6 things to do on Thanksgiving Day besides eat

From bonding over holiday movies to decorating for the holidays to come, make this Thanksgiving Day count.

Gobble! Gobble!

Thanksgiving, a day (and weekend) full of gratitude and delicious food, is finally upon us. Hectic weeks of navigating packed supermarkets and preparing massive meals will soon be done and the eating can commence. 

Thanksgiving activities theGrio.com
Photo: AdobeStock

However, after the first—and probably second—plates of food have been eaten, there is typically one main question on everyone’s mind: What’s next? For some, that might be a nap; but while most people are completely fine spending their entire day in their coziest outfit, shuffling back and forth between the kitchen and the couch, there are so many other things to do on Thanksgiving. Here is a list of six activities that are sure to keep you entertained and fulfilled in between meals this upcoming holiday weekend.

Watch Thanksgiving specials and movies

Each holiday has its own set of television specials and movies. This Thanksgiving, snuggle up with a blanket, grab a full plate of food and keep your eyes glued to the television screen enjoying Thanksgiving-related reruns of Black sitcom classics like “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”’s “Thanksgiving With the Banks” special or holiday movies like “Soul Food.” And make room to watch the first-ever “Byron Allen Presents theGrio Awards,” airing Saturday, Nov. 26 on CBS and Sunday, Nov. 27 on theGrio Cable Network!

Prepare your holiday shopping lists

There are big markdowns on some of the best gifts for family and friends the weekend following Thanksgiving. Whether shopping in the stores on Black Friday or at home on Cyber Monday, a comprehensive holiday gift list prepared ahead of time would make life easier. Thanksgiving is the perfect day for scouting out the best upcoming deals to close out the year. 

Give back

On a day that is geared toward recognizing all of the things that are essential in life, it is equally important to give back to those who do not have anything. Thanksgiving is a great time of year to volunteer at a local organization. Food pantries and food banks welcome extra hands and eager volunteers during the holiday seasons. Volunteering on Thanksgiving is a completely selfless and rewarding activity. 


Out with the turkey and in with the cheer! Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the end-of-the-year festivities. It is time to put up the sparkling lights, decorate the Christmas tree and begin prepping the menorah or kinara. Use this day to deck the halls, doors, and walls with your favorite end-of-the-year decor. 

Write a letter to a soldier

Five minutes spent on Thanksgiving day could make a soldier overseas feel empowered and supported. Operation Gratitude sends a handwritten letter in each of the boxes that they ship out to military and first responders. In five simple steps, it is possible to share love, give thanks, and empower a person with inspiring words. 

Genuinely give thanks

Historical implications notwithstanding, celebrating Thanksgiving is all about celebrating the people and things that make life better. It is so easy to take things for granted, and Thanksgiving offers the perfect opportunity to reflect on and acknowledge all of the blessings in life. While gathering with family and friends, go around the room and share with each other some of the things that make your life extra special. Whether it’s a small or large thing, use this upcoming holiday to acknowledge whatever it is that you love about life. 

Kayla Grant theGrio.com

Kayla Grant is a multimedia journalist with bylines in Business Insider, Shondaland, Oz Magazine, Prism, Rolling Out and more. She writes about culture, books and entertainment news. Follow her on Twitter: @TheKaylaGrant.

TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. TheGrio’s Black Podcast Network is free too. Download theGrio mobile apps today! Listen to ‘Writing Black’ with Maiysha Kai.