30 Best Thanksgiving ideas for employees (gifts, contests, activities, treats)


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30 Best Thanksgiving ideas for employees (gifts, contests, activities, treats)

As the festive season approaches, businesses across the globe seek ways to express their appreciation for their hardworking employees.

Thanksgiving, a time dedicated to reflection and gratitude, offers a perfect opportunity to recognize the contributions of your team members and foster a positive work environment.

This comprehensive guide, packed with 30 unique Thanksgiving ideas for employees aims to inspire you to plan a memorable Thanksgiving celebration that will not only uplift your employees’ spirits but also strengthen team bonds and boost morale.

Whether you’re looking for thoughtful gift ideas, delectable treat options, engaging contests, fun activities, or surprise gestures, this guide has something for every workplace.

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll find a treasure trove of ideas to make this Thanksgiving truly special for your team:

  • Thoughtful Thanksgiving gift ideas for employees that go beyond the traditional turkey basket.
  • Delectable Thanksgiving treats ideas for employees to satisfy even the most discerning palates.
  • Engaging Thanksgiving contest ideas for Employees that will ignite friendly competition and creativity.
  • Fun and interactive Thanksgiving activity ideas for employees that will bring your team together for a day of laughter and bonding.

So, whether you’re planning a full-fledged Thanksgiving feast or simply looking for a few simple ways to show your appreciation, this guide has something for everyone.

Embrace the spirit of Thanksgiving and transform your workplace into a hub of gratitude and appreciation with these innovative ideas.

By implementing these suggestions, you’ll not only demonstrate your company’s care for its employees but also create a positive and memorable Thanksgiving experience that will leave a lasting impression.


30 Thanksgiving ideas for employees (gifts, treats, contests, activities)

The following is a list of the best Thanksgiving ideas for employees with a variety of creative gift ideas, contest ideas, activity ideas and treat ideas for the employees to celebrate this thoughtful Thanksgiving eve.

1. Give Out Small Thanksgiving Gifts

Boost employee morale and express gratitude with thoughtful gifts.

Distributing small Thanksgiving gifts, such as personalized cards, seasonal treats, or branded merchandise, creates a positive atmosphere.

Recognizing employees’ efforts fosters a sense of appreciation and strengthens team bonds. 

Consider items like:

  • custom-branded notebooks,
  • cozy blankets, or
  • gift cards to popular local shops.

Personal touches enhance the impact, making employees feel valued and motivated.

These gestures create a sense of acknowledgment and contribute to a happier, more inspired team.

Research indicates that employee recognition improves job satisfaction. A study by SHRM found that 68% of employees believe recognition has a positive impact on their morale.

2. Implement a Thanksgiving-themed Employee Wellness Program:

Prioritize employees’ well-being during the holiday season, enhancing work-life balance.

Design a Thanksgiving-themed wellness program to support employees’ mental and physical health.

Incorporate activities like

  • virtual fitness challenges,
  • mindfulness sessions, or
  • nutrition workshops.

Encourage employees to share their wellness journey, fostering a sense of community.

A holistic approach promotes a healthier work environment, reduces stress, and increases overall job satisfaction.

According to the World Health Organization, workplace wellness programs can lead to a 25% increase in productivity.

3. Employee Appreciation Luncheon:

Strengthen team camaraderie and show gratitude through a shared, enjoyable experience.

Host a special Thanksgiving luncheon to celebrate employees. Arrange a catered meal or potluck style, accommodating various dietary preferences.

Create a festive atmosphere with themed decorations and activities. Recognize outstanding contributions or achievements during the event, reinforcing a positive work culture.

A shared meal fosters connections, boosts morale, and leaves a lasting impression of appreciation.

A survey by Glassdoor found that 81% of employees are motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation.

Recommended read: 20 Fun Thanksgiving Contest Ideas For Work To Celebrate The Office Spirit With Your Coworkers And Employees

4. Give promotions to employees as a sign of gratitude:

Acknowledge and reward exceptional performance, inspiring motivation and loyalty.

Express gratitude by offering promotions to deserving employees. Recognizing their hard work and dedication to career advancement not only rewards them but also motivates the entire team.

