Hanna Blog Parenting Tips New Family Traditions for Thanksgiving 2020
Father and daughter baking

New Family Traditions for Thanksgiving 2020

We expect Thanksgiving may look—let’s all say it together now—a little different this year. Whether it’s traveling to see distant relatives or an annual Friendsgiving gathering with your chosen fam, some favorite Turkey Day traditions may have to change to adapt to 2020. In the spirit of holiday hygge, we think there are plenty of ways to bring a little extra coziness and love to this year’s Thanksgiving celebrations. 

Make video chat extra special 

Screens may not seem like the warmest addition to the Thanksgiving spread, but in years to come you just might fondly reflect on this strange year and the coziness you managed to cook up. Swap fave recipes with your Zoom crew or make the same cocktails from afar so you can enjoy them together and compare notes. If your kids are missing relatives you can’t see this year, like grandparents, make some recipes that they usually contribute, and dig into them together. Watch a holiday movie together after dinner using an app like Scener or Netflix Party, or play games—random generators for trivia or Pictionary words make it easy to play remotely. If there are lots of kids (or kids at heart) on your family video call, host a mini talent show before or after dinner to keep everyone laughing. 

Spice up the usual dishes & get everyone cooking 

Traditions are comforting this year, and that’s important—but with more time at home and likely fewer guests to entertain, maybe we can use that time to spice up a favorite dish with a new twist. Give your sweet potatoes new life with garam masala and a handful of pistachios, upgrade your Brussels sprouts with Manchego and almonds, or swap the pumpkin pie for a zingy cranberry Linzer tart. And with all of the at-home time together, give the kids a purpose in the kitchen and get them cooking with you! Let them pick out a new dish to try so they’re excited about adding it to the Thanksgiving table. 

Feast al fresco 

We know, we know—this won’t work for everyone. But if you happen to live somewhere that’s not too wet or chilly, and/or you have some great outside heating options, dining outdoors could add a special twist to Thanksgiving 2020. String up some twinkly lights, light plenty of candles, break out the lap blankets, and embrace a new tradition. 

Teach gratitude through activities 

It’s been a year full of challenges, and gratitude is a great way to ground kids in the present, help build resilience, and encourage positive thinking. It’s also what Thanksgiving is all about, so it’s the perfect time to teach kids gratitude through activities celebrating what they’re thankful for. A simple craft like a gratitude tree or reading books about being thankful can help create moments of reflection and appreciation. 

Send a care package 

Whether it’s friends or family, there’s probably someone this season you wish you could be spending Thanksgiving dinner with. Think ahead and prep some sweet care packages with your kids to mail or drop off—maybe it’s baked goods to cheer up a neighbor, a centerpiece for a loved one’s table that you craft together by hand, or just a card to brighten their holiday. Friends or family who live alone will be especially thankful. 

…And of course, matching pajamas 

We couldn’t resist. Sure, we may be a teeny bit partial to matching holiday hannajams around here, but if they’re not already a part of your Thanksgiving traditions, this would be the year to bring them in. For starters, kicking off the holiday cheer at Thanksgiving will make the whole season last longer, lifting everyone’s spirits. Plus, if you’re planning to celebrate with friends and family virtually, what better way to make the whole crew feel closer and cozier than matching PJs for everyone? 

From our Hanna family to yours, wishing you a Thanksgiving full of love and gratitude.