You’ve seen the TV or old movies that give us our view of what a traditional Thanksgiving is supposed to be like. But in this age of smart phones and around-the-clock football, can you still have a traditional Thanksgiving? Or has that gone the way of black-and-white TV?

Joy Crabtree, a licensed psychologist at Cook Children’s Urgent Care and Pediatric Specialties in Southlake, said there is certainly nothing wrong with a little football and smart phone time, but the focus on the holiday or celebration, including family time, should take priority. 

“Try to get as many family members involved as possible in the planning, preparation, and clean up for the meal,” she said. “Another option would be to have various family members take on different tasks so the load is shared, but everyone contributes to the celebration in some manner.  Younger children might be asked to draw some pictures or create decorations for the day while older kids and teenagers can certainly help more with the planning, preparation and clean up.”

In the end though, Crabtree said it depends on exactly what your idea of “traditional” is.

“I think it’s important to celebrate the holidays in a traditional manner, but what is ‘traditional’ is likely not the same for everyone,” Crabtree said. “At a minimum, I think it’s important for families to create their traditions or celebrations early in the life of the family and try to recreate those themes at the subsequent celebrations. However, that shouldn’t mean that the family can’t established or modify new traditions at any time.”

After all, who gets to decide what’s traditional anyway?

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