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Top ten ways to celebrate Thanksgiving Day

Updated on May 14, 2018

The unthankful heart, discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!

— Henry Ward Beecher

Essence and history of Thanksgiving festival

Since past few centuries, celebrations have been part of all religions on the occasion of successful harvesting of crops. On similar lines, Thanksgiving festival is celebrated to mark the happiness of good harvest in a year. This festival is not religion specific. In every religion, people celebrate this day when crops are harvested especially when a previous year had yielded good quantity and quality of food. It is the celebration for farmers.

The national holiday is declared for celebrating "Thanks Giving" day: For Canada, it is second Monday in October and in the USA it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.

Apart from USA and Canada, it is celebrated in Grenada on 25th October, Liberia on first Thursday of November, in Netherlands (Pieterskerk) on the morning of the American Thanksgiving Day, Australia (Norfolk Island) on last Wednesday of November, Saint Lucia on first Monday in October, United Kingdom.

Similar festivals are celebrated in India in the month of March, Erntedankfest German Thanksgiving festival in early October in Germany, Labor Thanksgiving Day on 23rd November in Japan, to name a few.

Top 10 ideas to celebrate Thanksgiving day

Idea 1 :- Prepare hand made cards for loved ones

Thanksgiving originally started with the expression of happiness as a symbol of good harvest, but over the years this festival has transformed as a way of expressing appreciation for near and dear ones. As per popular opinion, on this occasion, a handmade card will be the best choice to express your regards to your loved ones. A handwritten note is expected to convey something that a card, a call or an e-mail just can’t.

Method to create a quick and valuable 'Thank You' card:-

  • Start with a cardboard piece or any hard paper piece.
  • Then equally divide it into two parts with a pencil.
  • Further, fold it such that sides of cards match.
  • Cover card from inside out with a chart paper and create a small square with a ribbon on the front of the card.
  • Put any picture of a specific person or any picture you like and decorate sides with buttons, flowers or quilled designs.
  • Inside the card, write something special i.e. Thank You note
  • Colourful sketch pens, sparkle tube or pencils are preferred to write the content.

Idea 2 :- Cook home made delicious marmalade or sweeteners

Prepare some homemade sweets or cookies. Gift them as a token of thank. Every celebration is incomplete without sweets. You can make following delicious items at home:-

  • Cookies
  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolates
  • Marmalade n Jam
  • Ice cream
  • Jelly
  • Cake and pastries
  • Biscuits

If you don't have time or energy, you can also purchase them from nearest stores or via online shopping.

What are your best Thanksgiving desserts?

See results

Idea 3 :- Step into others shoes for one day

This is an unmatched and one of the best gift that a person can offer on Thanksgiving day. As a token of gratitude, allow the person whom you want to thank, to relax for a day. Take his/her position or walk an extra mile in his/her shoes. An alternative can be to help him/her with daily chores. Since this day is celebrated as a national holiday, many people must be free. You can reach them, maybe help them in decorating their homes or lend a hand in preparing a delicious dinner with huge turkey or offer to clean their houses and sit with them to enjoy past memories.

Idea 4 :- Spend time with your friends and family

Time is precious: It becomes a gift for your near and dear ones if you invest it to spend with them. Since it's a national holiday, you can book your flights in advance to meet your family to give them a surprise visit. Prepare a systematic plan for a trip back home. Stay with them for some time and maybe try to take few more leaves after Thanks Giving. Stay there, enjoy the company of your family. Open old memory notes, photos, books. Watch old-time classical/cult movies or serials. Relive the gone moments with your loved ones.

You can also plan a holiday or vacation on a long weekend of Thanksgiving. Below are the best destinations for planning a vacation in the USA :

