Thanksgiving is coming up. As much fun as it is to stockpile ingredients for the feast, it’s not all about the bird.

Feeling blah about tweaking recipes and exalting the family’s wannabe chef? Here are 5 ways to imbue Thanksgiving with a little more meaning.

1. Expand your table. There are many options for doing so. Create a block/street potluck. You can do this for all of the meal or keep it simple and do it just for dessert. Invite someone who doesn’t have family in town. Add  friends to your family guest list. Use it as a way to get to know someone new.

2. Commit to community. A lot of folks look for a soup kitchen where they can volunteer on Thanksgiving, when in fact these organizations are usually flooded then and short on help for the rest of the year. Find a worthy cause, feeding the hungry or otherwise, and commit for the long run. Vancouver organizations in need of volunteers include the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, Covenant House; Greater Vancouver Shelter Strategy has a comprehensive list of shelters you can contact.

3. Send gratitude notes. We usually share what we’re grateful for at the dinner table. It feels good to send the love a little farther and send gratitude snail mail to kinfolk/kindred spirits living across the country. Kitsilano’s Signed Sealed & Delivered boutique has an awesome card selection. The Regional Assembly of Text stationary store is a gem in East Van.

4. Organize your own Turkey Trot. We love the Granville Island Turkey Trot, but it’s much easier to chat with your bff, sister, mum, cousin or whomever you spend Thanksgiving with when you’re in a small group and not a herd.

5. Save a turkey. We don’t all eat meat. In addition to serving veg fare, you can even save one of those big, goofy birds. Since 1986, Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt a Turkey Project has encouraged people to save a turkey at Thanksgiving through sponsorships that help rescue animals and provide care for them, as well as educate and advocate for turkeys and other farm animals everywhere. This program runs from October until Thanksgiving, but you can sponsor one of Farm Sanctuary’s special animal ambassadors any time during the year through their Adopt a Farm Animal Program.

Last modified: October 1, 2018

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