The Holidays are tough on recently Divorced families, and Thanksgiving is no exception. For years your family probably had the same traditions. Maybe you always went to your in-laws for Thanksgiving, or maybe you and your ex were in charge of hosting guests every year. Maybe you always made plans to go out of town with your ex. But, now that you’re divorced, those traditions are undoubtedly going to change, and you’re probably disappointed. You’re also probably worried about how your Thanksgiving and other Holiday plans will pan out this year.
But, looking on the bright side, we’re going to share 7 Awesome Thanksgiving Traditions for blended families so you can create some great new Thanksgiving memories. Your family can shake things up this year and incorporate one of these traditions into your new Thanksgiving agenda. Starting a new tradition is the best way to put your past behind you and move into your future.
1. Invite someone over who doesn’t have anywhere to go
Each year for Thanksgiving dinner, this woman’s family invites someone in their community who doesn’t have anywhere to go on Thanksgiving. During dinner, she has each person tell a story about someone who helped them this year. Then, they take a picture with the new ‘family member’. They also send leftovers home with their guest as well as a framed copy of the photo.
If you know anyone in your community that doesn’t have a place to go for Thanksgiving it wouldn’t hurt to reach out to them. Think of inviting a Divorced single parent you know or perhaps your bachelor friend your ex hated. Whoever you invite will probably be incredibly grateful for your offer. If you aren’t into cooking, make a plan to go out to eat with your guest. More restaurants are open for Thanksgiving now than in previous years. If it goes well, this tradition could continue for many years.
2. Sign a tablecloth and use it every Thanksgiving
This family has a white Thanksgiving tablecloth (pictured above) that they get out of storage every year on Thanksgiving to sign their names. They’ve been doing this same tradition for 17 years, so the tablecloth is covered with names of children, grandchildren, and extended family. Each year the family members sign the tablecloth with a different color so they can differentiate between the years.
If you want to go this route, buy a white tablecloth and have your Thanksgiving guests sign their names on it. In 20 years, you’ll be thankful that you started this tradition when you see all the names of your children and grandchildren.
3. Host a hand turkey party
If you like throwing parties, invite over some friends and family for a hand turkey making party. Hand Turkeys are incredibly simple to make–all you have to do is trace your hand. Set up paper, colored pencils and markers for anyone who wants to participate. Have your guests bring Hors D’oeuvres and Alcoholic beverages too. A Hand Turkey Party is a good activity for kids because the hand turkeys are easy to make, even for little kids.
Once your guests make their hand turkey, have them write what they’re thankful for on the back. Then, have each person read aloud what they’re thankful for. At the end of the night, your guests can take their hand turkey home with them. A Hand Turkey party is a fun idea and a great way to reflect on what everyone is thankful for.
4. Have a Thanksgiving Bake-A-Thon
Get your kids involved in a Thanksgiving Bake-A-Thon. Even if you’re not much of a cook, this activity is a great way to make Thanksgiving treats to bring to a party. Invite over one person to be a judge, then have you and your kids each bake a delicious treat. The judge can try each treat and pick their favorite. Give the person who made the best treat a prize. This activity is a good way to get your kids involved in baking and learning how to cook.
5. Black Friday Shop
For years stores wouldn’t open until early Friday morning, but now certain stores open at midnight on Thanksgiving with amazing deals. If you have older kids who are happy to stay up late, turn your Thanksgiving into a late night shopping spree. Make a plan to get a TV or another big-ticket item at one of those stores that’s open. After you have Thanksgiving dinner, plan your Christmas gift list with the kids and head out to the stores. This way, you’ll get a jump start on your Christmas gift list!
6. Have a Leftovers Party
If you already have plans for Thanksgiving, but you still want to try a new tradition, invite some friends or family over for a leftovers party. Ask them to bring their leftovers from their big parties and combine them with your leftovers. You can make some more food if you’re worried about running out or if you have a large crowd coming. A leftovers party is a good way to eat all the tasty Thanksgiving food you have left. It’s also a chance to see Friends and Family you didn’t get to see on Thanksgiving Day.
7. Organize a ‘Thanksgiving Olympics’
This family does a Thanksgiving Olympics every year. All 25 of their family members gather at their house and play different games like Basketball, penny pitching, and word scrambles. They also set up a table full of prizes to increase competitiveness.
If you and your family love sports or games, host a ‘Thanksgiving Olympics’. Invite friends or family and divide participants into teams. If you have a small crowd for Thanksgiving, you can just have participants play against each other on their own team. You can play games like Horse, Monopoly or Soccer. Have five rounds of games and keep score of who wins. Buy some fun prizes if you want to get competitive. If you and the older folks aren’t into games, organize a Thanksgiving Olympics for the kids and act as a judge. The Thanksgiving Olympics can become a regular tradition, and you may even burn off some of the Thanksgiving food you’ll be eating!
Thanksgiving is really tough when you’ve recently been divorced. It’s even hard if you’ve been divorced for a few years. But, with the right attitude and a good support system, you’ll make it through the Holidays and create some fun traditions of your own.
From all of us at Divorce Lawyers For Men, we hope you adopt some of these traditions, and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!