  • Orlando, Florida:- Orlando is home to Disney World and other theme parks, making it a natural choice for a Thanksgiving getaway with kids.
  • Gatlinburg, Tennessee:- This gorgeous gateway to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park draws families all year long and is the number one destination for vacation rental inquiries this Thanksgiving.
  • Pigeon Forge, Tennessee:- Pigeon Forge is another popular resort town in the Great Smokies, with a big country music dinner show scene and the Dollywood theme park. It is located near to Gatlinburg.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada:- From indoor skydiving, amusement park-style attractions, and a zip line high above downtown Las Vegas to Blue Man Group and the Shark Reef Aquarium, there's never a dull moment.
  • Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania:- This region is stunning in the fall, the combination of woodland and water makes for myriad postcard-worthy vistas.
  • Oahu, Hawaii:- This destination is full of island breezes and gorgeous beaches.
  • Kauai, Hawaii:- The second Hawaiian island to make the top 10 of this list. The Garden Isle is a dream for families, with its spectacular beaches, lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls and pastoral landscape of taro farms.
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida:- The only Florida beach town to make the top 10, Fort Lauderdale offers sun, sea, sand, water parks, and more than 2,200 Home Away listings.
  • Lake Tahoe, California:- Lake Tahoe is gorgeous year-round, and many folks are planning to enjoy the scenery over Thanksgiving weekend. Ski season starts in mid-November, so you can hit the slopes on Turkey Day if you like.
  • Big Bear, California:- This popular lake resort in Southern California is an easy getaway for people in Los Angeles. The area offers zip line and ATV tours plus beautiful views of the beautiful lake.

Idea 5 :- Gift a collage of old memories

Along with a "Thank You"note, you can gift a collage capturing old memories and classic moments of you and your loved ones. You can also send them a "Picture scrapbook" or a "Photo Collage Magnet" or prepare a Special video using all pictures and suitable songs in the background using "Windows Movie Maker" software.

Idea 6 :- Decorate home with thanksgiving creative items

Decorate your home with a hybrid collection of beautiful flowers and decorative items on Thanksgiving Day. Preferably, you can choose a Thanksgiving theme for dinner with a selection of crockery from elegant fall colour or any funky turkey designs bowls. The entire set could include matching plates, napkins, table covers, hanging Thanksgiving decorations, and Thanksgiving table decorations. Thanksgiving costumes are an add-on.

Thanksgiving home and dinner table decorative ideas

Create a Message Board

As family or guests arrive for Thanksgiving, have them write what they are thankful for on a paper leaf and pin it up. This frame was constructed using a linen-covered foam core and an old frame. Cut paper leaves from old books or scrapbook paper in different fall shades.

Thankful wreath

A "Give Thanks" wreath sets a welcoming Thanksgiving tone at your front door. Decorate a homemade or purchased evergreen wreath with roses, pinecones, hypericum berries, champagne grapes and hydrangeas (keep flower stems in water picks).

Feathered thanks

This thankful turkey can be a decoration all month long or constructed just before your Thanksgiving dinner. To create this project, begin with a large pinecone. Cut feather shapes from scrapbook paper, crease them in half lengthwise and fringe the edges with scissors. Construct the turkey's head by cutting out an oval and a circle and adding googly eyes, a beak, and a wattle. Have family or guests write what they're thankful for on the feathers and tuck feathers into the pinecone.

Thanksgiving card tray

These simple cards send seasonal messages or identify where guests sit. Cut cardstock with pinking shears and decorate with rubber-stamp designs and handwritten messages. Choose tone-on-tone or metallic ink for a sophisticated look.

Thankful tree

Invite family or guests to write messages of thanks on paper ornaments. Tie ornaments to tree branches anchored in sand in a pitcher. They make a memorable keepsake if guests sign and date their ornament.

Appreciate your ancestry

Holidays are the perfect time to teach youngsters about their heritage. Make it an activity by cutting out copies of vintage baby photos and arranging them on the wall in a "family tree." Family members can guess who's who.

Give thanks

For quick and easy homemade place settings, start with brown craft paper and create space for each guest to write a list of things they're thankful for. The lists will make great dinner conversation, too!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Thankful wreathThankful treeGive thanks through thank you dinner notesThanksgiving table decorationsThanksgiving table decorationsThanksgiving table decorationsThanksgiving front door decorations
Thankful wreath
Thankful wreath
Thankful tree
Thankful tree
Give thanks through thank you dinner notes
Give thanks through thank you dinner notes
Thanksgiving table decorations
Thanksgiving table decorations
Thanksgiving table decorations
Thanksgiving table decorations
Thanksgiving table decorations
Thanksgiving table decorations
Thanksgiving front door decorations
Thanksgiving front door decorations

Idea 7 :- Spend time with poor people. Help them emotionally and financially

Helping underprivileged section provides utmost calmness and happiness, and is a way of attaining inner joy and peace.

Distribute desserts to poor and needy people

Bake something delicious like cookies, jams, biscuits, cake or anything! Give it to someone who is working hard on the occasion of Thanksgiving like police, firefighters, Animal shelter staff etc.

