It’s November, and that means the holiday season is officially in full swing. And with Thanksgiving right around the corner, our thoughts turn to warm family gatherings, festive decorations and, of course, copious amounts of home-made foods.

But before you dust off your grandmother’s china and plan out your Thanksgiving Day menu, take some time to gather with your family and think about the true meaning of Thanksgiving. While you’re at it, ask each other if any of your holiday traditions capture its true meaning. Then, if you’re looking to enrich your experience, here six ideas for new Thanksgiving traditions you can make your very own:

  1. blogVolunteer at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter. So many families right in your own community go without some of their most basic needs being met, like food, shelter, and a warm bed. By offering just a couple hours of your day, you can make a huge difference in theirs.
  1. Organize a neighborhood clothing drive. Select new or gently used coats, hats, scarves, and gloves that your family no longer needs and donate them to a shelter, inner-city school, or your local church.
  1. Send a care package to a soldier. Include toiletries, board games, magazines, books, a deck of playing cards, and of course some tasty non-perishable snacks like trail mix and granola bars. Add a hand-written note for a personal touch.
  1. Have an elderly neighbor or sick friend? Or maybe there is someone in your neighborhood who just doesn’t have family nearby. Brighten their day with a home-made meal, fresh baked cookies, or an offer to rake their leaves.
  1. What better way to let your kids’ talents shine than in front of a large audience? Take them to an elderly care facility where they can sing, dance, play their instruments, or put on a play. Just make sure to coordinate it with facility staff before showing up.
  1. Make a Gratitude Box. Have everyone in your family take a few seconds out of each day to write down one thing they are thankful for and place the note in a box or jar. You can then read all the notes while family and guests are gathered around the Thanksgiving table.

Thanksgiving traditions, old and new, are a wonderful part of the holiday experience. Well, most traditions, anyway. Take Black Friday, for example – not the shopping version, the plumbing version. Yes indeed, the day after Thanksgiving is recognized as Black Friday by plumbers across the land because it’s our busiest drain cleaning day of the year. So if you DON’T want to make Burton part of your Thanksgiving this year, take care with what you wash down the drain and place inside your garbage disposal. Of course, should your drain clog anyway even with an abundance of caution, our team of top-flight plumbers will be ready to hit the ground running to get your drain unclogged just as quickly as we can. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, from all of us at Burton.