While the Thanksgiving holiday can be an exciting time filled with friends and family, it can also be hard to connect with loved ones in the busyness of the season. This year, take time to be intentional about spending time with friends and family. Here are five ways you can make your Thanksgiving about more than just the turkey and pumpkin pie:

#1 Take time to be thankful and acknowledge your blessings

Being grateful is good for your health — both mental and physical. To help practice thankfulness, make a “Thankful Tree” this year! Outline the trunk and branches of a tree and cut out leaves for people to write on. Then, go around the table and have everyone add what they are thankful for. Leave it on display at your house so you can reflect on all the blessings in you and your loved onesʼ lives!

#2 Have everyone help out with one thing for the big meal

This is a fun way to make everyone feel connected, and it will keep one person from having to do all the work! On the big day, divide up the tasks: some people can help with the cooking, some can help with setting the table, others can help with taking care of little ones if needed. Thereʼs bound to be a job for everyone!

#3 Serve together at a local shelter or soup kitchen

Serving together is a great way to bond with your loved ones and be a blessing to those in your community. Shelters often need help on the day before or after Thanksgiving just as much as they do on the actual day. Figure out what day they need help the most and go serve!

#4 Spend some time outdoors

Take time to get outdoors and take in some fresh air after eating all that food. Go to a favorite park or walking trail and spend some time outside. You may even want to play a game of catch or some other outdoor game. Leave the phones at home and get outdoors!

#5 Share Thanksgiving traditions and come up with a new one

Most people have some sort of Thanksgiving tradition. Take time to hear about all the different traditions around your table! Consider coming up with a new one to celebrate with your group this year! Whatever tradition you decide, it can be a fun time to get to know those around you better and create a special memory!

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at 3rd Mil! We hope these tips are helpful for you to spend time enjoying friends, family and loved ones these next couple of days!