By Jovana Kuvac and Jane McWilliams
Thanksgiving conjures images of a big family surrounding the dinner table and enjoying a large roasted turkey. Thankfully, this is no longer the only way to enjoy a spectacular holiday. Parents can create new traditions that bring the laughter and joy of children that we all treasure. Consider inviting your co-parent to participate in your new tradition, knowing your children will enjoy being with both parents.
Here are some ideas for a new Turkey-time tradition for your family to enjoy:
- Enjoy a Waffle Bar Breakfast with fun toppings such as candy sprinkles, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream–guaranteed to elicit smiles!
- Have breakfast or brunch at your favorite restaurant. Many restaurants offer a fun spin on traditional Thanksgiving dishes and breakfast combinations.
- Host a Thanksgiving Evening Annual Game Night. There are many fun party games and board games that delight children and adults alike.
- Build a ‘Grateful Tree’ out of branches and let the kids cover it in their own special messages of thankfulness written on construction paper leaves.
- Create a ‘Thankful Turkey’ paper craft with the kids, where every feather lists something you are thankful for (and ensure that your thankful list includes your co-parent this year).
- Alternate hosting the Thanksgiving Dinner, or if one of you is more keen on hosting, consider extending an invitation to your co-parent. Being together with both parents for the holidays can have a significantly positive impact on your children.
- Create ‘thank you’ cards with the kids. Yet another way to show gratitude for those who bring smiles to their faces and who bring them joy. Encourage the kids to use their imaginations and be creative in decorating and personalizing their cards.
- Play a Game of Family [Insert Favorite Family Sport]. Embrace the kid in you and enjoy the fun! A sporting event like this creates memories that last a lifetime.
- Collect canned foods to help your kids understand the idea of ‘giving back.’ Invite each guest to bring non-perishable items that you can then donate to families in need.
- Create a mini ‘Thanks-family-giving’ by sharing a Thanksgiving meal the day before or after Thanksgiving. Parents may find it easier to share time with their children without the impact of other family members present.
Use this season of celebration as an opportunity to improve co-parenting relationships. Celebrate the accomplishments you and your co-parent have had in raising your children. You can each take pride in putting your kids first and creating new traditions.
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours–enjoy celebrating in your own unique way!