This gesture demonstrates a commitment to employee growth and encourages a culture of meritocracy.

Track performance metrics to objectively identify individuals contributing significantly to the company’s success, ensuring a fair and transparent process.

A Harvard Business Review study indicates that recognition in the form of promotions positively influences employee motivation and job satisfaction.

5. Organize a Thanksgiving Potluck Celebration:

Foster a sense of community and inclusivity while celebrating diverse culinary traditions.

Plan a Thanksgiving potluck where employees contribute homemade dishes representing their cultural backgrounds.

This inclusive celebration encourages diversity and strengthens the team’s bond. Create categories like “Most Creative Dish” or “Best Dessert” for a friendly contest.

Encourage employees to share recipes and stories behind their dishes, promoting a sense of connection and understanding. Such events contribute to a positive work culture and leave employees with cherished memories.

Studies show that workplace social events contribute to a positive work environment, leading to increased employee satisfaction and retention.

6. Offer a Flexible Work Schedule for the Holiday:

Demonstrate flexibility and understanding, promoting work-life balance during the holiday season.

Grant employees the flexibility to choose their work hours around the Thanksgiving holiday. This accommodation allows them to balance work commitments with personal celebrations, reducing stress and fostering loyalty.

Establish clear communication channels to coordinate schedules and ensure workflow continuity. By prioritizing employees’ well-being, you enhance job satisfaction and create a positive workplace culture.

A survey by FlexJobs revealed that 80% of respondents consider flexible work options a crucial factor in evaluating job opportunities.

7. Host a Virtual Thanksgiving Trivia Game:

Encourage team engagement and a fun, interactive way to celebrate Thanksgiving virtually.

Organize a virtual Thanksgiving trivia game to bring employees together in a lighthearted setting. Include questions related to Thanksgiving history, traditions, and fun facts.

Utilize video conferencing platforms and interactive tools to enhance the experience. Consider small prizes or recognition for the winners to boost friendly competition.

Such activities foster team spirit, even in remote work settings, and provide a break from routine tasks.

Team-building activities have been linked to increased employee satisfaction and improved communication, as reported by a study in the Journal of Vocational Behavior.

8. Create a Thanksgiving Thank You Video from Management to Employees:

Personalize gratitude and strengthen connections by delivering a heartfelt message.

Produce a video featuring leadership expressing thanks to employees for their hard work and dedication.

Include specific examples of achievements and contributions. Personal touches, such as mentioning individuals or teams, create a more impactful message.

Share the video through internal communication channels, making it easily accessible to all employees.

This visual expression of gratitude adds a human touch, reinforcing a sense of belonging and appreciation.

Research by Gallup indicates that employees who feel recognized and appreciated are more likely to stay with their current employer.

9. Send Thanksgiving Cards with Personalized Messages:

Convey individualized appreciation and create a tangible token of gratitude.

Distribute Thanksgiving cards with personalized messages expressing gratitude for each employee’s unique contributions. Include specific instances of their impact on the team or company.

Handwritten notes add a personal touch, making employees feel valued and recognized. Consider incorporating company branding or a Thanksgiving theme to enhance the festive spirit. 

Physical cards provide a tangible reminder of appreciation, serving as a thoughtful keepsake. This simple gesture can have a lasting impact on employee morale.

According to a study by O.C. Tanner, 37% of employees believe personalized recognition is more effective than generic recognition.

10. Provide a Thanksgiving Bonus or Gift Card:

Offer a tangible and universally appreciated gesture of gratitude for employees’ hard work.

Show appreciation by providing a Thanksgiving bonus or gift card. This tangible acknowledgment of employees’ efforts adds financial value to their dedication.

Consider options such as grocery store gift cards, online retailers, or prepaid cards. Communicate the gesture transparently, outlining the reasons for the bonus and how it reflects the company’s appreciation.

This tangible reward contributes to employee satisfaction and loyalty.

A study by the Incentive Research Foundation found that 77% of employees feel motivated when receiving non-cash rewards, such as gift cards.

11. Organize a Thanksgiving-themed Contest

Engage employees and foster a fun and competitive spirit by hosting a Thanksgiving-themed contest.

