What are your family Thanksgiving traditions?

by Jose Beede

What are your family Thanksgiving traditions?

During pregnancy, expectant moms may think about what kind of traditions they want to have for their little one once he or she is born, especially around the holidays. With Thanksgiving around the corner and Christmas and Hanukkah lurking a few more weeks away, it's time to start brainstorming so that you can make the holidays a memorable event for the whole family.

Spending time with the family
For most families, Thanksgiving revolves around spending time with family. This may involve traveling, depending on where your loved ones live. In fact, some people say that this holiday is the busiest travel day of the year. So, whether you're strapping in the car seats for a long ride, or hopping on a train or plane, make sure that you and your family plan accordingly, as you'll be one of many on the road.

If you're traveling long distances with young kids, prepare some games you can play in the car, such as trying to find license plates from all 50 states or the "I'm going on a picnic" game - where you name something to bring on a picnic that starts with each letter of the alphabet - while on the road to distract them from wondering if they're there yet.

It's a feast!
Eating a feast on Thanksgiving is an unsaid tradition. For the first Thanksgiving in 1621, English colonists and American Indians created a feast that most likely consisted of deer and wild fowl, such as geese, ducks and turkeys, as well as Indian corn, according to National Geographic. However, some other sources argue that the natives and pilgrims may have eaten more seasonal choices like fish, lobster, clams, nuts and veggies such as pumpkin, squash carrots and peas.

Potatoes and sugar that people put on the table for Thanksgiving meals today were either unknown or considered delicacies.

However, some families don't mind not being authentic and instead care more about the tradition created over generations. Turkey is obviously a favorite and the national Turkey Federation reports that more than 90 percent of Americans eat this big bird on Thanksgiving. So, whether you're roasting a turkey this holiday or making a vegetarian lasagna, the only important thing is that you're all spending time together and reflecting on what you're thankful for.

Do a selfless deed
A central theme of Thanksgiving is helping others. To honor this, some families may choose to volunteer at homeless shelters serving food or participate in a canned food drive.

Can't go wrong with activities
Although it may seem silly when everyone is together, many families watch television on Thanksgiving, whether it's the Macy's Day Parade, the football game or a movie - like "Homeward Bound," the endearing story of two dogs and a cat that escape to find their owners who leave them behind at a ranch as they travel for Thanksgiving - kids will love it!

For those who don't want to stare at a screen for this holiday, they can go on a nice walk with other family members, take a nap or sit down at the kitchen table and play card or board games. One activity that is great for kids is to do some arts and crafts. For instance, have them make a list of all the things they are thankful or make hand turkeys.

What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? Do you have any fun activities that you can suggest for our readers with kids? Do you prefer to travel or host? Leave your answers in the comments section!