This Thanksgiving themed window display that says “feast your eyes” a refreshing departure from the typical retail And it inspired me to think of ways to celebrate Thanksgiving differently as well. Does a table with an excess of food and overindulgence in eating it really mean “being thankful?”
The window display was created by visual merchandisers Larissa Taylor, Emily Hervan and Emma Pawlukojc.
Here are some ideas that I found online.
Note: In keeping with the theme of this blog post, I selected the most non-traditional Thanksgiving displays from our Fall/Autumn Window window displays board on Pinterest. Of course all the window displays have a mannequin, since that is what I do for a living – sell and rent mannequins.
These first two non-traditional Thanksgiving ideas are from the mother nature network
1 Cocktail party Thanksgiving
Who says you have to gorge on too many carbs and pie? It would be great fun to host (or attend) a turkey-day get-together where the focus is on the drinks, not the food.
Arrange a mixology session, or serve themed drinks (these recipes sound amazing), and munchies to go with them; cheese and crackers, crudites, maybe a hot hors d’oeuvres or two if you’re feeling ambitious.
Nobody has to be at work on Friday anyway, so why not have one too many with your guests, play some charades and have the rest of the weekend to sleep it off? Also: easy cleanup!
2 International Themed Thanksgiving
I’ve had Italian Thanksgiving (not everyone hailed from Italy, we just all made Italian dishes — yes, it was amazing!), salad Thanksgiving (no guilt! Just seven different kinds of salad) and Middle Eastern Thanksgiving (the hostess just felt like protesting occupation of Afghanistan and experimenting with dishes she had never made).
I can pretty much tell you exactly what I ate at each event, and who was there, because they were so original and different.
This can be combined with potluck Thanksgiving or the host can put the meal together. Either way, it’s a culinary adventure. (I’m still waiting for Chinese food Thanksgiving, because I always want to order half the menu at Asian restaurants.) And I’m just putting it out there: All-dessert Thanksgiving?
These two ideas came from Celebrations 360
3 Pack a picnic lunch and visit a local state park for the day. If you must have turkey, make turkey sandwiches. Spend the day just having fun and being thankful for your family.
4 If the weather doesn’t allow outside activities, plan a pizza and movie night. Start the holiday season relaxing together at home. This is something many families don’t get to enjoy with the rush of hectic daily schedules. You could also turn off the television and make crafts or presents for Christmas. Even those who believe they aren’t crafty can use a glue gun and string popcorn for the tree.
From a CBS website comes this one:
5 Have a Thanksgiving vacation
Tired of having Thanksgiving dinner at your own home? Take a cruise and voyage the seas to tropical islands while a whole feast is prepared for you without the hastle of cooking!
Other options are going to the mountains, traveling to NYC for the Thanksgiving Day Parade, or finding an all-inclusive resort that provides a Thanksgiving meal and a place for your whole family to unwind!
From Fox news comes these next ideas (what a surprise, that Fox advocates something non-traditional)
6 Historical Celebration
Many folks say that the Smithsonian-affiliated Plimoth Plantation, an hour from Boston, is roughly the site of the original feast between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag natives—and it’s also home to a full-scale reproduction of the Mayflower.
7 Visit the Gratitude Museum
Mention Dallas and Thanksgiving in the same sentence, and most people assume you’re talking Cowboy football. But Thanks-Giving Square—a chapel, museum and park in downtown Dallas—has been promoting the universal idea of gratitude year-round since it was built in 1964.
The museum features the first Thanksgiving proclamation, penned in 1777 by Samuel Adams, and the chapel features the “Glory Window,” one of the biggest stained glass works in the world.
This idea comes from the pick the brain blog
8 Run For It!
Most people wouldn’t normally think about exercise on Thanksgiving, especially not after three plates of turkey and gravy and stuffing. But many cities and towns have annual Turkey Day races, of varying lengths, to raise money for charities. These “Turkey Trots” are a great way to add exercise to the day—and to help rationalize eating your body weight in mashed potatoes!
Several years ago, I was dragged along to a 5k run, and although I protested the whole way, I felt great afterwards. To this day, it was the most memorable Thanksgiving I’ve ever had, and since then, I’ve spent every thanksgiving doing a different charity run.
This idea is from my own personal experience.
9 Thanksgiving in Pajamas
One year my husband and I were without plans for Thanksgiving. We didn’t have the money to travel out of town to be with our relatives. And since our close friends were either traveling out of town or assumed we were, we didn’t have any dinner invitations.
My pride prevented me from asking for a last minute invite to homes of friends, plus we didn’t want to “be with people just for the sake of being with people.” We didn’t feel up to cooking, yet we yearned for traditional Thanksgiving foods.
So we ordered from the Thanksgiving menu from Whole Foods. To beat the crowds, we picked up our order the day before Thanksgiving. And since we were hungry, we started eating our Thanksgiving meal on Wednesday.
The next day we stayed in our pajamas all day watched movie and football marathons while grazing on the leftovers. Divine!
This tradition has now become the standard way we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving for many years. (Except for the year that we spent it in Las Vegas, but since what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, I won’t mention the details here.
But actually spending the night in a hotel – even if it is just a quick drive from your home – it another non-traditional way to celebrate Thanksgiving. Anything you can do out of the ordinary will make the day feel special. Stay at a local hotel and revel in the luxury of not having to clean up after your meal.
10 Give yourself permission to celebrate Thanksgiving “your way.”
Sometimes we get so locked into the way things are “supposed” to be or buy into the media hype about what a real Thanksgiving looks like. We say “yes” when we really want to say “no.”
Think of something that you would be especially “thankful” for if you had the chance to do it. Then instead of carving a turkey, carve out some time to do that for Thanksgiving.