Why not start some new, non-traditional Thanksgiving traditions that do exactly that? Oxymoronic they may be, but non-traditional traditions can be a great way to put a fresh face on a favorite holiday and can even bring you and your loved ones closer together. Here are a few examples of new Thanksgiving traditions to start with your family.
Old Tradition: Sitting around watching college football on TV while loading up your third plate.
New Tradition: Shutting off the boob tube and venturing outside for a walk as a family.
Why It's Better: Offset the indulgence with physical activity so it's more pleasurable and less guilt-ridden. Plus, you'll work up an appetite and can catch up with your family without the distraction.
Old Tradition: Making the same turkey, side dishes and desserts you've had as long as you can remember.
New Tradition: Updating the menu every year with new twists on classic dishes (curried turkey, anyone?) or switching up the menu entirely— say, a vegan Thanksgiving with no animals or dairy products, or a locavore feast featuring all locally sourced foods.
Why It's Better: Thanksgiving is one part feast, one part party and 100 percent social. What better way to kick-start conversation than with a feast that's unique and nourishing for body, mind and planet?
Tradition: Playing the perfect hostess, all day and all night, every Thanksgiving, every year.
New Tradition: Making a reservation at your family's favorite restaurant, or one you've all been wanting to try.
Optional: Invite everyone over for coffee and dessert afterward.
Why It's Better: You'll save a lot of time and energy, and depending where you go, you may even save money. Best of all, though, you'll be focused on family, not on whether the bird's burning.
Despite the temptation to overthrow all of your Thanksgiving traditions, keep in mind that there are probably many worth holding on to. Perhaps it's your great-grandmother's stuffing recipe. Or perhaps it is college football after all. The key is to make sure your celebration has something that fits everyone, including you. Bon appetit and happy Thanksgiving!
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