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Thanksgiving Morning Traditions

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Do you have any Thanksgiving morning traditions? Most traditions on this day seem to be centered around food and take place at the dinner table. But what about leading up to the big meal?

We all love Thanksgiving. A good chunk of the reason is food, but we also love it because it gives us a chance to get together with family we may not see as often as we’d like.

Most of us have great traditions we do every Thanksgiving, like say what we’re grateful for, etc. But tend to slack on the morning traditions.

fun Thanksgiving morning traditions. great family traditions! I love the video one!

I love celebrating the holidays with family, so the idea of having Thanksgiving morning traditions as well really just elongates the holiday. It’s no longer just dinner; Thanksgiving is an all-day event.

Thanksgiving morning traditions:

  1. Breakfast.

We don’t want a HUGE breakfast since we’ll be feasting later on, but we still want breakfast. I don’t want to wait around all day until dinner to eat.

And a lot of times we will skip lunch since dinner begins earlier than normal at around 3 or 4 pm, but breakfast is still a must in our house.

We LOVE serving fruit with this sweet cottage cheese dip as breakfast. In fact, I usually set out that fruit dip for breakfast, and then a savory chip dip to graze on around 11ish.

If you are inviting people over maybe have one person in charge of breakfast. This could even be something simple like donuts or a special cereal you don’t usually get.

Try and keep it as simple as possible, and preferably something that doesn’t require a lot of cooking since your stove and oven may already be occupied.

2. Turkey Trot.

5k’s don’t require a lot of training and can even be walked if you’re not a runner. There are typically a lot of races on Thanksgiving day. Look up some in your area.

It doesn’t even have to be so formal. A simple walk as a family is a great way to start the morning!

3. Go on a hike.

If you don’t want to trot, head out for a quick hike! We are super fortunate to have a lot of nearby hiking trails. Just be sure to pick a short one, since you probably need to get that turkey in the oven!

4. Macy’s Day Parade.

Yep, every year. This is a fun one to just have in the background if no ones already dominating the TV with football.

5. Watch Football.

Another good one. It’s a must have on Thanksgiving.

6. Play Football.

We love using the Franklin Kong-Air Giant Inflatable Football Set, because it really takes away the advantage from the experienced football players making it a fun game for everyone.

I’ve heard of a family once who would spray paint their lawn as a small football field to play. What a fun tradition!

7. Play card games or board games.

We love getting together with my sister and her family and playing all sorts of card games, anything from Spades to Poker or even Go Fish!! We also love Old Maid!

8. Make a countdown to Christmas or New Year’s Calendar.

I know, we really should focus on the holiday at hand, but when else are you going to make your countdown calendars?

9. Pass down a Thanksgiving recipe.

Have everyone print out copies of the recipe of the dish they bring to Thanksgiving dinner. I love printing mine out from an etsy template.

10. Put up Christmas lights.

Put these up in the morning and then have a big Christmas light reveal after dinner, once the sun has set. Follow it up with a holiday movie and this sounds like the perfect way to wrap up the night.

11. Make Thanksgiving cookies.

These can be baked the night before (so you don’t use up valuable oven space) and decorated on Thanksgiving. Have everyone help with the decorating. Kids will enjoy eating their creations after dinner!

12. Gratefuls.

Have everyone write down non-standard things they are grateful for, put them in a jar, and see who can guess what each person wrote.

13. Make a video.

Record your memories and film everyone in attendance. Have people share what they are grateful for and why and some of their favorite memories from the year or from past Thanksgivings. This will be a fun one to look back on in future years.

14. Do a Thanksgiving puzzle.

This doesn’t have to be a 10,000 piece puzzle either! Try to choose one that can be completed before dinner. I like to set one out and the rule is, no one eats until it’s finished! (We always choose easy ones, not worth the risk)

15. Take a group picture.

This is a great way to see your family grow throughout the years both in age and in family members & friends.

16. Share secrets.

Use this family focused day as an opportunity to get to know each other even better. Go around the room and share one thing no one knows about you.

17. Give your kids a get out of jail free card.

I saw a family mention they have their kids admit to 1 “bad” thing they did that year with no consequences. A lot of times they are just funny memories. Especially when you hear the things younger kids admit to.

18. Prepare grateful notes for each guest

A simple note of something you love about your family member/guest. Place these notes under each table setting for them to discover after the meal.

One thing that might be fun is to have everyone draw names, so each person has 1 assigned family member to write a nice note for. Then collect them & place them under their table setting.

19. Arrange Secret Santas

Instead of getting everyone a gift this year, draw names out of a hat. If you do this in the morning, you can spend the rest of the day trying to subtly get to know your assigned person better so you can pick out a meaningful gift.

20. Have each kid in charge of one side dish.

My kids love helping make the food for Thanksgiving. My son is in charge of the fruit salad and my daughter, the mashed potatoes.

What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving morning traditions? Let us know in the comments!

fun Thanksgiving morning traditions. great family traditions! I love the video one!


Thursday 25th of October 2018

We Love to start out with a freshly made Bloody Mary with lots of lime and a pickle ...than as the turkey is roasting we go on a brisk walk and when we come back we smell that wonderful turkey smell! Happy Thanksgiving?๐Ÿฆƒ๐Ÿน

Lexi @ That Fit Fam

Thursday 25th of October 2018

love that! we'll have to try that pre-dinner walk this year =)


Saturday 20th of October 2018

I absolutely LOVE waking up early to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade- it's a must for me! โค๏ธ Since I'm the one that's does 98% of the cooking on that day I always plan & prep ahead of time so I'm able to watch the Parade. I always drag down my favorite fuzzy blanket and pillow to curl up on the couch with my ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ & watch it! I'm usually the only one awake at the time too because my mom, little brother & I don't travel to other family members' houses so if the Parade isn't over by the time dinner's done, dinner's gonna be a little late! We also started our own tradition a while back when the Twilight series & Harry Potter movies (started to or did) come out around Thanksgiving - we'd do an early dinner after the Parade & then go to a movie afterwards at the theater and by the time the movies done I either sneak in a few hours of Black Friday shopping early deals or we all just head home for dessert & bed! I ALSO put my Christmas tree๐ŸŽ„ up on Thanksgiving night as well !

Lexi @ That Fit Fam

Thursday 25th of October 2018

love these traditions! I would totally put my Christmas tree up then too, but we always do a fresh tree so we have to wait until it gets a little closer =(


Friday 11th of November 2016

The Macy's Day Parade is one of my favorite traditions on Thanksgiving. Sadly, we always have to skip the ending in order to get to family dinner on time. :(

Lexi @ That Fit Fam

Friday 11th of November 2016

The Macy's Day Parade is a great one! I'm glad you were able to stop by!

Rhonda Swan

Tuesday 8th of November 2016

Great ideas here. Way to have an unstoppable family Thanksgiving! Cheers, lovely lady.

Lexi @ That Fit Fam

Friday 11th of November 2016

Thank you Rhonda!

Patricia @Sweet and Strong

Monday 7th of November 2016

I love either doing a Turkey Trot or my own run outside in the neighborhood before eating a delicious feast. We usually always watch a lot of football and sometimes do some football gambling type games while watching which are always fun. But I never win, lol.

Lexi @ That Fit Fam

Friday 11th of November 2016

haha I don't think I'd win either! I usually just piggyback off whoever my husband bets on a pretend I know what I'm talking about ;) lol

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