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10 Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Traditions You Could Start This Year

Go beyond the turkey and football this Thanksgiving. It doesn't matter if you spend the holiday with friends or family, do something new this year. Here are 10 non-traditional Thanksgiving traditions you could try this year.

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Have Everyone Toast

Instead of one long toast at the beginning of the meal, go around the table and let everyone offer a brief toast. Younger guests will love being a part of the action and who knows what they’ll want to toast to! Have you always wanted to build a home bar? Check out our tips for success plus some reader-built bars for inspiration.

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Write Out Thank You Cards

Encourage gratitude. After dinner, give everyone one thank you card and have them write to someone who made an impact in their lives over the last year. Provide a stamped envelope and encourage everyone to address it and send on Black Friday. This will give everyone a chance to reflect on the people they are truly thankful for before they get swept up in the holiday shopping mania. Check out these 17 vintage Thanksgiving decorations we love.

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Go Big on Breakfast

If you’re having dinner later in the day, start the day with an indulgent breakfast. Whether it’s a big breakfast casserole, pancakes, waffles or extravagant pastries from the local bakery, relax and enjoy the first meal of the day. You can also host an open house with pastries and coffee for neighbors before everyone begins their busy day in the kitchen. These essential kitchen gadgets will help you get your day off to a good start.

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Have a Video or Photo Night

When the meal is over and dishes are washed and put away, get comfortable and watch old family movies together, or get out photo albums for a good laugh. This would also be a great time to enjoy a second piece of pie or a turkey sandwich. Make your home cozy with these 10 instant tricks.

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Let Kids Serve Dessert

For a new tradition this Thanksgiving, have the younger guests serve dessert. Kids can feel left out, especially when they’re sitting at a kids’ table away from the rest of the crowd. Have the older children cut slices of pie for younger ones to serve. If there are different desserts available, have one of the kids take orders. These are the 12 things you must have on hand for a successful Thanksgiving.

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WriteMarina Zezelina/Shutterstock

Write it Down

Instead of your traditional Thanksgiving tablecloth, use butcher paper and have each guest write down what they are thankful for this year. Encourage young guests to doodle if they’re too young to write. When the meal is over, you can tear off meaningful memories to keep. Make room for everyone around the Thanksgiving table with these 10 tips.

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Take a Long Walk

If the weather cooperates, have everyone lace up their shoes or boots for a walk after the big Thanksgiving meal. It doesn’t matter if you just go around the neighborhood or head out into the woods, take some time to enjoy the crisp fall air together.

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Host a Pie Party

Instead of having everyone over for a big Thanksgiving meal, host a pie party and invite over friends, family and neighbors to bring their best pie recipe. You could do all dessert pies or any kind of pie from turkey pot pie to pumpkin to cheeseburger pie! Prep your home for a holiday party with these 10 tips.

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Give Gratitude Gifts

After the meal is over, sit down with your family and think of a few people that deserve a big thank you and put together a gratitude gift. Make a list of things you can put in a goodie basket, such as gift cards, artisan chocolates, coffee, movie passes or fun snacks. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, gather the items and deliver the basket together. Try these 14 DIY gifts you can make in a weekend.

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Play the Add-On Game

When you sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, have each person come up with one thing they are thankful for this year. Have the first person go and then the second person will have to repeat what the previous person said and then add their own. So it would sound like this:

Person one: “I am thankful for all of us.” Second person: “I am thankful for all of us and football.” Third person: “I am thankful for all of us and football and pie.”

See how far you can get before someone forgets what to say!

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Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.

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