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Thanksgiving: 3 New Trends to Try and 3 Traditions to Keep

Thanksgiving is an opportunity to gather family and friends, to be a bit nostalgic, to feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude, and to get knee-deep into our traditions, whether it be time-honored classics or whimsical favorites that are unique to our tribe.  But what made our special tradition actually a tradition? Easy. Someone started it. Here are three traditions that will never go out of style and three you may want to incorporate this year to be carried on for generations to come.

 

 

Keep:

Those passed-down family recipes.  Digging out grandma’s baked rolls recipe card and Aunt Marge’s cranberry sauce is a beautiful way to remember those who came before us laboring in love over pots of gravy and casserole dishes of green beans.  Not only does it remind us of them, it signals to all that The Feast is going to be as good as they remember if from year’s past. Don’t ruin the spirit by substituting New and Different for a tribal favorite.      

 

Your way of saying Thanks.  “My family covers the table with butcher paper. During the meal, pens are distributed and each family member writes down a few things they’re thankful for on the paper. We then go around reading our gratitudes. It’s fun to keep the scribbles, or sometimes we just take pictures of the pieces of paper.” (-from thekitchn.com reader)  Whatever your way of expressing gratitude, make it a focal point of your day. 

 

Turkey day TV watching.  The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.  Football. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving...take your pick.  A day full of feasting needs an equally full amount of peaceful digestion.  What better way to accomplish that than curled up on the sofa surrounded by family?  Pass another piece of pie, please.

 

Trends to Try:

Virtual family time.  In this busy world, there’s a chance some family that is near and dear will not be able to go the distance.  But do they need to miss all of Turkey Day? Not in this day and age! Virtual conference in those who are far-off and give your Thanksgiving a 21st century twist.

 

Remember those you’ve lost.  Embrace the feeling of nostalgia and set aside some time to honor those you have lost.  Put up a table of photos, or write down their names and display them. Take some time to have everyone share a memory of the person.  You’ll be gratified to see the younger generation learn something they may have never known and the older generation feel the joy of passing down those happy times.    

Take some time for yourself.  Before you get busy with the joy of serving others, slow down the day for yourself.  Enjoy a cup of coffee, take a long walk, read something that inspires you.  

 

Be deliberate with your time.  Allowing yourself a chance to fill up - in your own way - will produce a happier, more productive you.  And that makes for a very, very Happy Thanksgiving.