We’re ready for the turkey, cleaned the whole house, and set aside our stretchy pants, but what about what to do before and after you’ve stuffed the bird and cooked the sides? Thanksgiving falls on November 22 this year, so we’ve come up with 22 things you can do with your family and friends to make the day even more enjoyable! Get ready to eat, drink, and have fun with our picks for what to do on Thanksgiving 2018!
- 1. Watch your first holiday movie of the year. Whether you’re a Hallmark channel fan or you’re watching Love, Actually for the hundredth time, now is when you can officially watch holiday movies without shame (at least in our book).
- 2. Or go see a new movie… There’s the reimagining of The Grinch currently playing at most theaters, or you can finally see A Star Is Born, Bohemian Rhapsody, or any number of blockbusters just hitting theaters. Go all out and bring a leftover turkey sandwich in your purse for full Thanksgiving vibes.
- 3. Volunteer to serve at a shelter. So many people need help, and the holidays are especially tough on those who are struggling. Make time with your family and friends to serve a meal at a local shelter or donate non-perishable Thanksgiving foods to make someone’s day a little bit better.
- 4. Or make extra food to give to a neighbor or relative who couldn’t make it to the table. Share your table with those who aren’t able to leave the house by bringing over a plate of food and some dessert. Checking in on housebound people around the holidays and spending some quality time with them is a great way to give of yourself during this charitable time.
- 5. Bring a dessert to emergency workers or people who have to be on-call on Thanksgiving. Firefighters, police officers, and hospital staff don’t get the day off for Thanksgiving like most people, so bring the holiday to them with a pie or other baked goods that can be shared around the break room. It’s a great way to say, “thank you” to the people who keep us safe and healthy.
- 6. Play football. Break into teams, do some trash talking, and get a little exercise in with some healthy competition. Losers have to do the dishes!
- 7. Watch football. Not into playing? Cheer on a professional team! Whether you’re an established fan or just rooting for the day, it’s an exciting way to do some family bonding.
- 8. Add to a family photo album. This is one of those activities you always want to do, but never get around to, so why not make it a part of your Thanksgiving traditions? Look back on old photos and add the best ones from the previous year to your collection. Sure, you have social media, but there’s something pretty special about having all your photos in an album for family memories.
- 9. Play a board or card game. Whether your family throws down over Monopoly or you don’t mind getting a little raunchy with Cards Against Humanity, playing a game lightens the mood and gives you something to look forward to after the plates are cleared.
- 10. Run (or walk) a race. There are Turkey Trots all over the United States, and what better way to work for your turkey than to run or walk a 5K for a good cause? You can try to make it in the winner’s circle or just walk the 3.1 miles with your family, but either way, it’s a great way to get fresh air and feel productive on a day associated with overeating.
- 11. Clean out the refrigerator. Make room for leftovers! A chore most people ignore until it is too late, make a point to clean out all the old condiments, mystery Tupperware containers, and last week’s dinner to make room for delicious turkey and sides. Wipe down the shelves and spray a little cleaner in there to really make it sparkle.
- 12. Have a cocktail competition. You likely already have all the food covered, but drinks are easier to make (and just as easy to throw away, if they aren’t very good) and more flexible than your traditional dinner menu. Need some inspiration? Check out our favorite cocktail recipes! First place gets the first piece of pie!
- 13. Invite people who couldn’t go home for the holidays to your dinner. Lots of people live far from home and it can be expensive to fly back during the holidays. If you have a friend or co-worker who couldn’t make a trip to see their family, invite them over for dinner and to share the festivities.
- 14. Pick your favorite balloon from the parade. Sure, the Thanksgiving Day Parade can be a little corny, but it’s also the perfect little bit of nostalgia to start your day. Get a cozy cup of coffee, cuddle up on the couch, and decide which balloons and musical performances are the best of 2018 with your fam.
- 15. Share what you are thankful for. A tradition many people already do, and for good reason! This year, really think back on the good things you’ve experienced, the lessons you’ve learned, and the people who’ve been there for you to express your gratitude for all you’ve been given. It can be super personal or light and happy, but as long as you are sincere, it will feel good to share!
- 16. Read up on the real history of Thanksgiving. While we celebrate this as a day of family and gratitude, the true history of the holiday is much darker than most of us learned in school and is an important component of our country’s history. We aren’t saying it’s a bad thing to want to relax and stuff yourself with turkey, but learning and acknowledging both the good and bad parts about where we come from helps us to make better choices moving forward and be more mindful of how our behavior can affect others.
- 17. Take a few minutes to de-stress. The holidays are a high-pressure time and it can get overwhelming when you want everything to go right and have everyone get along. Take a few minutes to meditate, go for a walk with your dog, or take a look at our tips on how to handle holiday family stress to keep in mind for the holidays ahead. You’ll be glad you did!
- 18. Start a gratitude ritual. Whether you decide to greet each day with a simple, “thank you,” or you prefer to write down a few things you are grateful for each morning, studies seem to show that gratitude has proven benefits for those who make a conscious effort to acknowledge it. Thanksgiving is as good a time as any to mindfully and consistently consider all that you have to be thankful for in your life.
- 19. Create your own silly family tradition. Maybe you decide to do family karaoke after dinner or you choose to eat pie for breakfast–whatever it is, come up with something that brings your family together and creates happy feelings. The more fun you have with it, the more excited everyone will be to keep the tradition going year after year.
- 20. Make your holiday shopping list. Holiday creep can be annoying, but it also feels great to be prepared ahead of time! If you haven’t already scouted items you would like as a gift or haven’t thought about what to do for friends and family, now is the perfect time to get your lists together and do some browsing before you hit the sales.
- 21. Go all out decorating your table. Fill the cornucopia, light all the candles, and set out your best plates and silverware. You can learn some fancy ways to fold the napkins and bring out all the serving dishes and utensils that don’t see the light of day most of the year. Check Pinterest and Instagram for ideas on how to make the perfect tablescape for everyone to enjoy with their meal and get crafty!
- 22. Check out the Lulus Black Friday sale! Everything (we mean it – every. single. thing.) is on sale for 25-90% off! Our bestsellers, our coolest new arrivals, all our favorite brands (hello, Levi’s, Free People, Steve Madden, and more), and even our sale section are all on sale. Score the perfect on-trend suit for your office party, a shimmery dress for a night out with your S.O., and a sparkler for New Year’s Eve. There are comfy sweaters and jeans for holiday time with the fam, and pretty jewelry and accessories to give to your best girls. Plus, we’ll be having flash deals on our BEST stuff (up to 90% off)!! We promise, this is one sale you DON’T want to miss this Black Friday season.
How will you be celebrating on Thanksgiving (besides with food!)? Share your favorite Thanksgiving traditions in the comments!