November 7, 2014

80+ Thanksgiving Traditions



Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the spirit of gratitude, thankfulness, and tradition that permeates the air. This round-up features the very the BEST Thanksgiving traditions out there! This round-up will help you have a very memorable Thanksgiving and create lasting memories with traditions that you and your family will cherish.

Fun and Meaningful Thanksgiving Traditions For Everyone


One of my favorite musicals of all times is Fiddler On The Roof. If you haven’t seen it, you have to! The reason I bring it up is because the Father, Tevye, in the musical continually brings up “tradition” and how tradition brings meaning and deep connections to his family, community, and religion. One of my favorite quotes from the “Traditions” song that Tevye sings is, ” Without traditions our lives would be as shaky as a fiddler on the roof.”

 In the spirit of “Tradition” I’m sharing traditions that will get you off that shaky roof and plant you firmly in the meaning of the season.  Are you ready to celebrate? In this round-up you will find a little something for everyone. In this collection you will find:

15 Traditions for Couples

23 Traditions for Families

14 Traditions for Kids

33 Traditions on Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Tradition for Couples

Holidays become so busy that we tend to forget our priorities. Keep your spouse at the top of your list this Thanksgiving. Traditions will create memories that the two of you will cherish for years to come, so start one this Thanksgiving. 

Fun Thanksgiving Traditions For Couples

1. Give Thankful Cards To Those You Love:  Show your loved ones how thankful you are for them on this special occasion using this darling card printable!

2. Give Each Other A Top Ten Thankful List: Use this sweet free printable to list the top 10 reasons you are thankful for your spouse and watch them smile when you give it to them.

3. Give A Little Gift To Say Thank You:  Don’t just tell your spouse that you are thankful for them, show them with a little sweet treat too. 

4. Secretly Serve Each Other: Serving your spouse is the perfect way to show your gratitude. Print off these free scratch off service tickets. Use them all month long to secretly surprise each other with service. 

5. Play Cowboy and Pilgrim: Make intimacy a priority during this busy season. Spice up Thanksgiving with this bedroom game for two. 


Meaningful Thanksgiving Traditions For Couples

6. Have a Thanksgiving Prep Date: Center a date night all around preparing for Thanksgiving. Also, check out the additional date ideas near the bottom of the post for a few other ideas to add to your traditions.  

7. Plan Out The Meaning of Thanksgiving:  Traditions take a little bit of planning. This Thanksgiving get the most out of the season by planning ahead of time. 

8. Gratitude Journal:  Count your blessings together all month through with a gratitude journal. This will be a keepsake all year through. 

9. His and Her Pillowcases: A unique twist to a Thanksgiving countdown that will show your spouse just how much you care!

10. Gratitude On A Roll:  Prepare a basket of rolls with a secret note tucked in the each and every roll. This will be a tradition that you’ll want to do year after year. 

Thanksgiving Traditions For Couples

11. Serve Others Together:  There’s no better way to get in the Thanksgiving mood than by performing random acts of service together. 

12. Thanksgiving Love Notes:  Hide these love notes around the house for your honey to find. 

13. Gratitude Decor:  Use these free printables to help remind you of all the reasons you are grateful. Each day, note a reason you are grateful for each other and display the note for your spouse to discover. 

14. Show Gratitude To Your Spouse: We’ve got your one-stop shop with OVER ONE HUNDRED ideas to show your spouse just how grateful you are for them!

15. Give A Love Note Of Thanks To Your Spouse:  This Thanksgiving, show your special someone just how much you love them with a FREE printable love note that tells him/her just how grateful you are to have them in your life!

Thanksgiving Traditions for Families

The best time during the holidays is the time you get to spend with those you love! Create bonds and lasting memories with your family this Thanksgiving by adding a tradition to your holiday celebrations.

Fun Family Thanksgiving Traditions

16. Take Photos With Props:  Snap some FUN pictures of the family this Thanksgiving. Hurry and grab these free photo booth props. Time to make and capture some memories!

