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Thanksgiving Holiday Ideas

However you feel about Thanksgiving, it's all about friends and family. Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that people celebrate with lots of love and gratitude. In the US Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated earlier when the crops have been harvested. Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October.


is a day when we pause
to give thanks for
the things we have.

'Remembrance Day'
is a day when we pause
to give thanks to the
people who fought for
the things we have.

Thanksgiving Blessing

Our Father in Heaven,
We give thanks for the pleasure
Of gathering together for this occasion.
We give thanks for this food
Prepared by loving hands.
We give thanks for life,
The freedom to enjoy it all
And all other blessings.
As we partake of this food,
We pray for health and strength
To carry on and try to live as You would have us.
This we ask in the name of Christ,
Our heavenly Father.

~ Harry Jewell

Thanksgiving is the most travelled holiday of the year. So, whether you are traveling to meet friends and family or hosting a get-together in your own home, Thanksgiving signifies the beginning of the holiday season!

Here's a few ideas for making this year's holiday really memorable:-

Pay It Forward

Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks. So how about setting an example for the kids in your life by marking this day with some volunteer work. From visiting local shelters to arranging a food drive at your place of work, there are many ways you can help those less fortunate on this holiday.

Make a tradition of volunteering at a local homeless shelter, or help out at your child’s school by organizing a breakfast program. You’ll be glad you did.

Thanksgiving - An Attitude of Gratitude

Take time during Thanksgiving to give thanks for all the good things in your life. It is a great time to start a gratitude journal!

End each day by writing down one thing you are grateful for – it is a wonderful way to count your blessings.

At Thanksgiving dinner, say a few words about how lucky your family is to be together, and to have healthy food on the table. Taking turns saying what you are each grateful for a lovely way to make your Thanksgiving meal special.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes a sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates vision for tomorrow. ~ Melody Beattie

Your Thanksgiving Theme

Put a spin on the traditional turkey and mashed potatoes by adding a specific theme to your meal, such as pumpkin, or apple.

For example, you could serve pumpkin soup, pumpkin and goat cheese risotto, stuff your turkey with a pumpkin-based dressing, and of course – serve pumpkin pie for dessert!

Decorate your table to match your theme, include place card settings and a beautiful centerpiece.

A Vegetarian Thanksgiving Feast

If you or someone on your guest list does not eat meat, you can still have fun creating a Thanksgiving feast!

Harvest vegetables are at their prime, so serve up delicious squash, pumpkin soup, and lots of root vegetables. Homemade bread, fresh out of the oven (or bread-maker!) is a welcome addition to any dinner!

Wild rice, cranberries, sweet potatoes and corn are all scrumptious side dishes that anyone will appreciate – vegetarian or not!

Make Your Own Family Thanksgiving

If you’re unable to be with your family for one reason or another, consider hosting an evening for others in your circle who don’t have a big family event to attend.

Or, even if you are lucky enough to have family in town, you can still encourage a few extras to drop by!

Invite someone who is new in town, or who doesn’t seem to have a large support network, such as a co-worker or a neighbour. Opening your home to others is what this season is all about – and the more, the merrier!

Thanksgiving For The Kids

Kids can find themselves bored on this food-oriented holiday, so be sure to have some surprises for the little ones!

A turkey hunt can be a fun way to pass some time, or put a thanksgiving spin on traditional birthday party games. Fill a tray with harvest items and have kids memorize what’s on it, then sneak one item away and see who can say what’s missing! Organize a game of charades that is based on the first feast.

A Fit Feast!

Enjoy the outdoors by going on a family nature walk after dinner, or while the turkey roasts away!

If you have little ones, put a creative spin on it by making it a “nature walk” and searching for specific items, such as a red leaf, a nut, or feather. The fresh air will do everyone good, and you’ll walk off all those extra calories!

A Romantic Thanksgiving Turkey

Who says Valentine’s Day is the most romantic holiday?

Add some romance to this Thanksgiving by sweeping your sweetheart away for a dinner for two. Turkey by candlelight in a gourmet restaurant?

If the idea of shouting over sixteen of your cousins doesn’t appeal to you, getting away from it all might be just the right move. If you have the time, you can even make an entire weekend of it by visiting a local B&B.

Historic Thanksgiving Holiday

No matter how you choose to spend your Thanksgiving, make sure you take time to truly give thanks for all the good things in your life. Between all the eating, cooking, football watching, and snoozing, giving thanks is what this holiday is really all about. Maintaining a sense of gratitude on a daily basis has been known to have benefits to all aspects of your life. 

What better day to take stock of your blessings than Thanksgiving?

Enjoy reading some Thanksgiving poems or incorporate them into your Thanksgiving theme. You can find some examples of Thanksgiving poems at

Recommended Resources

Healthy Thanksgiving dinner ideas - meals especially to cater for those with special dietary needs