11 Thanksgiving Traditions That Will Make Your Holiday Memorable

8 Thanksgiving Traditions That Will Make Your Holiday Memorable

Thanksgiving is celebrated mainly in the United States, Canada, and other countries worldwide. This holiday season is the perfect time to give thanks, spend time with the entire family, and honor beautiful Thanksgiving traditions.

History of Thanksgiving Traditions

A family celebrating Thanksgiving dinner together
Photo by cottonbro studio from Pexels


From late afternoon dinners to playing a game of football, what happens on Thanksgiving fosters warmth and a sense of gratitude. It is not only a national holiday--the true meaning of Thanksgiving is connecting with our loved ones and celebrating the good things in our lives through beloved traditions.

History of Thanksgiving Traditions

American Thanksgiving celebrations started when indigenous people held events to express gratitude to the earth for an abundant harvest. Throughout history, several presidents, including George Washington, have declared national days of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving traditions continued to develop throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, absorbing new traditions for families. Traditional foods symbolized abundance, with roasted turkey, green beans, and sweet potato casserole as the heart of Thanksgiving family traditions.

Many people look forward to these annual traditions with great anticipation. These simple yet meaningful Thanksgiving traditions help people feel grateful and remind them of all the good things in their lives.

Popular Thanksgiving Traditions

Exchanging Gifts

family portrait

Though gift-giving is not a part of an American tradition, giving a small to your family is sharing the blessings you are thankful for. Like a watercolor family portrait, gifts for family members may also express gratitude for their support and contributions to your success. It's also a tangible expression of your love and respect for one another.


Family Gathering at The Dinner Table

Get a watercolor painting of your grandparents here.

Sharing a delicious meal as a family is a beautiful way to share the harvest feast and appreciate the blessings everyone received. Family members can engage in meaningful conversation during mealtime and discuss everyone's favorite family experiences. Looking at a grandparents' watercolor painting after eating may also start a conversation about your family story. 

Getting a Family Photo

family photo

Get a painting of your family photo here.


A Thanksgiving family picture shows how close family members are and how much they love each other. It lets people look back at past celebrations and see how their families have changed, whether in photo albums or family oil paintings. Everyone can see how the kids grew up and the family grew as new babies were born or people got married.


Playing Games For Families

Games for families add a fun and entertaining family activity in addition to Thanksgiving gatherings. Board games and card games are family favorites that get everyone involved. Other fun games involving strategic thinking and teamwork may also serve as a bonding time while waiting for the family meal. Include your extended family in your Thanksgiving traditions to make it more exciting.

Having Fun Activities That Kids Enjoy

As the adults do their part in Thanksgiving preparation, kids can participate in a scavenger hunt or make decorations for the celebrations. Activity kits like an apple turkey craft, fun gingerbread turkey decorating kits, or an activity tablecloth keep them occupied while the adults are busy.


Having Family Breakfast Together

Family breakfasts also allow the entire family to gather and prepare for the day's festivities together. It sets the tone for the day, allowing family members to come together and plan whether everyone will watch marching bands, play flag football, or join the community's turkey trot.


Acts of Giving Back

Giving back is an extension of being thankful because it lets us share what we have with others who may not have as much. It may not always be about giving money. Sometimes, volunteering at a food bank during food preparations or distributing meal kits already cultivates a sense of compassion toward others.


Thanksgiving Walk

You may be wondering what's a Thanksgiving walk and why families do it. Families consider it a post-dinner activity to burn the calories from dinner meals. Aside from that, it allows families to appreciate the beauty of nature during this special celebration.


Watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade

Watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of the beloved Thanksgiving traditions in America. The parade has been held on Thanksgiving Day in New York City since 1924, and it is now one of the most watched televised events of the year. The parade features giant helium balloons, marching bands, floats, and celebrity performers. It is a fun and festive event that people of all ages can enjoy.


Watch Thanksgiving Day Movies

There are many different Thanksgiving movies to choose from, so there is something for everyone to enjoy. Some popular holiday movies are A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, Miracle on 34th Street, and Home for the Holidays. You may also have plenty of your favorite snacks to enjoy while watching the movie.


Opening Your Gratitude Jar

Writing down things we are grateful for helps us focus on the positive aspects of our lives. It can also help us to appreciate the little things, which are often the most important. Throughout November, family members write down things they're thankful for on small pieces of paper and place them in a jar. They read the notes aloud during Thanksgiving night, reminding everyone of their blessings.


Make Your Thanksgiving Photos More Memorable With a Portrait

Portraits will help you remember and tell stories about your Thanksgiving events as the years go by. Whether it's an oil painting, watercolor, charcoal, or pencil sketch, a portrait from Memorialize Art lets you have a keepsake that will last forever. It will serve as a tangible symbol of the love, appreciation, and gratitude you share in your family.