17. Fill Out A Thankful Certificate: Present those you love and are thankful for with a gratitude certificate. Spend family night filling out several of these certificates and mail or hand deliver these together. 

18. Thankful Pumpkins:  This Thanksgiving craft tradition will be something you will treasure forever!

19. Thankful Garland: Create a thankful garland using this beautiful printable. Have each family member write what they are thankful for and display it around the house.

20. Thankful Boxes: This is a great activity that your kids will enjoy doing every year. Let them decorate their own box, fill it with thankful slips, and read the slips each Thanksgiving. 

21. Random Acts of Kindness: Randomly serve others all month through. Grab our FREE printable list of 101 Random Acts of Kindness, along with cute RAOK cards and a great way to pass along a smile!

Meaningful Thanksgiving Traditions

22. Blessings Jar:  Set this jar out year round to remind the family of their blessings. Add blessings all throughout the year. On Thanksgiving day read the blessings one by one. 

23. Thankful Book:  This little book is such a treasure. Have each family member fill out a card. Create a new book for each year to be filled with new lists. 

24. Thankful Tree: This Thankful Tree is darling and oh so thoughtful. Write notes on the first of the month and leave them up till next Thanksgiving. 

25. Grateful Leaf Garland:  Not only is this a beautiful decoration but also a gorgeous way to count your blessings leaf by leaf. 

26. Thankful Bank:  Teach your kids about being thankful by encouraging them to participate in filling up a thankful bank as a family. This is a great idea even for those kiddos who can’t write yet!

27. The Turkey Ticket: Involve your kids in a gratitude challenge that will help them count their blessings all month through. 

Special Thanksgiving Traditions For Families

28. Create a Cornucopia: Start a tradition of celebrating abundance and nourishment by putting together a gorgeous edible cornucopia. Make a day or two before Thanksgiving and set on the table as the centerpiece. 

29. Give Thanks To Friends and Neighbors: Bake an extra bread or two, share them with your friends or neighbors, and top with this thankful printable. 

30. Share Thanksgiving Themed Treats:  Make treats together as a family and hand out to your neighbors or friends. 

31. Gratitude Garland: Another version of a gorgeous garland. Count your blessings one by one and display them for all to see. 

32. Counting Blessings As A Family: Spend time together as a family creating a blessings tree. Allowing everyone to take part will make this tree of blessings all that more special. 

33. Thanksgiving Devotional: Each day of November during family dinner, read a devotional with the purpose of teaching thankfulness to your kids. The devotional has a bible verse and questions to stir discussions about gratitude. 

Thanksgiving Traditions For Families

34. Gratitude Cookies:  Make paper fortune cookies with slips of gratitude inside of them. Deliver them to neighbors, friends, and family. 

35. Take On A Gratitude Challenge: We all love a challenge! These challenges will help you focus on what matters most and will create memories that you will treasure forever. 

36. Neighborhood Thanksgiving Turkey:  If you love being “Booed” on Halloween you are going to love the Neighborhood Thanksgiving Turkey. Leave a treat and this Thanksgiving Turkey on your neighbors door step. This little turkey will invite all of your neighbors to participate in sharing the love this Thanksgiving season. Check out our FREE You’ve Been Gobbled printables – complete with directions, a door hanger and ‘kindness feathers.’

37. Thankful Twig Tree: Get the kids involved in this craft. Let them help gather twigs and potting soil. Decorate with thankful notes and display in the entryway or family room for all to see. 

38. Blessings Tree: Add your family photos along with your many blessings to decorate this ‘Count Your Many Blessings Tree.’ 

Thanksgiving Traditions for Kids

Teach your kids how to count their blessings and show gratitude for the many blessings they have in their lives with fun, creative, and meaningful traditions. 

