It’s the most wonderful time of the year! This year, though, you want to make your holiday season even more special than the last. You’re envisioning an unforgettable meal full of new traditions that you can carry into next year and beyond. Fortunately, we’re here to help you do just that.
1. Set up a Movie or TV Marathon
After a big holiday meal, all you want to do is cozy up in front of the TV…before you dig into the leftovers, anyway. Rather than watching whatever’s on TV, make the holiday viewings part of the celebration. Let every member of the family choose a movie they want to watch, and play them in succession. Or, you can rotate each year and let someone pick the theme for your marathon.
Other families have gone with TV show marathons much to the same happy effect. Watch every holiday episode from your favorite series, or gather one episode from all of the shows you like. They’ll make your big day even more festive, and you’ll look forward to re-watching your shows each year.
Before you sit down for dinner, help others to have the holiday of their dreams. Sign the family up for a volunteering session at your local homeless shelter or soup kitchen. After you serve a tasty meal to those in need, your dinner will taste even better. Or, do a charity road race in the morning before your holiday dinner. That way, you can help others, and you’ll feel extra hungry by the time dinner rolls around.
3. Decorate the Tablecloth
Every year, the family comes over for the holidays. The kids will grow up and start bringing their kids — and the tablescape will always change. But you can make your tablecloth into a memory of the current setup by allowing everyone to draw on it and decorate it. Let little ones draw a picture or sign their names. Once the grown-ups have done the same, the piece will be complete.
Next year, you can lay out the same family table cloth and let everyone add to it. Or, you can keep it as a memory of the beginning of your new holiday traditions — a memory you can revisit every year when you eat this festive meal together.
4. Prep the Turkey Differently
You could go traditional and prepare your holiday centerpiece in the oven. Or, you could try a new method to spice up your feast with fresh flavors. For instance, plenty of families smoke their turkeys as opposed to roasting them in the oven. You don’t need any special appliances to smoke a turkey for your feast either. Instead, you can pop your bird onto the grill and cook it with spices and citrus for a flavorful, smoked dinner.
You might also consider frying your turkey. This option will require you to buy a fryer, however, and you’ll have to follow very strict instructions. If you do, the process will result in a savory centerpiece for your feast. Try it once, and you might find yourself a new holiday meal tradition.
5. Have a Birthday Party
If you only get to see certain family members during the holiday season, make the day into a celebration of more than one holiday. Throw some candles into one of your desserts, preferably some sort of cake. Then, sing Happy Birthday to everyone who has had their big day so far this year. Let them blow out the candles and kick off a new holiday tradition for your family.
6. Make the Wishbone Into a Game
You’ll remove the wishbone from your bird before you eat. After that, it’ll dry up in time for the ceremonial snapping of the wishbone. Whoever gets the larger half will get their wish — at least, that’s what legend tells us.
But who gets to play the wishbone game? Make it into a random draw so that it’s a fun addition to your meal every year. Put everyone’s name into a bowl, then choose two lucky players. They get to snap the wishbone this year, but you’ll have to wait and see who gets the next chance.
7. Don’t Skimp on Breakfast
When you focus on your holiday dinner, you might forget the rest of the day’s meals. However, if your family tends to eat the feast later in the day, you should try to incorporate a family breakfast into the day’s festivities. You don’t want to stuff yourself, of course, but you don’t want to be starving and miserable until dinner either. Be sure to serve up a substantial breakfast to get you through cooking and into dinner in the best of spirits.
Be Thankful for New Traditions
You have a lot to celebrate over your family holiday feast. Still, you can make the holidays your own with a few new activities or dishes on your table. Start planning now, and you’ll be able to try some of them out this year. Bon appetit, and enjoy a season of gratitude with the ones you love most, creating new memories and traditions along the way.