Different Thanksgiving Traditions You Can Begin This Year!

November 7, 2022

Every family has Thanksgiving traditions, from Grandma’s recipe for cranberry sauce to Dad’s favorite way to cook the turkey. But Thanksgiving traditions go way beyond the menu. Sure, we all love our butter-basted turkey with cornbread dressing, garlic mashed potatoes and gravy, creamed corn and pecan pie, but when you really think about it, a lot of different Thanksgiving traditions happen around the food. While changing up the menu (just a little bit) is never a bad idea, there’s plenty you can do differently both before and after the big meal to make your family’s Thanksgiving a truly memorable experience. And why not try some non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner ideas? Whether you’re looking for a big change or just a slight tweak, these ideas can help make your next Thanksgiving one they’ll never forget.


Turn off the TV. Okay, since the Dallas Cowboys are playing the New York Giants at 3:30 pm on Thanksgiving Day, maybe the TV won’t stay off all day, but you can still turn it off before the game so that the family can enjoy some quality time together preparing and even eating Thanksgiving dinner, depending on when you usually eat. This will give everyone time to catch up, reminisce, and enjoy one another’s company.

Get crafty. Sometimes it can be difficult to find something that the whole family can enjoy together, but one fun project is to find a group craft that everyone can participate in. One great way to do this is for everyone to make a Christmas ornament since that holiday will be here before we know it! Even if the littlest members of the family can’t necessarily make their own, they’ll be happy to help with glitter and glue!

Snap some pics! The whole family is together, so Thanksgiving is a perfect time to take that annual family photo. Even if you don’t gather everyone for a group shot or a photo session with a local photographer you can always snap some candid photos throughout the day and get those holiday photo cards and Instagram posts out of the way.

Stage a wine tasting. Many of us love to bring a bottle of wine to a dinner party anyway, so why not encourage some of your guests to bring their favorites? Create an impromptu wine-tasting party by sampling the different vintages!


Have a pie-baking competition. Who doesn’t love pie at Thanksgiving? And who doesn’t want year-long bragging rights for being crowned the best baker of the season? If you’ve got some serious bakers in the family, why not stage a competition to see who can bake the best pie? After all, when a competition ends with the chance to eat a whole lot of delicious, fresh-baked pies, everyone wins.

Craft a signature cocktail for the occasion. Whether it’s something you enjoy after the meal or while you’re cooking, a signature cocktail that you make up yourself can really capture the mood of the holiday and make it an occasion you’ll never forget. You can always share the recipe with your guests, too!

Incorporate a new dish or two. Sure, we all love the classic Thanksgiving staples, but just because the holiday wouldn’t be the same without turkey, dressing, or another favorite dish doesn’t mean that you can’t occasionally spice things up by adding in a new twist to the menu. This could be a new side that you’ve never tried before or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, even an alternative main course.

Dig out a few old recipes from the family recipe book. If you have a lot of cooks in your family, you can probably find all kinds of hidden gems buried in the family recipe files. Dig some out that are sure to please the whole crowd, and you’ll also be introducing some family history to the festivities!


Dine alfresco. The weather in Richmond, Texas can go either way for Thanksgiving Day, but it just might be warm enough for some open-air dining. If it is, why not give it a try?

Change up the dinner music. A little light music in the background helps set the mood, so maybe think about a new playlist this year. Maybe try jazz, rhythm and blues, or a little classic country. Sinatra is always a hit, and so is Bob Marley. It doesn’t always have to be easy listening, classical, or holiday music.

Select a new host. Sure, you always have Thanksgiving at Mom’s or Grandma’s. But maybe Grandma would like a break this year. It’s never a bad idea to offer to host Thanksgiving at your place if you have the room.

Make a toast! Celebrate something that you’re thankful for with a toast. Heck, everyone can make one! This will be especially fun for the younger members of the family, and it’ll help remind everyone to count their blessings.


Set another place at the table. Not everyone has family to spend the holidays with, so why not invite some friends over who might otherwise be spending Thanksgiving alone? The more the merrier, after all, and it’ll be nice to have some new faces around the table!

Reach out. Similarly, not everyone can travel for Thanksgiving. Fortunately, we live in the 21st century, and our loved ones are never more than a Zoom call away. Why not schedule one this year to keep in touch with family members across the country or around the world?

Volunteer. Ultimately, Thanksgiving is a holiday that’s all about being grateful for what we have. What better way to show our gratitude than by paying it forward? You can volunteer at a local food pantry or any other organization that helps out those in need. Your hard work and generosity will be deeply appreciated, especially on a holiday like Thanksgiving.

Whether you opt for the usual turkey-and-dressing routine or try out some non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner ideas this year, you’re sure to have a memorable time, and there’s no better place to do it than in your very own kitchen at Candela. All of our builders understand that the kitchen is the heart of the home, which is why they build spacious, modern kitchens that are perfect for these occasions as well as the usual weeknight meals with the family.

Don’t already have your place in the sun at Candela? Not to worry. Our 460-acre master-planned community has the perfect home just waiting for you! To schedule a tour or simply stay in the know, contact Candela today!

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