We are the heels of the official state to the holiday season. Although our celebrations may feel and look a little different this year, all thanks to COVID-19, we can still come together to find joy and celebration. You may be considering a small gathering at home, or an intimate meal with your immediate family, but you can still get your kids excited and involved in new (and ongoing) traditions. Find the good in the season and encourage your kids, no matter the age, to help you with anything from décor to meal prep in anticipation of the big day.
Turn your home into a holiday haven
Nothing says holiday like fun décor on the interior and exterior of your home. Although most think of Thanksgiving as the middle ground holiday between Halloween and Christmas, it is still a fun time to decorate with all things fall. Consider getting your kids involved by decorating pumpkins together, from carving to painting and all arts and crafts in between. This fun tradition goes beyond Halloween and can be incorporated in your holiday as a fall favorite versus a holiday specific idea. Ask your kids to make homemade décor for your walls and mantel that are Thanksgiving themed, from the ever-popular turkey creation (using their hand tracing as feathers) to a calendar countdown for Thanksgiving. You can pull these out year after year to add to your fall themed home.
Pass off the prep work
Kids love to feel part of any special occasion. Thanksgiving is centered around the big holiday feast, so, get your kids involved in the kitchen. A lot of prep work goes into the food for the big day, so pass off some of the smaller food tasks to your kids, depending on age. Have them assist in measuring ingredients, mixing pie filling, seasoning the turkey or decorating the dessert. Minimal tasks may seem mundane to you, but your children are sure to love the role they played in preparing Thanksgiving dinner. Bonus: it takes some tasks off of your plate, too.
Create a memorable table setting
The table is the focal point of most Thanksgiving evenings across the country. Get your kids involved with setting and decorating the table, even if there are no major guests involved outside of your immediate family this year. Come up with a fun Thanksgiving theme to run with when it comes to the table setting. Have your child choose anything from the color them to centerpiece creation and let them own that aspect of the holiday. Sitting down for dinner will not only be a delicious moment for them, but a proud one, knowing that everyone is enjoying their creations.
Relish in tradition
Much of each holiday, especially after having children, is about creating viable memories and traditions that they talk about for years to come. If you have traditions from previous years try to make them the front and center this holiday. If COVID-19 has put a damper on those traditions, consider tweaking them in a way that is healthy and safe, or create new ones. If you typically run a 5K on Thanksgiving morning with a big family group, you can still live out this tradition by running it with your household and virtually tracking the times to crown the winner, even from afar. The type or magnitude of the tradition doesn’t matter nearly as much as the memories and love behind them, so, don’t hesitate to talk to your kids about what traditions mean to you and pull some ideas from them.
Thanksgiving is a holiday that is centered around being thankful and gracious for the parts of our life that are filled with love, happiness and prosperity. Although COVID-19 may have put a big damper on the holiday, and the year for that matter, it does not have to take away from all of your holiday celebrations. Consider choosing options that keep you and your family safe and healthy, while also getting your kids involved in each aspect of the holiday.