  • Host a Thanksgiving recipe contest: Encourage employees to submit their favorite Thanksgiving recipes. Have a panel of judges taste and vote on the best recipes. Award prizes to the winners.
  • Organize a pumpkin decorating contest: Provide employees with pumpkins and decorating supplies. Let them unleash their creativity and decorate the pumpkins in their unique style. Host a judging session and award prizes for the most creative, funniest, or most festive pumpkins.
  • Hold a Thanksgiving-themed trivia contest: Test employees’ knowledge of Thanksgiving history, traditions, and fun facts. Prepare a list of trivia questions and organize a game show-style event. Award prizes to the team with the most correct answers.

Additional Tips:

  • Promote the contest well in advance to give employees enough time to participate.
  • Clearly communicate the contest rules and judging criteria.
  • Make sure the prizes are appealing to employees.
  • Publicly recognize the winners and their achievements.

12. Create a Gratitude Wall or Jar for Employees to Share What They’re Thankful For

Promote a culture of appreciation and gratitude by creating a dedicated space for employees to express their thankfulness.

  • Set up a gratitude wall: Provide a large sheet of paper or a designated wall space. Encourage employees to write down things they are grateful for on sticky notes and post them on the wall.
  • Designate a gratitude jar: Decorate a jar with Thanksgiving-themed motifs and place it in a common area. Provide slips of paper and pens. Encourage employees to write down things they are thankful for and drop them into the jar.
  • Share gratitude expressions: Periodically, gather the gratitude notes or slips of paper from the wall or jar. Read them aloud or share them internally to spread positivity and appreciation.


  • Set up a designated area in the office for a gratitude wall or jar.
  • Provide employees with sticky notes or pieces of paper.
  • Encourage employees to write down things they are thankful for, both personal and work-related.
  • Periodically read aloud some of the gratitude notes to share the positive energy.

Additional Tips:

  • Decorate the gratitude wall or jar with Thanksgiving themes.
  • Encourage employees to share their gratitude notes with each other.
  • Use the gratitude notes as inspiration for future company initiatives.

13. Offer Volunteer Opportunities for Employees to Give Back to the Community

Strengthen the company’s social responsibility and provide employees with meaningful opportunities to give back during the Thanksgiving season.

  • Partner with local organizations: Collaborate with food banks, homeless shelters, or community centers to identify volunteer opportunities. Invite employees to participate in food drives, sorting donations, or providing assistance to those in need.
  • Organize a team volunteering activity: Dedicate a day or half-day for employees to volunteer together as a team. This fosters camaraderie, promotes teamwork, and contributes to a sense of purpose.
  • Encourage individual volunteering: Provide employees with paid time off (PTO) to volunteer independently. Recognize and appreciate their efforts through company newsletters or social media posts.

Additional Tips:

  • Make volunteer opportunities accessible to employees during their work hours or on weekends.
  • Provide transportation or reimbursement for expenses related to volunteering.
  • Publicly recognize employees who participate in volunteer activities.

14. Host a Thanksgiving-themed Team Building Activity

Boost employee morale and strengthen team bonds by organizing a fun and engaging Thanksgiving-themed team-building activity.

  • Organize a Thanksgiving-themed scavenger hunt: Create a list of Thanksgiving-related clues and hide them around the office or a designated outdoor area. Divide employees into teams and have them work together to solve the clues and find the hidden items.
  • Host a Thanksgiving-themed charades game: Prepare a list of Thanksgiving-related words and phrases. Divide employees into teams and have them take turns acting out the words or phrases while their teammates try to guess.
  • Organize a Thanksgiving-themed cooking class: Hire a professional chef or encourage a culinary-savvy employee to lead a cooking class featuring Thanksgiving recipes. Employees can learn new skills, bond over shared interests, and enjoy a delicious meal together.


  • Enhances communication and collaboration among team members
  • Promotes creativity and problem-solving skills
  • Boosts team morale and camaraderie

Additional Tips:

  • Choose activities that are appropriate for the size and interests of your team.
  • Provide clear instructions and expectations for each activity.
  • Recognize and reward the winning team or individual participants.

15. Give Employees Extra Time Off for the Holiday

Show appreciation for employees’ hard work and dedication by providing them with extra time off to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with their loved ones.

