How To Celebrate Thanksgiving – 5 Ideas To Transform Your Holiday

November has been designated as the month for thanksgiving thanks to the holiday that falls towards the end of the month.  While I’d love to see thanksgiving be better represented the rest of the year, I can also tell you that our family probably concentrates more on giving thanks during this month than other months in the year.  (Note:  The picture above was taken this April at the Thanksgiving Square Chapel in Dallas, TX.)

Here is a list of several ideas which could help enhance your Thanksgiving experience.

  1. Run or walk at a Turkey Trot.Last year, I did the Thanksgiving Marathon in NYC which might be considered a little overboard.  Why not get out and run or walk a community 5K?  Many towns across the country have started their own Turkey Trot.  My wife and kids have run one in Latrobe, PA several times.  The races are always fun, and it makes the turkey taste so much better later that day.
  2. Invite someone over for dinner.  My guess is that you live near someone who is missing out on family.  They are lonely, and they may not have to means to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving meal.  Why not invite them over to your house?  Usually, there are more than enough leftovers to go around after the Thanksgiving feast, and we can always put an extra chair around the table.
  3. Go out and serve.  There are hundreds of opportunities around your community.  The church in my hometown used to hold a Community Thanksgiving Day meal where our family served a couple of times.  This was a great way for my parents to demonstrate that Thanksgiving was so much more than turkey and football.  We had the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those in need.  Why not find a place to serve with your family this Thanksgiving season?  (If you’re in the Perkiomen Valley area, consider joining our H.O.P.E. group.  We gather together twice a month to serve others in our community.  You can find out more about the group by going to our Facebook page (HOPEontheway).
  4. Start a Thanksgiving tradition.  For over ten years, our family has been using the same tablecloth for our Thanksgiving dinner.  The tablecloth is white.  Each year, those in attendance trace their hand onto the tablecloth using different colored fabric markers.  Then in each of the five fingers, we write down something for which we’re thankful along with our name and the year.  The tablecloth is now filled with names of grandparents who are no longer with us and with years of thanksgiving.  As we look at the table each year, it gives us to reflect on how God has blessed us even through years of challenge.  Why not start a new tradition this year in your home?  Go buy a tablecloth and some fabric markers today!
  5. Make it Thank You Thursday every week.  Matt McWilliams is a friend of mine from the blogging community.  A couple of months ago, Matt wrote about starting a Thank You Thursday Revolution.  In his post, he encouraged readers to write a handwritten Thank You note each Thursday.  Since his post, I’ve been writing a note every week to put into the mailbox of a co-worker.  It’s been remarkable to see the reaction.  We don’t need to be thankful one Thursday of the year.  Why not join the Thank You Thursday Revolution today?  It will change your world and the world of those around you!

This is a start!  What other ideas can you add to the list?  How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?  How can do you plan to transform your holiday?