There are things your family does every year. Chances are, though, that your family observes Thanksgiving and other holidays differently today than your parents and grandparents did - for lots of reasons. Some traditions survive, and new ones are born. Here are some tips for creating your own holiday experience by blending old and new.
Prioritize the traditions that are most closely connected to the meaning of the holiday. For example, at Thanksgiving, our family pauses before we dig into the feast to tell one another three things we are thankful for. We go around the table three times. When the tradition began, we each had three Indian corn kernels at our place setting and would pick them up as we described what we were thankful for. Over time, candy corn replaced the Indian corn. Which makes the point - we kept the thankfulness going, if not the Indian corn. You might adopt this as a new tradition in your family this year. Tell me in the comments how your family shows your thankfulness at Thanksgiving. I'm always looking for fresh ideas.
Don't be afraid to let go. The longest-running traditions are the hardest to retire, but something to keep in mind: you can take a one-year break from a tradition and return right back to it next year if desired. The way you observe a holiday such as Thanksgiving is yours to make it whatever you want it to be. Sometimes tradition options are mutually exclusive. It is good to be open to new ideas; compromise and balance win the day. Don't let conflict over traditions (of all things) upset the warm family feel that the holidays are supposed to bring.
Pack your traditions (old and new) with glorifying God, reinforcing theological truth, and spreading the Good News. If you did not grow up in a Christian home, remember you are now building your household on the Rock of Jesus Christ. The new traditions you create can teach your kids Biblical truth, focus their attention on spiritual things, and show them the importance of sharing Christ with the world around us. That said, we don't have to tie every second of our holiday observance to a verse of Scripture.
I hope these thoughts help you create new traditions that will make your holiday observances meaningful. Let me know in the comments what old traditions you preserve and new ones you develop this year.