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Thanksgiving will look different for everyone this year. Since we won’t be heading over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house, and many of us are seriously downsizing the holiday meal, we may actually find ourselves with a bit of free time on our hands.
If that's the case, here are some ideas for fun activities your household can enjoy this Thanksgiving!
These are easy projects to do as a family throughout the week!
Unwind by baking cookies — maybe even have a contest to see who can decorate the most festive cookie. Or try and draw each other in icing. Don't take it too seriously, and have some fun — after all, the cookies will be delicious either way!
Put together gift bags for friends, family members and neighbors that you aren't able to spend the holiday with this year. Include some things you know they'll enjoy and a note to remind them you're thinking of them.
This year there's time to create a homemade Thanksgiving table centerpiece. Start by taking a walk in the woods to collect pine cones and autumn leaves. Do you still have a few mini pumpkins kicking around from Halloween? Find more ideas here.
Make garlands by stringing popcorn or cranberries, or festoon family snapshots interspersed with the hand print turkey drawings you've saved from the preschool years.
Harvest and holiday wreaths are fun to dream up and assemble. There are plenty of videos on YouTube — or turn straight to Martha Stewart for inspiration and how-to.
Does your student have a favorite childhood dish you haven't taught them how to make yet? Maybe they've picked up some great recipes at school that they would love to share with you.
Whether it's a new dinner idea or a dessert item, spend some time in the kitchen together cooking up something yummy and enjoying each other's company.
We have care package ideas if your student is staying on campus for the week. But if you happen to find yourself with an extra loaf of pumpkin bread or enough ingredients for a mini pie, you might drop your extra goodies off at a neighbor’s house, especially if you know they're on their own for the holiday.
Many of us are unable to be with loved ones this Thanksgiving, so it's extra important to check in with our wider circle of friends and co-workers. If you're planning to cook a traditional meal and know you'll have food to spare, there may be someone nearby who'd really appreciate a take-away Thanksgiving dinner dropped at their door this Thursday.
Be sure to set aside time to video chat with faraway loved ones. Consider looping in relatives you haven't connected with during the pandemic. Just a quick call between the turkey and the pie to let the special people in your life know how much you care about them!
Return to the essence of Thanksgiving and share all that you’re grateful for this year — create a gratitude jar and invite the members of your household to write down a few things they’re thankful for and drop them inside. Everyone can pick out a few slips at random to share during dinner.
Better yet, turn your gratitude into a Thanksgiving decoration! Hang a branch or some twine on a wall and provide pre-punched slips of colored paper cut in decorative shapes. You can display it throughout the holiday season and continue to add to it as the year draws to a close.
If the weather permits on Turkey Day, get everyone outside into the fresh air. These games are perfect for your backyard but also travel well if you'd rather head to a local park.
Though we are all lamenting the countless changes to our usual traditions, there is still so much to be thankful for this year. We hope that you and your loved ones take some time to decompress this Thanksgiving and enjoy the little joys wherever you can find them.
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It’s time to celebrate with the perfect gift for your new grad!