Every year, families gather together to enjoy a huge feast of savory dishes and sweet treats to celebrate Thanksgiving.
However, over time, the traditional holiday has begun to look much different than it did back in the day.
I don’t mean the original meal between the Pilgrims and Native Americans in 1621, but the classic customs from our parents and grandparents that somehow stopped being passed down somewhere along the way. Thinking back on my own childhood turkey days spent at my grandma’s house, I can’t help but feel like it’s a darn shame that so many of the simple things listed below just aren’t done as often anymore.
After all, the shindig is about so much more than just what’s on your plate — it’s about acknowledging the blessings we’ve received over the months since we last gathered around the table together.
Did we forget any traditions you miss from the past? Which of these does your family still do? Let us know in the comments and be sure to SHARE with your friends and family!
Thumbnail sources: Flickr 1, 2
1. Retelling The Original Thanksgiving Story
We learn the basics in school, but families used to enjoy brushing up on all the fun facts about our ancestors’ first time sitting together at the table for their big fall harvest meal. Sharing Thanksgiving trivia with the rest of the brood was almost like a fun game!
For example, did you know they didn’t even have turkey on the menu that day? Instead, they dined on items like venison, duck, and even fresh oysters.
2. Adding A Festive Centerpiece To The Table
I can’t remember the last time I saw a beautiful centerpiece that wasn’t at a wedding reception, but you’d always see one on the Thanksgiving table way back when. You can have a blast crafting your own with your kids and grandkids chipping in!
3. Breaking Out The Good China
I’ll admit it: My family always uses paper plates for our feast in order to cut back on the dishes stacking up in the sink, but everyone used to reach for the fancy dinnerware, maybe even dressing up for the occasion with a nice tie or dress.
4. Using Quaint Place Cards
Even if it’s just a small gathering, this personal touch used to go a long way with helping guests feel extra special at the annual meal.
5. Playing Your Own Football Game
Instead of watching the same players face off on TV, families would spend the time waiting for their turkey by heading outside and working up an appetite with some friendly competition.
6. Splitting The Wishbone
Sure, it’s a silly superstition, but that’s what makes it so fun! As you can see in the retro snapshot above, it was especially delightful to the youngsters getting their first chance to make a wish.
7. Sharing What You're Thankful For
I know we’re all anxious to chow down on the delicious food, but don’t you remember when we all used to take a moment to look back on what we’re most grateful for since the previous Thanksgiving? I think this small gesture may have even made the food taste a little better.
8. Walking Off The Feast
Tons of us today are more tempted to slump down in a comfy chair and snooze for a bit. But not too long ago, families would spend more quality time together taking a walk and enjoying the fresh air while aiding their digestion.
9. Staying All Night (In Spite Of Sales)
In recent years, Black Friday has creeped into Turkey Day’s territory, not only forcing employees to leave their own meals early, but inspiring deal-seeking shoppers to ditch the dinner table before dessert is even served.
Did we miss any traditions from the past that you’d like to see come back? Let us know below and be sure to SHARE with your family and friends!