Fun Thanksgiving Traditions For Kids

39. Lunch Box Jokes:  Stash these in your kid’s lunch pack for the whole week! Your kiddos are going to love these jokes!

40. Thankful Turkey: If your family loves Elf on the Shelf they are going to love this turkey twist to help remind the kids to be thankful. 

41. Thanksgiving Leaf Garland: Let the kids make their very own garland. A simple and easy craft that becomes a darling center piece 

42. Write Thank You Notes:  These cute think you note printables are a great way to encourage your kids to write thank you notes to those they are grateful for. 

43. Thanksgiving Handprint Tree: Using the kids handprints create a tree filled with their blessings. 

44. ABC’s Of Thanksgiving:  Kids of any age can particpate in this idea. Create a book filled with blessings from A-Z. This will become a great keepsake year to year. 

45. Thanksgiving Time Capsule: Those kiddos are going to be so excited about digging a hole for their time capsule that they are going to thoroughly enjoy coming up with several blessings worth putting into their time capsule. 

Meaningful Thanksgiving Traditions For Kids

46. Give Thanks Station:  Create a thankful station that is easily accessible for each child. The idea is that they will each stop by the station each day and drop in a note of gratitude for their blessings. 

47. Thankful Pumpkins: Spend family night discussing reasons we should count our blessings. End the lesson with a cute thankful craft that your kids are sure to enjoy!

48. Kids Only Thanksgiving Dinner Party:  Let the kids take part in the spirit of Thanksgiving by inviting their friends over for a kids only party. This site has great links to crafts, invites, favors, and food ideas to help you create a memorable Thanksgiving party. 

49. Thankful Board: The kids will place their thankful notes into envelopes each day. On Thanksgiving day open each envelope and read together as a family. For an easier version of this craft check out this post.

50. Gratitude Activity Jars:  Come up with activities that coordinate with things the kids are thankful for. Such a great activity to help the kids show thankfulness with kind deeds. 

51. Thankful Paper Plates:  Get your little kids into the spirit of Thanksgiving with these fun and easy turkey craft. 

52. Let’s Talk Turkey: Make a gorgeous little turkey full of fluffy and chalkboard feathers that your kids will love! 

Thanksgiving Day Traditions

Thanksgiving day is the perfect time to start a tradition with your loved ones. This collection has ideas that the kids will love just as much as the adults. Enjoy a Thanksgiving feast while creating memories together that will last forever!  

Creative Thanksgiving Day Traditions

53. November When…:  A beautiful printable designed to allow you and your loved ones to reminisce on previous November memories.

54. Thanksgiving Take-Out:  Send your guests home with fabulous left-overs. This is a gift that keeps on giving, at least until the leftovers are all gone! 

55. Family Fun Activities:  Don’t fall into a food coma too soon! Spend some quality time together enjoying these great activities. 

56. Thankful Favors:  Write inspirational messages inside and have each guest open them during dinner.

57. Games For Kids and Adults:  Enjoy a little bit of active fun for everyone after the Thanksgiving meal with these 10 fun and fabulous games that everyone will love.

58. String Of Blessings:  Simply string together blessings and use as a center piece for your Thanksgiving table.  

Fun Thanksgiving Day Traditions

 59. Thanksgiving Tablecloth: Set markers out on the Thanksgiving table. Invite everyone to write or draw their blessings on the tablecloth. Bring it out every year to follow and add to it again and again. 

60. Family Trivia Game: Do you know all the little details about your family members? This game will get everyone involved, conversations started, and everyone telling their best stories. For a list of additional questions check out this post

61. Thankful Table Settings:  Decorate goblets with quotes about gratefulness. Once guests are seated, go around the table and read each quote aloud one by one. 

62. Active Thanksgiving Games:  Get those little toes wiggling with these active Thanksgiving games that you’ll want to play next year too. 

