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Forget Black Friday and spend time with your family

Since most people have the Friday after Thanksgiving off, families often have unique traditions for that day. Beyond Black Friday shopping, we wondered what everyone else was doing each year on the day after.

Family activities for the day after Thanksgiving

For many people, the day after Thanksgiving is a day of leftover turkey sandwiches and football games. But what if you took that day, found something fun to do and turned it into an annual tradition? We found out what a few of our favorite moms do on the day after Thanksgiving, and maybe their traditions will give you a few ideas of your own.

Kick off the party season

Writer and mother of two Angela Amman remembers what her day-after ritual was before she had kids — and how it has changed since.

“My mom and I used to brave the sales bright and early, but young kids have taken the fun out of that tradition — and yes, I did call it ‘fun,'” she remembers.

“For more than 10 years, our main day-after-Thanksgiving tradition has been a party with friends. We’ve transitioned from dates to spouses, and [we] sometimes even bring the kids,” she shares. “The same couple hosts each year, and they’ve moved and remodeled. We look forward to the party every year — it’s the perfect chance to catch up and take a moment to remember how thankful we are for the friends we have in our lives!” she adds.

Anything but shopping!

“I stay [as] far away as possible from shopping and the malls,” shares Stephanie Elliot, mother of three. “I have no desire to go shopping like all the crazies (no offense to any of you crazies), and [I] will sleep in, maybe see a movie or read. Definitely a tradition is to heat up sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy and any other side items and eat them all day long!” she adds.

Leftovers are a familiar theme on the day after for many people.

Get a head start on the next holiday

Amy Vowles and family - The day after Thanksgiving

Writer Amy Vowles tells us about her traditions for the day after Thanksgiving.

“Every year, we spend the day after Thanksgiving at the Christmas tree farm,” she says. “We love spending time as a family selecting our own tree and then cutting it down. After that, we bring it home and get to decorating! I consider that day to be the official start of the Christmas season, so Christmas cookies and a Christmas movie are usually in order as well,” she shares.

Tori Dumitru, mother of two, reveals her day-after tradition.

“We are usually putting the finishing touches on our Christmas tree and decor. My goal for this year is to get the kids to play an epic round of family Monopoly!” she shares. “We’ll just have to see how that works out with the almost 4-year-old. Maybe bribe him with chocolate kisses every time he doesn’t throw something?? I’ll keep you posted,” she adds.

“Ever since my 4-year-old twins were born, the day after Thanksgiving is always the day that we pull out all of our Christmas decorations and tree ornaments,” shares writer Natalie Hoage, mother of three. “I turn on Christmas music, and the kids all look at the ornaments for the tree and remember their favorites. It’s also the day that our Elf on the Shelf, Fred, makes his first appearance of the season,” she adds. “It’s a day I always look forward to!”

Holiday dazzle

Holidazlle Parade - Day after Thanksgiving

Writer and mother of three Galit Breen has a special family tradition that she cherishes.

“On Thanksgiving, we fill up with family and food inside. And the day after Thanksgiving, we take our fun outside for the Holidazzle Parade downtown,” she shares. “It’s a rosy-cheeks-and-cold-noses, knit-mittens-and-sweet-hot-chocolate kind of night. I love coming down from all of Thanksgiving Day’s family togetherness with a soft landing like this,” she says. “It’s truly a stunning light parade and one of my all-time favorite holiday traditions.”

Tell us

What are your day-after-Thanksgiving traditions?

More holiday ideas

Mom’s pre–holiday season checklist
Get organized now for a stress-free holiday season
Decorate on the cheap for Christmas

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