and gravy.  Get the whole family involved and let everyone play.  

Come up with team names and make up silly touch-down dances every time your side scores.  

7. Family tree

Special Thanksgiving Stories

Your family is what gives you roots and wings.  Honor those that are no longer with you with photos of your loved ones on the Thanksgiving table.  

Give thanks for the wisdom each person passed down and include fun stories that you experienced with your relatives.  Your kids will learn how lucky they were to be part of a rich heritage.  

8. Giving Back

Old Thanksgiving Traditions

Let Thanksgiving be the time where you decide as a family how you will give back to the world for your blessings.  

You can change the charity you would like to give to and map out a plan on how you will donate your time and/or money throughout the year.  

9. Sentimental Touches  

Thanksgiving Traditions to Warm Up Your Holiday

I read in a magazine about one family that had a Thanksgiving tradition of having everyone sign the tablecloth that was at the table every year and date the signature.  

After Thanksgiving was over, the grandmother would embroider the signatures and date and the tablecloth became a history log of who sat around the table each year.  

10. Natural art

Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving

Art is something the whole family can do and have fun at the same time.  Gather natural elements to bring inside and create works of art using the items they found.  

Everyone can vote on their favorite work of art during Thanksgiving dinner.  

11. Writing letters to God 

Thoughtful Thanksgiving Ideas

Every year, have everyone in the family write a letter to God giving thanks for all the gifts that happened in his or her life that year.  

You can have a special wooden box that you keep all the letters in and randomly read previous Thanksgiving tradition letters during your meal.  

We’ve reached the end of 11 Thanksgiving traditions to warm up your holiday. I hope you enjoyed it!

I would love to hear of you have odd Thanksgiving traditions, or what Thanksgiving traditions from around the world you celebrate, or other fun ways to celebrate Thanksgiving in the comments below.  

Thanks for dropping by! 

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11 Thanksgiving Traditions to Warm Up Your Holiday | Thanksgiving Traditions to Start | Thanksgiving Traditions Ideas

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Musical Pipes

Friday 11th of November 2022

Our family tradition is to play pipe chimes with the whole family. Young and old can all play Christmas songs together with no musical talent. Lots of fun memories and laughs.


Saturday 12th of November 2022

I love that idea! Thanks for sharing. Kelly

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