Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and so I enjoy collecting meaningful Thanksgiving ideas. I enjoy Thanksgiving because it is spent with family and friends. Of course, enjoying delicious food from simple recipes is enjoyable, too. I like to create DIY crafts to decorate my home and to give as favors and gifts. For me, everything about Thanksgiving should reflect warmth, love and tradition for my family.
Thanks to the military, I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving in the USA and in three overseas countries. I’ve enjoyed introducing others to my family’s Thanksgiving traditions. Many people are intimated by the idea of cooking a traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the trappings. But if you remember that Thanksgiving is really more about relationships with family and friends, you’ll be able to create Thanksgiving ideas that work for you and your family.
Preparation and Organizing Ideas
You don’t have to be stuck in the kitchen all day cooking and preparing the big Thanksgiving meal. Spending time with your family and friends on Thanksgiving really is possible with just a little preparation and these simple Thanksgiving ideas and tips.
Free Printable Thanksgiving Menu Planner – Using a menu planner for your Thanksgiving menu planning means that you’re not frantically running around in the kitchen while everyone is enjoying chatting and catching up with each other. You can plan ahead for the dishes that you want to serve and their preparation times. The menu planner also allows you to plan for others to bring potluck Thanksgiving dishes to contribute.
Tips to Transport Holiday Food – Whether you’ll be taking food to a Thanksgiving meal or have people bring dishes to Thanksgiving dinner at your home, you’ll want to check out these tips for safely transporting your favorite Thanksgiving dishes.
Organize a Holiday Meal Planner – This is an oldie-but-goodie free printable meal planner and tips that I have used for years in my home. It allows you to plan for the ingredients required for each Thanksgiving recipe and identify whether you already have those ingredients or need to purchase them.
Tips to Prepare for Holiday Guests – In the busyness of preparing the menu and food for Thanksgiving, don’t overlook preparing your home for your guests. These are quick and easy tips that will make your guests feel welcome.
Thanksgiving Decorations and Crafts
Making DIY decorations and crafts for Thanksgiving make the holiday that much more charming. Most of these ideas are easy enough that you can involve children before or during Thanksgiving in making them. And these decorating ideas are impressive enough that you’ll be proud to show them off.
DIY Fall Treats Anyone Can Make-Make these sophisticated table decorations that are also party favors or Thanksgiving treats.
Repurposed Wood Shutters Sign for Thanksgiving – Make this delightful welcome sign that can be used inside or out to greet your guests. This is a two-for-one holiday decoration that packs a big punch for just a few dollars since it starts by upcycling wood shutters you can find for free or inexpensively at a local thrift store.
Easy Candy Acorns – This simple craft uses up paper scraps that you probably already have and can also be used as table decoration.
DIY Thanksgiving Napkin Rings – You can have your children help you make these lovely napkin rings for your Thanksgiving table. Everyone will ooh and ahh over these festive table decorations that will only cost you pennies and minutes to make.
1 Pumpkin Decorated for Both Halloween and Thanksgiving– With just a bit of planning you can decorate your Halloween pumpkins so that you can use them three weeks later as a Thanksgiving decoration.
Thanksgiving Blocks from Repurposed Game Blocks – You can make this cheery Thanksgiving decoration for just pennies. You could use this same tutorial to make table place cards.
Thanksgiving Printables – Literary Quotes – Use these free printable signs with Thanksgiving-themed literary quotes to decorate your table or frame and hang on the wall. You could also hand them out to your guests as a party favor.
Many of the craft tutorial above can be made on Thanksgiving as an activity to keep children and other guests occupied while waiting for dinner time.
Thanksgiving Care Kits – This charitable giving idea is a fun activity that my family has done for years on Thanksgiving day. It’s a wonderful way to help others in your community and teach your children the importance of helping others.
Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt – Keep kids (and young-at-heart adults) happily occupied with the ever-popular scavenger hunt game. This free 4-page printable will keep the “I’m bored” comments at bay.
Fall Scavenger Hunt – If you need a bit of quiet or the kids need to burn off some excess energy, use this free printable scavenger hunt to send the kids outside to play with a guided game.
Fall Dessert Cookie – You could use these cookies as an activity to keep the kids busy decorating them. Simply make the cookies and have the decorating supplies on-hand. Everyone will want to help decorate (and eat) these fun harvest-themed cookies.
Thanksgiving Brownie Cups – These Thanksgiving treats are always a hit and are easy to make (but don’t look easy-to-make!).
Mini Finger Pies with Butterfingers Candy – Individual mini pies are always a popular dessert and these light orange-colored pies are a perfect Thanksgiving dessert alternative for those who don’t like pumpkin pie.
Thanksgiving Pilgrim Hat Cookies – You can have your guests decorate these charming cookies as an activity or make them ahead of time and watch the excitement when you bring them out for dessert.
Easy White Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe – These mini pies are not only delicious, they are adorable dessert treats.
Quick and Easy Apple Pie Bites – Make these apple pie bites as a pre-dinner snack or as finger-food dessert option.
Cannoli Pie – Cannolis are a mouth-watering Italian pastry that are addictive. This pie harnesses that same creamy goodness in an easier-to-make pie.
Pin for later so you can easily find these Thanksgiving ideas year after year to be prepared every time.