Halloween has come and gone, so now it is time for the holidays, right? Wrong. I love Christmas more than anyone, but the immediate jump from Halloween to the Winter holidays is one of the most divisive issues of the year, and the debate obliterates Thanksgiving in its wake. I don't even blame the winter fanatics because it is easy to want to keep the ball rolling and jump straight to the next one after being so excited for one seasonal holiday. And, with no music or traditions before the actual day of Thanksgiving, it is a difficult holiday to create that same energy for. Luckily, I have compiled seven ways to celebrate the four weeks between spooky season and Christmas time with the same fever, so Thanksgiving can really shine this year. Now get out there and celebrate the season of giving!
1. Make a Thanksgiving playlist
The first thing you notice, other than the aggressively early in-store displays, is the entrance of Christmas music into radios, ads and speakers. Thanksgiving, unfortunately, lacks any specific festive songs, but that does not mean we cannot make our own playlists. Cue up Spotify (or Apple Music if you have poor taste) and get started on your own Thanksgiving holiday playlist to listen to and get in the mood. My recommendations include "Coming Home" (Leon Bridges), "Harvest Moon" (Neil Young) and "I've Got Plenty To Be Thankful For" (Bing Crosby).
2. BakePhoto by American Heritage Chocolate on Unsplash
Dessert is always a good idea, and Thanksgiving has plenty of them. Practice some pie recipes with people you love, or get together and decorate little turkey-shaped cookies. You can even create your own recipes, and as it gets colder outside, a nice, warm afternoon of baking is the perfect way to get into the Thanksgiving spirit.
3. Make hand turkeyswww.flickr.com
Yes, this is a classic for kindergartners, but it could be fun for any age. Dip your hand in paint and put it on paper, or even trace the outline of your hand to get the turkey shape. Then, color and draw until you have a finished product you enjoy. Imagine doing this with your friends and laughing at one another's poor renditions of a turkey. Bonus: let no one look up what a turkey actually looks like, and then google it together at the end for accuracy.
4. Decorate the housepumpkin on black metal frame Photo by Mark Teachey on Unsplash
Decorations are the perfect and inexpensive way to get into the Thanksgiving mood. Simply combine appropriate Halloween and Christmas decorations for the perfect Thanksgiving vibe. Turn the jack-o-lanterns around, so they are pumpkins, put out little undecorated Christmas tree decor for the woodsy vibe, or even go out and purchase some cute fall decor. Don't forget to hang up your turkeys too!
5. Hikeperson walking on pathway Photo by agung permana on Unsplash
Hiking allows you to get out in nature before it gets too cold, and you can get into the spirit with the beautiful fall foliage you'll see. A nice, sunny, brisk day in the woods screams Thanksgiving vibes, and when you get back you can enjoy a nice warm cup of cider or a fresh slice of pie.
6. Have a Thanksgiving movie nightPhoto by Corina Rainer on Unsplash
Halloween and Christmas movies are amazing, so why not have a Thanksgiving movie night too? Watch Charlie Brown Thanksgiving specials, "Friendsgiving," or any other film that includes the holiday to help you get excited. If you're stuck, you can also just Google additional Thanksgiving movies (there is a surprising amount).
7. Start a thankfulness jarclear glass jar on brown wooden table Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Yes, this is cheesy, but its a good way to reflect on your life and start a good tradition for your family. Sit down one afternoon and fill a jar with your family full of everything you are grateful for this year. On Thanksgiving, everyone can take turns pulling gratitudes and reading them together (and it saves you the awkwardness of being put on the spot). Or, you can decorate a thankfulness jar together and then fill it with everything you are thankful for on Thanksgiving. Make sure to put the date on your notes, put them in the jar, and then do the same next year. Soon you'll have a family collection of gratitude.
Now get out there and celebrate the season of giving!