Thanksgiving Traditions

While the history and details of the first Thanksgiving are not precisely known, Colonists (Pilgrims) and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast in 1621 in Plymouth Massachusetts.  The first Thanksgiving feast probably had little in common with today’s traditional meal.  While turkeys were indigenous, there is no record of a big roasted bird at the celebration.  Most likely the Indians offered deer, local seafood, and pumpkin.  Mashed potatoes were not on the menu as they had just been introduced to Europe from South America.

Do you know where your family traditions come from?  How and when did they start?  Family traditions create connections between family members that will be long cherished. 


Here’s some fun, (maybe) new, and different Thanksgiving Tradition ideas to try:

  • Search out your local Turkey Trot, there’s bound to be one nearby on the morning of Thanksgiving. Check out this resource to locate a race near you.  Don’t forget to hydrate afterward.
  • While everyone is tuning in to watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade on tv, stick around to watch the National Dog Show after.
  • Get the kids involved by asking them to make this pomegranate punch recipe.
  • Set up a ‘make it your own’ mocktail/cocktail station. Offer a variety of flavored sparkling water, alcohol optional, cut fruits, herbs (mint & basil), simple syrup or other favorite sweetener.
  • Share the legacy of your family and serve up some memories by preparing a loved one’s signature dish/recipe that has been passed down in the family.
  • Get crafty. Ask your guests to bring items they no longer need and create the challenge to turn one man’s trash into another’s treasure.
  • Drop off a plate of food to an elderly neighbor who may be home alone during the holidays, or if you have room, invite them to join you.
  • Volunteer at a food bank or soup kitchen to serve Thanksgiving meals to those less fortunate. Donate a case of bottled water for the hardworking volunteers.
  • After the feast is over, share your leftovers. Prepare plates of food on paper plates or better yet, re-use clean to go containers.  Drop off at your elderly neighbor’s home or drive around and hand out to the homeless.  Don’t forget to include a beverage.

This rounds up our list of Thanksgiving Tradition ideas to try.  Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  Give thanks, cherish your Thanksgiving traditions, discover how they came about, or create your own new traditions.  Cheers!

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