I figure most families have their own traditions they observe around Thanksgiving. I suspect most families feature food, football, and the Macys Parade in there somewhere. Because we spent our first 9 Thanksgivings in a country that doesn't observe this particular holiday, our traditions were basically limited to a turkey dinner when Toby got home from work. When we moved to the US, we had some more options regarding how we'd like to celebrate this particular holiday, but not a whole lot of ingenuity. Over the past few years, we've started including a few things that would help us find some middle ground between crazed crafting excess and total inertia. Things like:
- Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember by Barbara Rainey. I don't remember where we got this book and CD from, but it's been such a blessing. The artwork in the book is lovely, and the narrator on the CD is excellent. I don't know about you but the reader can really make or break a story. Going over the history of the Thanksgiving story, it's an excellent reminder of what this holiday is about, and inspires more things to give thanks for (like not having to endure a 6 month ocean crossing when I moved!).
- Not shopping.
- Simple crafts. By simple, I don't mean needing a dozen Martha Stewart supplies and several hours-worth of drying time. I mean things like everyone writing down 3 things they're thankful for on some leaves or something. Color in a hand-shaped turkey. Make a construction-paper pilgrim hat. Pin the feather on the turkey. Pinterest has loads of ideas, of course, but remember - if it's likely to take longer than half an hour or increase the stress level exponentially, skip it.
- Play some games. Holidays are the perfect time to unearth those underplayed games. Except Monopoly. Never play Monopoly if you want to encourage familial peace and harmony. Play word games, charades, games that just make you laugh. Then be thankful for the ability and opportunity to laugh.