What to Do on Thanksgiving, Besides Eating

created at: 11/18/2010

If you find yourself gathered with others this Thanksgiving, you’ll find yourself with 1) a lot of food, and, if you’re not cooking, eating, or cleaning up 2) some downtime.

We always think a group of folks gathered is an opportunity to do something together. While watching football may be a popular tradition, there are plenty of other options for all types of personalities and groups. More importantly, when you do stuff together, you might surprised to find that you actually like the people you’re gathered with.

Here’s a few of our favorites, and we hope you’ll post some of yours in comments below.

1. Get crafty! Of course, this is our number one! Try working on a project that everyone can participate in, like making ornaments or awesome snowflakes for the upcoming holiday celebrations.

2. Volunteer – That meal doesn’t really take all day to cook. Spend a couple hours giving your time to a local organization that could use your help together.

3. Decorate – If you’re hosting this year, take advantage of all the built-in help. Have a crew go outside and grab some colorful leaves (if you have any) to adorn the table. Or, better yet, start dragging the holiday decorations out and put your guests to work!

4. Take a walk – It doesn’t matter what temperature it is…go outside. Take a hike through a park (they’re probably open that day), or just around the neighborhood. Alternatively, take bike ride together if its suitable.

5. Play outside – Football or kickball work, but might not be a good options for different bodies and ages. If not, try a slower game, like croquet or bocce ball.

6. Watch a movie – The act of gathering to intentionally enjoy something together will have a different effect than the in-and-outs of sports watching. Challenge yourselves to find something that all folks might appreciate, but could start discussions. I’m absolutely sure I’ve never watched a video with my grandparents, but I’d like to, and talk about the film from their perspective.

7. Play board games – Now that my generation of kids are adults, and all the next are still toddlers, my family has totally stopped playing games. It’s like when we grew out of Candyland, we stopped all games. Weird! This year, I’m gonna find something fun that everyone can enjoy. Promise!

We know we’ve missed a ton! Tell us your ideas or traditions in the comments.