63. Host An Original Thanksgiving Party: Be unique and throw a “Bee Thankful Thanksgiving.” Honeycombs, bees, a creative menu, and a dash of yellow is the recipe for a lovely Thanksgiving feast. 

64. Make the Kids Table Fun: 6 ideas to help you excite the kiddos and make them love being at their very own table! 

Meaningful Thanksgiving Day Traditions

65. Stitched Tablecloth: Turn a plain tablecloth into a priceless heirloom. 

66. Scavenger Hunt: Send the kids on a Thanksgiving themed scavenger hunt that is just for them.  

67. Coloring Activity Book:  Create a personalized binder full of coloring activities for your child to enjoy and for you to turn into a keepsake. 

68. Personalized Thankful Booklet:  Pass around prepared note sheets to each guest, snap a photo of each guest, and compile a book of thanks. Each year create a new booklet, add new pictures, and continue to record memories. 

69. Turkey Day Awards:  Host an award ceremony. Celebrate achievements, new additions, or give out awards based on things you are thankful for about each family member. 

70. Conversation Starters: Keep the conversation going around the Thanksgiving table with these conversation starters.  

Special Thankgiving Day Traditions

 71. Kid’s Placemat: Let the kids entertain themselves with these adorable placemats. These are a great way to entertain them and collect memories on Thanksgiving day. 

72. Thanksgiving Bingo: Your guests will enjoy a little bit of healthy competition with this fun game of bingo. 

73. Kids Activity Printables: Keep those kiddos entertained with Thanksgiving activity pages that they will enjoy. 

74. Set the Table with Cherished Photos:  Not only a great conversation starter, but a lovely way to celebrate all of your loved ones that you are very thankful for.

75. Thanksgiving Thankful FavorsThis idea really touched my heart! Share the spirit of thankfulness with your special guests. Prepare a thankful favor personalized just for them. 

Thanksgiving Day Traditions For Everyone

76. Thanksgiving Journal: Instead of announcing your blessings pass around a thankful journal during the whole day. All of your guests can write their guests in the same book every year. 

77. Create A Kids Table: Make the kids feel extra special with their very own table. 

78. Hostess Thanksgiving Gift: Give a gift of thanks to the hostess of your Thanksgiving Day Meal. 

79. Kids Tablecloth: Lay down butcher paper and let the kids draw their blessings. 

80. Thanksgiving Coloring Pages: Entertain the kids while you are preparing the Thanksgiving meal with these thankful coloring pages. 

Traditions For Thanksgiving Day

81. Hand Stamped Tablecloth:  Capture your children’s growing stages with a yearly turkey hand stamp on a tablecloth. Use it to decorate the kids table or have all the cousins stamp their hands and give as a yearly Thanksgiving gift to grandma.

82. Thankful Guessing Game:  Have your guests write down what they are thankful for and place it in a jar. Now it’s time for the guessing game. Such a fun way to announce your blessings!

83. Thanksgiving Stones:  Start a tradition of counting blessings on Thanksgiving that will last all year. For each blessing add a stone and watch the blessings overflow.

84. Five Kernels Of Corn:  Share the story about the Mayflower, pilgrims, and the first Thanksgiving using five kernels of corn. Great way to get everyone in the spirit of gratitude on Thanksgiving day. Check out this post for a quick little meaning of the Five Kernels story. 

85. Drumstick Hunt:  Gather all the kids together and entertain them with a game of hide and seek with a Thanksgiving twist. 

  It is my hope that the traditions I share with you today will hold a special place in your heart as you and your family implement them into your Thanksgiving celebrations. As you enjoy old and new traditions, may the meaning of the season swell within you and deepen the bonds with those you love.

If you are looking for more Thanksgiving ideas, don’t wander too far.  Here is a list of more great Thanksgiving ideas:

50+ Turkey Treats – Fun Thanksgiving Food Ideas

Thanksgiving Tasty Twist

Thanksgiving Meal Tips and Tricks

Happy Thanksgiving! 



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