5 Thanksgiving Morning Traditions To Start This Year

Simple Thanksgiving morning traditions your family will love.

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When you think about Thanksgiving traditions, they are probably centered around the afternoon and evening. The big dinner, visiting with family, watching football, and maybe even planning your Black Friday shopping.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year, and we host a huge dinner for both sides of the family with over 20 people in our house! But somewhere in the chaos of cooking and cleaning we lost a little of the connection and meaning of the holiday. This is why we started implementing a few Thanksgiving morning traditions.

Morning traditions are a great way to spend time as a family and focus on what matters during this holiday season. They are a great way to connect before the crowd descends on you (or you head out to your celebration). And if you're not spending the day with extended family, these traditions can help make Thanksgiving feel a bit more special. No matter what your dinner plans are, here are some Thanksgiving morning traditions you should start this year.

Thanksgiving morning traditions your family will love! #thanksgiving #thankful #givethanks #family

Thanksgiving Morning Traditions for Your Family

Eat Breakfast Together

In preparation for the big meal, most people seem to skip over all the other meals on Thanksgiving day. A great tradition is to sit down together before all the craziness begins, and enjoy a special breakfast as a family. You can even take things a step further, and have your kids make breakfast for you!

If you want an extra special treat for Thanksgiving breakfast, you can try these easy Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls or these easy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. These Pumpkin Parfaits look like dessert but they can totally be a yummy and simple breakfast too.


Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks, but often we wait until Christmas to start spreading cheer to others. Take some time on Thanksgiving to give back to your community. You can volunteer in the morning if you know you’ll be cooking all day, and it can be an excellent way to spend time as a family while helping to instill gratitude and service in your kids.

Make a Thankful Jar

You can choose to do this for a month, a few weeks, or even all year! Start a thankful jar and put it somewhere in your home. Have your family add notes to the jar about something they are grateful for, and read them out loud together on Thanksgiving. This is a great tradition for those short on time, or who want to focus on the real meaning of Thanksgiving.

If you need some help getting started, check out my Thankful jar here (and grab the free printables to make it easy).

If a jar isn't your style, you can find 15 printable gratitude activities here that are perfect for Thanksgiving morning too.

Head Outside

Remember the classic Thanksgiving episode of Friends with their annual Thanksgiving football game? Why not try that tradition yourself! It doesn't need to be football, but make a tradition of heading outside for some activity before the big meal. A nature walk, a scavenger hunt, or a walk with the dogs can all be great Thanksgiving morning options.

Watch a Movie

This is my favorite Thanksgiving morning tradition, especially when we have family over early or overnight guests. As soon as the turkey is in the oven, pile everyone into the family room and watch a movie together. You can pick a Thanksgiving movie (my favorites below) or get a jump start on Christmas classics.

Start Planning Your Thanksgiving Now

Whether you're hosting 5 people or 25, planning Thanksgiving can be stressful. Let me help you with a complete set of tools to help you plan your best Thanksgiving yet! My Thanksgiving Planner is packed with 11 planning pages for your menu, traditions, and more plus recipe cards, place cards, and even labels for your leftovers. You can see it here.

Want more Thanksgiving tips, tricks, and time savers? Click here to see all our ideas!
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