10 Fun and Non-Traditional Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving

More employers are allowing their employees to take Thanksgiving off, as work flexibility is a known way to keep teams engaged.

For some, statutory holidays are the best time to spend with your family, but if you can shake it up this year by planning a non-traditional gathering.

To make your vacation as relaxing as possible, keep a realistic budget. If you can’t afford to throw a big bash, it’s okay to have a mini-Thanksgiving or call your family over video chat.

But that’s just one of many ways to celebrate thanksgiving in a non-traditional way! Here are 10 more fun ideas!

10 Fun and Non-Traditional Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving

happy thanksgiving1. Rent Out a Local Hotel

Spending Thanksgiving alone can be taxing on your mental health, especially if you’re used to seeing your family. Instead of staying at home, plan your own private celebration at a nearby hotel. If you pretend to be in a far-off place, you can justify spending a little more on yourself.

2. Create a Group Video

If you’re close to your family and you want to share some holiday cheer, consider creating online videos and sending them to your relatives. Recording yourself making your Thanksgiving feast or signature cocktail can help video recipients feel more connected with you and your life.

3. Declare a Spending Embargo

Establishing a spending embargo is right on theme with Thanksgiving, as it asks your family to be thankful for what they have. But if your family isn’t keen on the idea, think up a challenge you can complete together, such as spring cleaning before Thanksgiving or making a holiday craft.

4. Play Games on Zoom

Adults and children alike would love to get on a video call with their families and play games. One super fun game to play over Zoom is charades, but there are millions of options to choose from. Some of our favorite virtual games are Codenames, 21 Questions, and Guess Who?. 

5. Volunteer Your Time or Money

Thanksgiving is all about being grateful. Unfortunately, too many families won’t have their own celebrations to look forward to. However, you can make a difference by volunteering at a local soup kitchen or donating food. Instead of cooking for your family, cook for someone in need.

6. Have a Themed Cocktail Party

Instead of focusing on the meal, make your Thanksgiving centered around drinks. Even if you want to focus more on the turkey, try using a theme. For example, a Spanish themed event can include gazpacho, paella, tortilla Española, patatas bravas, cochinillo asado, and sangrias. 

7. Make Your Party a Potluck

Potlucks are the perfect way to throw a celebration when you don’t have the time to make the whole meal yourself. You’re welcome to go with a theme, but you could also pick traditional Thanksgiving dishes. With that said, make sure that only one person cooks each needed dish.

8. Go Out to a Restaurant 

Going to a restaurant for Thanksgiving is the most non-traditional thing you could do. If you associate Thanksgiving with work, making reservations at a restaurant will feel like a breath of fresh air. Plus, most restaurants offer their own Thanksgiving menu on the holiday itself. 

9. Have a Friendsgiving Bash

No one says you have to spend Thanksgiving with your family, or rather, your blood relatives. If you have close friends who aren’t seeing their own families, host a gathering with them. Or, if you’re really close, you could ask to spend Thanksgiving day with your friend’s family.

10. Spend the Day Writing Letters

On Thanksgiving day, write to your family. Whether you include a small gift or simply send a card, make sure you express how happy and thankful you are to be in that person’s life. When they receive the letter in a week or two and read it, they can feel thankful all over again.

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