  • Extend the Thanksgiving weekend: Consider offering employees an extra day off on either Wednesday or Friday before Thanksgiving. This allows them more time to travel, prepare for the holiday, and spend quality time with family and friends.
  • Provide flexible work arrangements: Offer employees the option to work from home or adjust their work schedules during the Thanksgiving week. This flexibility allows them to manage their personal commitments and work responsibilities more effectively.
  • Organize a virtual Thanksgiving celebration: If in-person gatherings are not possible, host a virtual Thanksgiving celebration for employees. Encourage them to connect with colleagues online, share stories, and express gratitude for each other’s contributions.

Additional Tips:

  • Communicate any changes to the holiday schedule well in advance.
  • Make sure employees have access to resources and support during the holiday break.
  • Express gratitude to employees for their dedication and contributions throughout the year.

16. Set Up a “Thankful Tree” in the Office:

A “Thankful Tree” is a simple yet effective way to foster gratitude and appreciation among employees during Thanksgiving. This visual reminder of the things we’re thankful for can boost morale and create a positive atmosphere in the workplace.


To create a “Thankful Tree,” gather branches and place them in a sturdy vase or container.

Provide employees with colorful leaves or cutouts and encourage them to write down things they’re thankful for, such as their colleagues, their work, or their personal lives. Attach the leaves to the branches, creating a vibrant display of gratitude.

Additional Ideas:

  • Provide markers, pens, and stickers to decorate the leaves.
  • Encourage employees to share their written gratitude with others.
  • Use the “Thankful Tree” as a conversation starter during team meetings or lunch breaks.


  • Promotes a culture of gratitude and appreciation.
  • Boosts employee morale and engagement.
  • Creates a positive and uplifting atmosphere in the workplace.

17. Create Thanksgiving Care Packages for Remote Employees:

Thanksgiving is often a time for family gatherings and shared meals, but remote employees may miss out on these experiences.

Sending Thanksgiving care packages to remote employees is a thoughtful gesture that shows appreciation and helps them feel connected to the company culture.


Prepare Thanksgiving care packages filled with goodies like:

  • A selection of Thanksgiving treats, such as cookies, candies, or chocolates.
  • A personalized note from their manager or colleagues expressing gratitude.
  • A gift card to a local grocery store or restaurant.
  • A small Thanksgiving-themed gift, such as a pumpkin candle or a turkey-shaped stress ball.

Additional Ideas:

  • Personalize the care packages based on each employee’s preferences.
  • Include company swag or merchandise to promote brand awareness.
  • Add a handwritten note from the CEO or a senior executive.


  • Demonstrates appreciation for remote employees.
  • Fosters a sense of belonging and inclusion.
  • Strengthens the connection between remote employees and the company culture.

18. Offer a Discount on Company Products or Services for Employees’ Thanksgiving Shopping:

Thanksgiving often involves hosting gatherings and preparing special meals, which can lead to increased expenses for employees.

Offering a discount on company products or services during the Thanksgiving season can help alleviate some of this financial burden and show appreciation for their hard work.


Consider offering a discount of 10-20% on company products or services, such as:

  • Company apparel or merchandise.
  • Catering services for Thanksgiving meals.
  • Gift baskets or hampers filled with company products.
  • Discounts on travel or accommodation for employees traveling home for Thanksgiving.

Additional Ideas:

  • Partner with local businesses to offer discounts on Thanksgiving groceries or meals.
  • Extend the discount period to cover Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping.
  • Promote the discount offer through internal communication channels.


  • Eases financial strain for employees during the holiday season.
  • Demonstrates care and consideration for employees’ well-being.
  • Strengthens employee loyalty and engagement.

19. Provide Thanksgiving-themed Training or Development Opportunities:

Thanksgiving can be a time of reflection and growth, both personally and professionally. 

Offering Thanksgiving-themed training or development opportunities can help employees enhance their skills and knowledge while also adding a festive touch to the workplace.


Organize workshops or seminars on topics such as:

  • Culinary skills for preparing Thanksgiving dishes.
  • Time management strategies for juggling work and holiday preparations.
  • Effective communication techniques for expressing gratitude to colleagues.
  • Mindfulness exercises for reducing stress and enhancing mental well-being during the holiday season.

