01 October 2021 (updated)

New Thanksgiving Traditions: Giving Thanks in 2021

2021 is the perfect time to create some new traditions with your family and friends. Try these ideas for Thanksgiving traditions this year so you can still celebrate the holiday together!

Thanksgiving Traditions for 2021

The world has changed a lot in the last year with the COVID-19 pandemic, and popular holidays like July 4th and Halloween haven’t been the same - but it doesn’t mean we can't celebrate! 

Many of us won't be able to be with our loved ones in person this Thanksgiving, but that doesn't mean you can't still celebrate.

Whether you're watching the Macy’s parade or just making a Thanksgiving dinner, there's still a lot to celebrate this year. Here are a few of our favorite ideas to start new traditions, but be sure to share your own Thanksgiving Day traditions on your favorite family app!

What Are Some New Thanksgiving Traditions?

Are you tired of the same-old Turkey Day festivities? This is a great year to break out of that rut! The following ideas will help you establish new Thanksgiving traditions!

1. Host a Virtual Dinner Feast

The CDC recommends not having large indoor gatherings. But that doesn't mean you can't still eat your turkey and cranberry sauce together! Decide on a menu, and have other invitees choose items to make. On or before Thanksgiving Day, you can drop off your dishes at each other's house so you'll all 'share' a meal. It's up to everyone if you want to do a video call during the feast!

2. Order Food and Have It Delivered

Instead of making everything from scratch, why not be thankful for all the fantastic restaurants and service workers by ordering delivery this year! Choose a local deli or market and send something special to your loved ones. So, in addition to sharing delicious stuffing or pumpkin pie, you'll also be supporting local businesses.

3. Keep It Simple

Instead of a chaotic meal, this might be a great year to scale back. Anyone who’s ever participated in Thanksgiving traditions for families knows that it’s a lot of work! So, instead of making a turkey with all the fixings and dessert, stick to your family’s favorites. You may even want to choose duck or Cornish game hens instead of a turkey. Or go really easy by opting for pizza delivery and a favorite family movie. 

4. Take Time to Relax

Instead of participating in a crowded Turkey Trot or game of touch football, take some quiet time for yourself. Why not establish a new tradition of trying a new meditation or ending the day with a bubble bath? This will also help you unwind from a long holiday in future years after a long day or the perfect mid-afternoon nap.

5. Take It Outside

If you have an outdoor kitchen and live in a milder climate, this is among the easiest of Thanksgiving traditions to do! You can easily social distance around a backyard dinner table and enjoy all of your favorite holiday specialties. If you have a larger group, it’s important to follow the CDC guidelines so that everyone stays safely distanced! 

6. Give Thanks by Giving Back

There are many more people in need this year, and the pandemic challenges have only made things worse. Even if you're among the lucky ones who haven't been struggling, it's an ideal time to give back.  But even some of the tried-and-true Thanksgiving volunteer activities, like serving at a soup kitchen, might not be possible this year.

As an alternative option, collect money with your relatives and donate it to a charity that your family strongly supports. You could also look for Giving Tuesday options, starting some new Thanksgiving traditions for families.

The existing pandemic has opened the door for many new opportunities. Whether you give back to your community or plan a virtual dinner, there are ways to make some great memories.

Do you have any new Thanksgiving traditions in 2021 to share? Tell us about them in our comments! Even if your friends and family members won't be able to have an in-person celebration, you can still have a fabulous holiday!

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