How To Celebrate Thanksgiving 2016 At Work

We're right in that sweet spot of the holiday season — just between Halloween and Christmas and all the holidays in between. It's easy to celebrate Thanksgiving at home with family and hot food, but how do we celebrate Thanksgiving at work? With just a few creative ideas and some time to plan, it can be a lot more fun (and less difficult) than you might think. 

Thanksgiving is the day so many people typically look forward to stuffing their faces with slices of a beautiful, golden turkey and the most delicious side dishes imaginable (and don't forget about dessert). But, when it comes to celebrating Thanksgiving in the workplace, a full, sit-down family dinner isn't always feasible. This year, it might be best not to focus on creating an all out feast for everyone in the office, and focus more on what Thanksgiving is really supposed to be about: giving thanks.  

It's not always easy to show thanks and appreciation for others, and many of us often forget what there is to be thankful for in our lives. Luckily, here is a list of a few simple ideas to help you plan the perfect office Thanksgiving celebration this year — something everyone can take part in and enjoy. 

1. Volunteer Together 

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Thanksgiving is all about giving back. Volunteering is a fantastic way to get out of the office with your coworkers and give back to your community. Taking a few hours out of your day during the week of Thanksgiving to give your time to a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter can do a lot to help the people in your community — and it helps you bond with your coworkers. If you aren't able to go out into your community and volunteer, another great way to give back is by creating a donation box in the office for canned goods and clothing that can be given to those who are less fortunate. 

2. Have A Potluck

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If you would like to do something more in the traditional spirit of Thanksgiving, hosting an office potluck is a great way to have a feast without anyone getting too overwhelmed. It's totally perfect: Not only will there be a feast for everyone to enjoy, but each person can contribute their favorite Thanksgiving dish to the celebration, allowing everyone to bring their own personal touch to the party. Be careful not to fall asleep at your desk after lunch, though!

3. Do Something Nice For Others

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Life can be overwhelming sometimes, and it's easy to forget about the little things we can do to improve someone else's day. Whether it's holding the door open for your coworker, paying them a compliment as they pass, or having a conversation with someone you don't normally talk to, taking just a few moments of your time can really make someone else's day. 

4. Hold A Recipe Contest

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If your office is full of people who secretly (or not so secretly) love to bake and cook, then this is the perfect way to celebrate Thanksgiving at work this year. Not only will everyone in the office have the opportunity to bake some truly delicious homemade treats (all the pies), but everyone benefits when they get to taste everyone's recipes. You never know who might hold the secret to making some amazing Thanksgiving stuffing. 

5. Host A Charlie Brown-Themed Thanksgiving Potluck

This is one of the easiest options for celebrating Thanksgiving at work (and, perhaps, one of the most fun). If you and your employees are a little more culinarily challenged and you're fans of the Peanuts gang, try having a Charlie Brown-themed Thanksgiving potluck in the office this year. It might not be the best meal (toast, popcorn, jelly beans, and pretzels), but if you can get everyone on board to dress up as a Peanuts character (second Halloween!) then this could turn out to be a really fun idea for everyone involved.

6. Go Out To Eat 

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As simple as it might seem, setting aside some time to go out for a meal with your coworkers this Thanksgiving can be a great change of pace and provide a much-needed break. Settling on a place to eat might not be the easiest, but once you do you'll be in for a good meal with great company and conversations that (hopefully) aren't related to work for once. Just don't forget to call the restaurant ahead of time!

7. Handwrite Thankfulness Notes 

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You might have heard this one before, but it's a great idea that can be taken in a lot of different directions. Set up a system in your work place so everyone gets at least one note from someone else in the office. Anonymous or not, it's always nice when someone you know pays you a genuine compliment — no matter if it's about how great you are at what you do or how great you are as a person in general. Make sure someone else feels that wonderful feeling of happiness and appreciation this Thanksgiving. 

Whatever you choose to do at work this Thanksgiving, showing your thankfulness for one another this holiday season is the best thing you can do to celebrate. So, gather everyone together, break out the apple cider, and host the best office Thanksgiving party this year. 

Images: Gabriel Garcia Marengo/Unsplash; GifIt/Chanel Vargas; Giphy (6)

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