Additional Ideas:

  • Invite guest speakers or industry experts to share their insights on Thanksgiving-related topics.
  • Offer online or virtual training options for remote employees.
  • Encourage employees to share their own skills and knowledge by hosting peer-to-peer workshops.


  • Encourages employee development and skill enhancement.
  • Promotes a culture of continuous learning and improvement.
  • Fosters a sense of camaraderie and collaboration among employees.

20. Host a Company-wide Virtual Thanksgiving Party:

With the rise of remote work, traditional office gatherings may not be feasible for all employees.

Organizing a company-wide virtual Thanksgiving party can help bring everyone together, regardless of their location, and create a sense of shared celebration.


Plan a virtual Thanksgiving party using video conferencing platforms like Zoom or Google Meet. Incorporate activities such as:

  • A virtual Thanksgiving meal where employees can share their favorite dishes and recipes.
  • Interactive games and competitions with Thanksgiving-themed trivia or challenges.
  • A talent show where employees can showcase their hidden talents.
  • A virtual prize exchange where employees can win Thanksgiving-related gifts or prizes.

21. Offer Thanksgiving-inspired Team Incentives:

Thanksgiving is a time to recognize and reward employee contributions. Offering Thanksgiving-inspired team incentives can boost morale, encourage collaboration, and motivate employees to achieve their goals.


Implement a “Thanksgiving Bounty” program where teams earn points for achieving specific goals or milestones. Rewards could include:

  • A Thanksgiving feast catered for the team.
  • A paid time off day to volunteer at a local charity or food bank.
  • Gift cards to local restaurants or grocery stores.
  • Company merchandise or swag.

Additional Ideas:

  • Organize a Thanksgiving-themed competition or challenge where teams compete for prizes.
  • Recognize individual contributions with Thanksgiving-themed awards or badges.
  • Offer bonus points for acts of teamwork, collaboration, and support.


  • Motivates employees to achieve their goals and contribute to team success.
  • Fosters a sense of camaraderie and team spirit.
  • Demonstrates appreciation for employee efforts and accomplishments.

22. Provide Paid Time Off to Volunteer at a Local Charity or Food Bank:

Giving back to the community is a meaningful way to celebrate Thanksgiving. Providing paid time off to volunteer at a local charity or food bank allows employees to make a positive impact while also experiencing the joy of giving.


Partner with local organizations to identify volunteer opportunities that align with your company’s values and interests. Encourage employees to sign up for volunteer shifts during Thanksgiving week or throughout the holiday season. Provide transportation or meal stipends to support their volunteer efforts.

Additional Ideas:

  • Organize a company-wide volunteer event to make a collective impact.
  • Recognize employees for their volunteer contributions with awards or appreciation letters.
  • Partner with local businesses to offer discounts or promotions to employees who volunteer.


  • Promotes a culture of social responsibility and community engagement.
  • Enhances employee morale and job satisfaction.
  • Strengthens the company’s reputation and brand image.

23. Host a Virtual Cooking Class or Bake-Off Competition:

Thanksgiving is synonymous with delicious food and culinary traditions. Hosting a virtual cooking class or bake-off competition can bring employees together, enhance their culinary skills, and create a fun and festive atmosphere.


Partner with a local chef or culinary expert to host a virtual cooking class where employees can learn to prepare Thanksgiving classics or explore new recipes. Organize a bake-off competition where employees can showcase their baking talents and compete for prizes.

Additional Ideas:

  • Send out ingredient kits to employees participating in the cooking class or bake-off.
  • Encourage employees to share their creations on social media using a company hashtag.
  • Invite family members to join the virtual cooking class or bake-off for a fun family activity.


  • Promotes team bonding and camaraderie.
  • Encourages employees to try new things and expand their culinary horizons.
  • Creates a sense of shared enjoyment and celebration.

24. Share Thanksgiving Themed E-Cards or Memes

Show appreciation with humor and warmth by circulating Thanksgiving-themed e-cards or memes.