Distribute warm clothes to poor people

There are kids as well as adults who need coats and warm clothes to protect themselves from cold during the winter season. Check around and see if your local school or church is hosting a coats drive and have your kids each pick out a coat that they don’t wear anymore or have outgrown to donate.

Sponsor a child in an improvised country

Spread Thanksgiving kindness across the globe by sponsoring a child in your native or if possible in another country. Keep track of how your contribution is helping the child, and it can even be an opportunity for your own children to learn about other places in the world.

Each November St. Leo the Great School, San Jose, initiates a 1-hour frozen turkey drive drop-off and donates to Sacred Heart Community Service
Each November St. Leo the Great School, San Jose, initiates a 1-hour frozen turkey drive drop-off and donates to Sacred Heart Community Service

Idea 8 :- Visit religious places

As Thanksgiving is declared a holiday, people can always find time to visit some holy place. If not, one can always reach the nearest church or temple or mosque to pay gratitude towards God. Offer your prayer on this occasion to thank God for a good year and seek his blessings.

Idea 9 :- Spend time with lonely people

You can also spend your Thanksgiving day with those who are all alone in this world. These people really become happy on seeing you as a companion. You will also find happiness in making new friends and giving them solace on this day. Visit orphanages, old age homes, beggars and even prisoners. Such lonely souls seek someone who has time to listen and talk with them. Help them by either emotionally connecting or supporting them financially. The smiles you see on their faces can never be measured in words.

Accompany them by making holiday cards

On Thanksgiving usually, people celebrate with their families, at the same time, there are many folks who feel lonely mainly senior citizens, orphans, soldiers and even people in jail. Spend some time by creating holiday cards with these people. More than an offering, they will cherish your time and company for an entire year.

Help them by preparing Thanks Giving Dinner

Many communities or group of people host Thanksgiving dinner for lonely people who cannot go anywhere else. You can help such communities by preparing a feast on this occasion. Financially supporting such communities is another way of lending a helping hand.

Visit a Hospital

People who are sick and have no one to take care are the saddest and depressed folks. On the occasion of Thanksgiving, accompany these people in a hospital, play games with them, talk with them and take care of their needs. You can also plan to visit a children's hospital and hand out stuffed animals or treats to children who need the extra cheer. Ask your kids to pick out a gift they think a kid like them would love.

Send care packages to soldiers overseas

A holiday care package can be a great emotion booster for soldiers who are far from home during the holidays. Gather up everyday necessities like soap, razors, toothbrushes, and travel-sized toiletries. Moreover, some goodies such as cookies, canned foods, and gum can be included in the packages to keep their bellies full. Games, like small Sudoku or crossword puzzle books, will help them stay busy during their free time.

Volunteer at Animal Shelter

Not only humans but animals are also important. Don't forget these creatures on Thanksgiving occasion. Take your son or daughter to an animal shelter to volunteer for a day, or sign up to volunteer once a week to spread the love throughout the year. And if your family is ready for a pet, adopt one of your own.

Idea 10 :- Plan a Thanksgiving parade or match with neighbour

Fun tasks leave a mark in the memory for a long time. Channelize fun tasks with the purpose of "Saying Thanks". Organize an event in society or in office, involve people to play games. End it with a fun-loving Thanksgiving Parade.

Huge parades are also organized at the county level. You can watch them and participate in them.

Top 5 Thanksgiving parades are:-

  1. Macy's Thanksgiving Parade (New York)
  2. McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade (Chicago)
  3. America's Hometown Thanksgiving Parade (Plymouth, Massachusetts)
  4. America's Thanksgiving Parade (Detroit)
  5. Annual H-E-B Holiday Parade (Houston)

Disney Thanksgiving parade
Disney Thanksgiving parade

What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving day?

See results

© 2015 Shuchi12

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    • Shuchi12 profile image
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      Shuchi12 2 years ago

      Thanks :)

    • erorantes profile image

      Ana Maria Orantes 2 years ago from Miami Florida

      I like your hub. It is a perfect timing to show. Everything is great. My three favorite pictures is the turkey on the table, the thankful card with the indian and the rest of the people and the cookies tray. The rest of the picture and the information, it is of great importance. Thank you for making a marvelous hub miss shuchi 12.

    • Shuchi12 profile image
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      Shuchi12 2 years ago

      Thanks :)

    • bat115 profile image

      Tim 2 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I feel like I have been enlightened by this hub! Learned so much.

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