Unique and Alternative Thanksgiving Ideas Beyond the Feast
My favorite day of the year is right around the corner and I am ecstatic! I know Thanksgiving is such a strange holiday to make my favorite. However, it’s so much more than food to me. It’s just that feeling of family around me and all enjoying each other’s company, while eating. What’s better than that? I know this year has been quite untraditional and crazy and a lot of the plans we had didn’t go through. However, I must say it has also brought new plans, perspectives, and traditions. So, I thought I might keep with the unconventional theme of the year by asking my friends what they do differently on Thanksgiving. I wanted to share these unique and alternative Thanksgiving ideas and hopefully give you some new inspiration for the holiday.
We all know the traditional Thanksgiving meal – turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and a slew of other delicious things. This has to be my second favorite meal hands down and I would never insult it. BUT, lots of people seem to toss it up a bit. My family in particular makes a traditional Trini dish called curry chicken and roti to accompany the usual meal. Adding a cultural dish is such a great switch up when you’re not feeling turkey or ham.
You can even sub out the usual meal for something else like seafood and make a feast out of that! Shrimp, salmon, and lobster? Yes! One of my friends gave me an awesome tradition her family has of meal hopping from house to house for meals. How can you say no to that? When you decide on what you want to eat, another sweet activity is saying what you’re grateful for before digging in. We could use a lot of this reminders this year.
This next one I definitely identified with. Thanksgiving is really just a big meal, but who said it can’t be a party too? A couple of my friends said that they use this day as a day to party with family. I mean why not? This sounds like such a fun thing to do and an extra reason to party. If you’re not really the type to party, you can opt for a bonfire. In Florida, it’s hot most of the time, but if you’re lucky enough to get a little cold front, you can take advantage of this. Roasting marshmallows and making s’mores might sound like a winter season activity, but it sounds just as good to me for the fall!
This next thing might be a little more on the traditional side, but if you’ve never done it, it’s definitely recommended. While you’re whipping up your meal, turn on the TV! There’s always a football game or hockey game going on and it’s bound to make the men happy. If you really aren’t a sports person and you rather watch something else, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is always an option. Even though the parade will look a little different this year without the cheering crowds, it’s still worth watching for all the amazing events. Even if you just have one of these shows playing in the background, it’s still a great addition to the day.
Okay next – a dessert guessing game. This has to be one of my favorite things that one of my friends told me. She explained that one year, each of her family members made a different dessert on their own, and on Thanksgiving day they guess who made it. This is the funniest thing to me especially since some people may not know how to bake. On the alternative, it might give you ideas for new recipe if you’re a baker. I feel like I would definitely need to do something other than my traditional pumpkin cookies so no one would know its mine. I really do love this idea and can’t wait to incorporate it into my Thanksgiving one year.
So I love Thanksgiving (clearly) and I ADORE the idea of essentially extending it into the next day. Another friend of mine said that her family starts the REAL fun on the day after. They take the whole family to the beach and spend the day there playing football! As an added bonus, they take their leftovers and make sandwiches out of it for the beach. Like what?! Turkey and stuffing sandwich? I’m in. This is such a great alternative to Black Friday, because you might not be feeling super comfortable going out around a bunch of people this year. Plus, you can avoid spending the money that you’ll want saved for the holidays! It’s a win-win!
I hope you got some inspiration for things to do with your family for this year’s Thanksgiving. I never really realized how differently (and definitely creatively) my friends celebrated the day and I can’t wait to try each of these alternative Thanksgiving ideas. It keeps the holiday fresh so you’ll look forward to some kind of tradition each year. So have fun, eat well, and Happy (early) Thanksgiving!