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.
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:
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.
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!
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.