10 Things to Do on Thanksgiving Night That Does Not Involve Christmas Shopping


Believe it or not, there was a time when people stayed home on Thanksgiving night rather than went out shopping trying to get the best deals of the season. And, believe it or not, there are other things you can do that night than go Christmas shopping.

I am a big proponent of spending the entire Thanksgiving day and evening together with my family, so coming up with some fun ideas to do is a joy for me. Try some of these ideas with your family.

1. Games

Playing games is always a great family pastime whether it is a holiday or not, but there is something about playing games at Thanksgiving that makes it so much more special. There is always the traditional board games, but you can also find Thanksgiving themed games or make your own ones.

2. Scavenger hunt

I love scavenger hunts that get the family competing against each other in a friendly way. Thanksgiving scavenger hunts can be focused around things to be thankful for or around Thanksgiving items.

3. Crafts

Down time at Thanksgiving is a perfect time to get crafty. Take advantage of this time to make gifts or decor for the holidays. Have the kids make crafts alongside of you to make it more family oriented.

4. Family tree

Interested in finding out more about your family? Research your genealogy and make a family tree. Share it with everyone. Your kids will be happy to know their ancestors.

5. Grateful jar

Fill a Mason jar or other jar with strips of paper listing topics for people to choose from. Have them tell how they are grateful for whatever topic it is they chose.

Or you can give everyone a strip of paper to have them write what they are thankful for and put them in the jar. Then, draw out a slip of paper to read aloud around the dinner table.

More: 5 Effective Ways to Handle a Greedy Child

6. Play football

Thanksgiving evening is usually filled with football games. Why not have a family football game? Play flag or touch football and include everyone.

7. Volunteer

Take all that you are thankful for and give to others through volunteering at a shelter or give your time somewhere else. The point here is to serve others.

8. Family memory conversation jar

Take the jar idea from above and put family memories on the slips of paper instead. Then draw out the memories one by one and reminisce about the good ole’ days.

9. Pull out the photo albums

Along the same idea, gather the photo and memory albums and cherish what memories and feelings the pictures resurrect.

10. Decorate for Christmas

Many people like to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving, but if you have not done it yet, pull out the decorations and have everyone pitch in to make the house festive.

More: 10 Absolutely Affordable DIY Christmas Decorations

Take time with the family during Thanksgiving to ditch the crowds and the stores and do something fun and creative instead. Commit to making this a yearly event. You and your family will never forget the time you spent together over Thanksgiving, and everyone will look forward to next year.