Rethinking Thanksgiving: Old Holiday, New Traditions

handmade turkeys pumpkins and a stone in a hat

If you’re the kind of person who isn’t a fan of traditional family dinner Thanksgiving celebrations, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on the holiday altogether. In fact, there are many fun, freaky ways to celebrate Turkey-Day in a style that’s all your own. With a little food, and a creative outlook, this year’s Thanksgiving can be one that you and your friends will remember forever.

Eat a Non-Traditional Turkey

sweet turkey recipe

Although Thanksgiving is traditionally turkey day, you can make it your own way by creating your turkey out of anything but turkey. Carve a cheese turkey, tofu turkey, or create a turkey made out of hamburgers. In fact, your new tradition can be making your turkey as untraditional as possible.

If you’d like to go vegetarian or just want to try some new holiday menu, check out these great, non-turkey turkey recipes:

  • Cheese Ball Turkey (
  • Vegetable Turkey Tray (
  • Tofu Turkey (

Do a Modern-Day Thanksgiving Play

Everyone has seen that hashed-out thanksgiving play where pilgrims get cooking advice from the Native Americans. Instead, infuse a little fun into your Thanksgiving by producing a personalized Thanksgiving production. Choose an event that happened this year that made you thankful about something. Reenact or tell your story to keep your guests laughing and thankful.

Make a Thankful Pumpkin

thankful pumpkin

No need to throw out those Halloween decorations just yet. For your new Thanksgiving tradition, create a “Thankful pumpkin.” Not only is this a fun way to get you and your roommates thinking about the good things that have happened this year, but they are a cute addition to your holiday décor.

Just grab a couple of pumpkins (small or large) and some Sharpie markers. Then, have your guest write the things they are thankful for this year. You can even make a tradition of writing a single thing each day between Halloween and Thanksgiving to make the thankfulness last all month long!

Eat Small

Although Thanksgiving is traditionally known for it’s huge food, invent your own Thanksgiving tradition of eating small. Create a menu of miniature cupcakes, turkey cutouts, and apple pie pops. Not only will it impress your friends, but you’ll be less likely to overeat and overspend on the holiday of excess.

Start a Thanksgiving Journal

thanksgiving journal

A cool way to remember what you’re grateful for is to start a Thanksgiving journal. To start your journal, try to remember all the amazing things that happened during the year and write them down. Then, starting the day after Thanksgiving, write a single thing each day that you’re thankful for – no more than a sentence or two. Next Thanksgiving, you can review the wonderful things that happened all year long.

Hide the Pope’s Nose

The “Pope’s Nose” is the fatty extra part of the turkey. As a fun Thanksgiving tradition, hide this weird-looking turkey part under the mashed potatoes of someone before the feast begins. It’s a guaranteed way to get people laughing, and fun surprise that your guests will look forward to every year. You can even have the person who gets the “pope’s nose” start the round-table discussion of what they’re thankful for.

Try Thanksgiving Drinking Game

If you want to really get into the spirit of the holiday, there is nothing more traditionally untraditional than turning the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade into a drinking game. Or, if you’re not a drinker, it’s a spice up your Thanksgiving with a little truth or dare.

Rules of the Game:

  • Drink (or do a dance) every time a float features a Broadway musical.
  • Drink (or take off an article of clothing) every time a singer messes up his lip-syncing.
  • Drink (or switch seats with someone) every time someone mentions the word “Snoopy.”
  • Drink (or do the Chicken Dance) every time someone says the word “Turkey.”
  • Drink (or sing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town) when you see Santa.
  • Drink (or kiss a stranger) every time an announcer says “Wow.”
  • Drink (or tell an embarrassing story) every time you call it the “Macy’s Day Parade.”

Say goodbye to boring, emotionally-fraught holidays of the past. All it takes is a little creativity and a willingness to have fun to make your Thanksgiving into a fantastic holiday. With a couple of creative recipe ideas, some brand new holiday traditions, and even a drinking game or two, Thanksgiving could easily become your new favorite holiday.

What are your plans for Thanksgiving this year? Do you have some unusual traditions for the holiday? We are waiting for your comments and feedback!

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