Sometimes, it seems we get a bit of the Thanksgiving holiday letdowns immediately after the meal is finished. But this year, I want to offer you some ideas to keep the joy and thanksgiving flourishing all day long!
Make a Family Blessing Tree
While making a Blessing Tree is a tradition we typically do a week or two before Thanksgiving, you could certainly take time after the meal to make one with your guests. Or even simply take the time to reflect on the year and all you’ve been thankful for.
Go for a walk or play a game outside
It has been our tradition for years to walk after the meal. I suppose it makes us feel justified in eating more than we ought if we burn a few calories afterward. A lot of families have a friendly game of HORSE or football on the front lawn after the meal. Whatever it is, you are doing it together, and that’s the fun of it!
I had to say it. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s also not the awful thing a lot of people have made it out to be – especially if you treat it as a family tradition. Gather the kids and the leftovers, and make it an event to remember!
Thanksgiving pajamas (or other present)
This is a family tradition we started after reading about it on another blog. Now, every Thanksgiving evening, the kids kick off the Christmas season with the opening of their first present – new jammies!
Gather some simple supplies and kits, and let the kids get to crafting! This would also be a nice before-meal treat for those restless (and hungry) little ones. You could do something like this:
or you could simply buy some Washi Tape and let them loose!
You could also do Christmas ornaments like this for everyone to take home:
Watch a movie on PureFlix
Sit down to a classic like The Velveteen Rabbit, a holiday themed movie like Scrooge or a PureFlix Original like Christmas Angel, a throwback like Roy Rogers, or a newer family favorite like Alone, Yet Not Alone or The Widow’s Might! Whatever you choose, you know it’s “safe!” CLICK HERE TO BROWSE TITLES!
Watch family videos
Now is the time to pull out those family videos that we often record and never watch! We put all of ours on a hard drive and mirror them onto our Apple TV. It’s good for a lot of laughs (and some serious embarrassment!) If you don’t have a way to put them on your TV, you can always buy a projector like this one, and plug your computer or phone into it and project it on a wall. That’s what we did for years!
Play a game
Get together around the table for a card game or a family game like Apples to Apples, or hang out on the couch and play Charades! Family games are always a hoot during the holidays, and even more fun when you have guests!
Choose a family read aloud or short story, and sit down together to read aloud – even big people like this!
Tell family stories
You may need to pull out a photo album to jog memories, but I can guarantee tons of laughs once you get going with family stories! These are sure-fire memory makers, and an important part of your family heritage.
Make freezer meals
This might sound like a lot of work, but it’s actually super fun and easy! We all know we are going to have leftovers, so why not put them to good use! Turn on some music, gather all your guests in the kitchen, and assemble a freezer meal each of you can enjoy during December. Prior to Thanksgiving, stock up on some extras like mixed vegetables, sour cream, and shredded cheese. Don’t forget to buy some disposable pans! Here are a few leftovers combinations that make good freezer meals:
- turkey, creamed corn, shredded cheese, stuffing
- turkey, green bean casserole, extra cream of mushroom, mashed potatoes, extra french fried onions
- turkey, bag of mixed vegetables, sour cream, shredded cheese
Take a look at this list of Thanksgiving leftovers recipes for more inspiration!
Whether you cue up the Christmas music or use my Family Thanksgiving Worship Guide, singing together always makes special memories! And if you have a relative who plays the guitar or piano, even better!
Decorate for Christmas
While our tradition is to decorate the day after Thanksgiving, many families enjoy putting up the tree as soon as the turkey is eaten! We have some really special traditions surrounding our Christmas Decorating Day that you can read about HERE!
You might also want to check out these FREE ADVENT DEVOTIONALS & ACTIVITIES! I will be sharing what our family is doing for Advent this year very soon, so stay tuned!
And don’t forget to grab your FREE Christmas Eve Candlelight Service to enjoy with your family this year! It has been a wonderful family tradition in our home for many years!