9 Ways to Celebrate a Cozy Thanksgiving at Home

Celebrate a Peaceful Thanksgiving at Home - Happy Thanksgiving on a background of Thanksgiving Decor

We love to celebrate holidays, and in our house, Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday. We enjoy time together with family and good food to eat, but most importantly, we enjoy a no-rush day. A cozy Thanksgiving at Home can be relaxed. We promise.

While a relaxed holiday with nothing to do is exactly what we adults like, it’s not always a pleasant experience for everyone. You know what I’m talking about. It’s not relaxing to hear, “I’m bored,” “When do we eat?” or even “Let me help. Let me help!”  (Which you most certainly can do, it’s the whining that is hard to handle!)

If your family is even a little bit similar to mine, you know that I am not joking.  Knowing that these attitudes are very likely, we simply need to have a plan in our back pocket. So continue reading below for a list to help make Thanksgiving a satisfying holiday for everyone.

Table of Contents

Take Advantage of Thanksgiving Menu Conveniences

  1. Make it a potluck – Every dish brought by a guest is one less for you to prepare.
  2. Order your groceries online and have them delivered to your house – While there are plenty of Twin Cities delivery options, if you live near a Jerry’s Food’s in Woodbury, Edina, or Eden Prairie, you have a local option. They have launched Good2Go Online so that you can buy your groceries and have them delivered to you.
  3. Pick up a full Thanksgiving to-go meal package
    Several local restaurants offer Thanksgiving meals to go. Here are a few ideas:
    1. Thanksgiving Desserts: B’beri Dessert
    2. Baked Goods: Butter Bakery Café, Minneapolis
  4. Saint Paul Farmers’ Market – Take advantage of special hours. This is the one day each year that the downtown market is open on a weekday. Stop by Wednesday, November 24th between 10am-4pm to get fresh, local Thanksgiving fixings.

Don't Forget Breakfast & Snack Ideas to Tide You Over Until the Main Feast

Easy Breakfast Plan

Joy and family traditionally start holiday mornings with a breakfast tray. Trays are prepared ahead the night before and are made up of whatever meats, cheeses, finger fruits and bread/crackers the family wants. No tray is ever alike, but its always an easy way to start out the morning. The tray will be left out for snacking until dinner is served.

Holiday Breakfast Tray

Snacks to Tide You Over

One thing Gianna started doing just last year was bringing snack mixes to the festivities. When we get all concerned about the meal, we sometimes forget that we need to have some food to tide us over. Somewhat similarly to Joy’s breakfast tray, Gianna has committed to this tradition. So she has been scouring the internet for some delectable, light snacks.
pretzels and crackers for road trip

Keep Kids Engaged Crafting Thanksgiving Decor

No judgment if you haven’t done this already, but now is time to take down your Halloween spiderwebs and supplement the pumpkins with fall decor. Check your pantry and basement for napkins, table settings, placemats, candles and wreaths with a harvest feel. You could even just add some pretty fall leaves, pinecones or spruce boughs from your garden to a vase.

Add to the coziness of your home by decorating around your dining room and Thanksgiving Table with these cute Thanksgiving crafts.

Gratefulness Garland Banner

Thanksgiving Garland Gratefulness Craft

Cute Turkeys Décor

Make one of these for everyone on the guest list, and you can use them as place cards. We like the ones shared by Our Savior School here.

Thanksgiving tablescape
... or Gianna made this with craft paper, googly eyes & glue

Foster A Spirit of Selflessness with Volunteer Projects

These are some projects you can do together at home.  Gather the supplies, store them in a box until Thanksgiving, and make serving others a party.

By filling Zipper Bags with snacks and personal items, 8 year old Evie passed these small tokens of Good Wishes to the homeless men and women she would meet throughout the winter months.  Thanksgiving is a great day to fill bags and create a stockpile in your car.

When you are in the hospital for an extended period of time, it can wear on your soul.  Taking the time to send love to those in the hospital is a gift.  They are seen and remembered.  Even if you do not know anyone in the hospital, you can create cards or gifts for those who need them most.

Thanksgiving Activities and Games to Play

Thanksgiving Mad Libs

If you need something now, you can print Mad Libs freebies here. But if you are planning ahead, these little books are affordable enough that you can grab some for all the kids. We picked some of our favorites for our Bookshop*.

Gianna shared this and a few more Activities for kids during Thanksgiving on Kare11.

Buy your feathers from Amazon here: Touch of Nature 38034 Turkey Flats, 34 grams, Assorted Mix

Participate in a Turkey Trot (Even if it is DIY)

If you don’t want to commit to an event. Get the family out for a walk or a run around the block. If you have a lot of active children to entertain, bring a stop watch and make it a race. 

Find a list of Turkey Trots on our Family Sports and Fitness Calendar.

Play Together in the Backyard

Thanksgiving afternoon may also be a good time to pull out our giant list of Outdoor Games or just toss around a football in the backyard.

Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from your living room on NBC from 9am-Noon in all time zones on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 25, 2021). Learn more here.

Connect with Loved Ones

Schedule a video call with friends and/or family members who couldn’t be with you this year – nana, a favorite cousin or anyone you love and miss.

Share These Thanksgiving Stories

Cozy up with some apple cider and comfy pillows and blankets for read-aloud cuddles. We’ve included books by local authors and some favorite classics:

What to do with the Leftovers

Grilled Rachels

Grilled Rachels are a super easy Thanksgiving leftover recipe that doesn’t taste exactly like the turkey dinner you just finished. This easy-to-make sandwich combines leftover turkey, with sauerkraut or leftover coleslaw, Russian dressing and Swiss cheese on rye. Stack it on and grill it on your stove top. I’ve listed the traditional ingredients, but feel free to use whatever bread, cheese and dressing you have on hand.

Turkey Pot Pie

Turkey Pot Pie is a good way to freeze and enjoy your leftovers at a later date. Just pile leftovers from turkey and side dishes into a store-bought pie shell as you are cleaning up, cover with another pie shell and freeze until you are looking for a fast meal. Turkey, gravy, stuffing, potatoes, and veggies are obvious additions; but don’t be afraid to get creative. Maybe tuck these little flavor bursts into your pie crust: pear, sweat potato, cranberry sauce?

Leftover Mashed Potatoes Pancakes

Mix your leftover mashed potatoes with flour and eggs (and whatever flavors you want — cheese, onions, chives, garlic) to make an easy breakfast dish on Friday morning. Lisa from Twin Cities Frugal Mom shares a recipe for Potato Pancakes.

Get out and Have Some Family Fun Thanksgiving Weekend

November Fun

Get Ready for Christmas

Thanksgiving Recipes to Try

As moms of big families, Anne, Joy and I know our way around an oven, but we are definitely not on the level of some of our local food blogging friends. These Thanksgiving meal recipes for things to serve alongside your roasted turkey come from Minnesota food bloggers:

Need some help with the turkey.  Dining with Alice can help you there, toog

Affiliate Information

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This article includes an affiliate link to Bookshop.org, an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores. Family Fun Twin Cities receives a small commission on books ordered through our link. If you want to find a specific local bookstore to support, find them on this map and they’ll receive the full profit off your order. Otherwise, your order will contribute to an earnings pool that will be evenly distributed among independent bookstores (even those that don’t use Bookshop). Learn more here.

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