Traditions have a way of uniting families and friends no matter what the past year brought. For most of us, Thanksgiving is full of long-standing traditions with our loved ones. The holiday itself means something different to everyone, but traditions can be centered on anything from food to football to giving back to the community.
At Mindful Kreative, we know time with our loved ones is priceless. Sometimes starting new traditions is a wonderful way to get the most out of that time spent together. We’ve compiled a list of seven Thanksgiving traditions you may just want to borrow for yourself.
1. Circle of Thanks
President Melinda Kaiser typically has a full house during the holidays. With all of those guests, it can be difficult to find a moment of quiet reflection – so she plans one. Once dinner is prepared, the whole family stands around the table. They go around the room asking everyone to share one thing they’re thankful for, plus one reason the person on their right is a blessing in their life.
If your guests are shy or having a tough time thinking on the spot, have everyone roll a die when it’s their turn and follow the below key for guidance:
Roll One: Name someone you are grateful to have met or gotten to know this year.
Roll Two: Name a hobby or activity you are thankful to have in your life.
Roll Three: Name a place (city or specific location) that makes you happy.
Roll Four: Name a food you are grateful for.
Roll Five: Name a type of technology that makes your life easier.
Roll Six: You get to clean up! Thank you! J
2. Operation Christmas Child
Account Supervisor Nikki helps her daughter Kate participate in Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child. The program is run through her preschool in November and facilitates donations made to less fortunate children in developing countries. She writes a note to them and fills a shoebox with little gifts. You can tell from the beaming smile on Kate’s face that she enjoys every second of this Thanksgiving tradition.
3. Get Moving
Although Thanksgiving is traditionally centered on a meal, there are plenty of opportunities to work some of those calories off, while also helping others in need. According to the Los Angeles Times, the oldest continually run footrace in America just happens to be a Thanksgiving Day turkey trot. The YMCA in Buffalo, N.Y. started it all in 1896 with six runners on a cross-country route. Today there are more than 1,000 turkey trots held on Thanksgiving all over the United States. Pittsburgh’s very own annual Turkey Trot is a great way to help support the Y’s efforts to provide food security to the 174,110 people in Allegheny County who are struggling to consistently gain access to healthy food. If you are interested in participating in the 1 mile walk, Turkey Trot 5k, Double Gobble 5 mile run + 5k or the 5 mile run, visit www.ymcaofpittsburgh.org/turkeytrot/ to register.
4. Shuffle the Calendar
In our Business Manager Jane’s family, Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be celebrated on one specific day. With family living at a distance, they pick a day to enjoy the holiday together. It may be the week before or the weekend after, but the meaning of being with friends and family isn’t determined by the date set on the calendar. If a certain member of the family still can’t make the occasion, let technology help! Plan a time to video chat, whether it’s during the blessing of the meal or for a “digital dessert.”
5. Prepare Together
For some, hosting family over the holidays can be overwhelming. For others, however, the joy of Thanksgiving lies in preparing with family. Even before our Client Services Director Annie married her husband Steve, she would spend special time bonding with his mother, including shopping on Black Friday. The real fun is spent prepping together on Thanksgiving Day. While the turkey is cooking and the parade is on, Annie and her mother-in-law clip coupons, search for deals and plan their strategy. Once the shopping is done, they head home to start decorating for Christmas. With a new addition to the family, Annie is excited to keep past traditions alive and start new ones with her daughter Bria.
Senior Account Executive Natalie and her fiancé Andy are headed somewhere this Thanksgiving that may not feel very traditional: Las Vegas. According to AAA, Las Vegas was actually the No. 1 vacation destination for Thanksgiving last year. Traveling to a new city or country with family over the holidays can be an amazing adventure and avenue for making memories. You can often save some major money on plane tickets and other reservations if you are willing to travel on Thanksgiving Day.
7. Passing the Torch
For Nikki, Thanksgiving has always been about family. Her grandparents loved the holidays and would always host. As time passed, the holiday hosting “torch” was passed down to her mom, and most recently it was passed down to Nikki herself. For the last 33 years, Nikki has celebrated Thanksgiving with the two people pictured below. This will be the first Thanksgiving without her grandfather, the one holding the turkey who started it all with the help of her grandmother. The honor of hosting this special meal will always connect these three generations (and more to come!)
Each day this week, we are sharing something the Mindful Kreative team is thankful for. Check out our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates. What are you thankful for this holiday season? Share with us by tagging #MK7DaysofThanks