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Thanksgiving Traditions

4 ways to make Thanksgiving dinner more personal


Make a “Thankful Tree”

Many families make a habit of having each member announce what they’re thankful for at the holiday table, before the turkey’s cut. But some kids (even grownups) feel awkward verbalizing such personal sentiments in front of even their nearest and dearest. Instead, have guests write a word or two about what makes them thankful on colorful cutout paper leaves, then put the leaves in a bowl anonymously. After everyone has made a leaf, use yarn to tie them to branches arranged in a vase (like the example here, which incorporates family photos) or paste them to posterboard in a tree shape. Either version makes for T-day décor that means a bit more to everyone assembled. 

Share the bounty

Gather a plate (or several) of goodies from your table for neighbors or members of your community who aren’t sharing the day with their own families because they’re 
either on-call (say, at the firehouse) or unable to travel. Deliver the treats en masse before or after your own dinner. 

Extra wishbones

One turkey, lots of kids. Who gets the lone wishbone? Avoid my-turn-this-year arguments by giving every guest his own wishbone — made out of chocolate. Wishbone candy molds are available on Amazon.com. Or free-hand your own by drizzling melted chocolate onto sheets of wax paper with a spoon in an exaggerated horseshoe shape. Make lots, so everyone gets plenty of chances to break off (and eat) the biggest piece. 

Leftovers brunch

Too many leftovers to contemplate? Use them up in one fell swoop by inviting everyone back over the weekend for a leftovers brunch. Cook up a turkey egg bake (pictured), turkey casserole, turkey soup, turkey hash — we’ve got great recipe ideas over on MK's Pinterest page — then usher everyone outside for a hike or turkey-trot jog to shake off the tryptophan-induced sleepies. 

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