Create a light-hearted atmosphere, boosting morale and fostering a sense of camaraderie among employees. Incorporating inside jokes or personalized elements enhances the impact. Platforms like Canva or Adobe Spark offer easy-to-use templates.

In 2022, a survey found that 70% of employees appreciate humor in the workplace, boosting overall job satisfaction and engagement.

Example Ideas:

1. Custom Cartoon Caricatures: Create personalized e-cards featuring cartoon caricatures of team members engaged in Thanksgiving activities, adding a touch of humor and familiarity.

2. Thanksgiving Gratitude Memes: Develop memes expressing gratitude for specific team achievements or highlighting the positive aspects of working together, fostering a sense of shared accomplishment.

3. Virtual Potluck Invitations: Design e-cards resembling an invitation to a virtual potluck, encouraging employees to share what they’re thankful for in both work and personal life.

4. Team Inside Jokes: Infuse e-cards with inside jokes or references from the year, making them more personalized and resonant with the team’s shared experiences.

5. Interactive Poll E-Cards: Integrate interactive elements into e-cards, such as polls or quizzes related to Thanksgiving, encouraging team members to engage and share their holiday preferences.

25. Collaborate with Local Businesses to Offer Employee Discounts for Thanksgiving Shopping

Forge community connections by partnering with local businesses to provide exclusive Thanksgiving discounts for employees.

This initiative not only supports the local economy but also eases the financial strain during the holiday season.

According to a Harvard Business Review study, employees who feel their company cares about their well-being are more engaged and productive.

Negotiate discounts on groceries, decorations, or even local restaurants, adding a practical and thoughtful touch to your employee benefits.

Example Ideas:

1. Local Grocery Store Partnership: Negotiate discounts with a nearby grocery store for employees to enjoy savings on Thanksgiving meal essentials, enhancing their holiday preparations.

2. Restaurant Catering Deals: Collaborate with local restaurants to offer catering discounts, allowing employees to enjoy a hassle-free Thanksgiving feast with their families.

3. Home Decor Shops Discounts: Partner with local home decor stores to provide discounts on festive decorations, bringing the Thanksgiving spirit to employees’ homes.

4. Exclusive Bakery Offers: Arrange special deals with local bakeries for discounted prices on pies, cakes, and other Thanksgiving desserts, sweetening the holiday for your team.

5. Online Shopping Vouchers: Extend partnerships to online retailers, offering employees vouchers for Thanksgiving-themed items, ensuring a diverse range of choices for their celebrations.

26. Host a Virtual Thanksgiving Movie Night

Bring teams together virtually with a Thanksgiving movie night. Use platforms like Netflix Party or Zoom to stream a holiday-themed film.

This not only serves as a break from work but also cultivates a sense of togetherness. A study by Gallup revealed that close work relationships boost employee satisfaction by 50%.

Encourage participants to share their favorite Thanksgiving movie choices, fostering a collaborative and inclusive environment. Consider sending movie-themed snack boxes to employees’ homes, enhancing the overall experience.

Example Ideas:

1. Classic Comedy Night: Screen timeless Thanksgiving comedies like “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” or “Home for the Holidays” to lift spirits and provide a good laugh.

2. Family Animation Marathon: Create a family-friendly movie night with animated classics like “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” or “Free Birds,” appealing to employees with children.

3. Thanksgiving Drama Film Festival: Showcase heartwarming dramas like “Pieces of April” or “The Blind Side,” promoting a reflective and sentimental atmosphere.

4. Employee Choice Night: Allow team members to vote for their preferred Thanksgiving movies, ensuring the movie night aligns with their diverse tastes and preferences.

5. Culinary Movie Experience: Pair the movie night with a cooking demonstration or a virtual pie-making class to add an interactive and educational element to the event.

27. Offer a Cultural Exchange Program for Employees to Learn About Different Thanksgiving Traditions

Promote diversity and inclusivity by organizing a Thanksgiving cultural exchange program. 

Encourage employees to share their unique Thanksgiving traditions, recipes, or stories. This initiative fosters a sense of belonging and understanding among team members.

According to McKinsey, diverse teams are 33% more likely to outperform their peers. Create a virtual platform where employees can showcase their heritage, facilitating a rich tapestry of traditions that celebrates differences and strengthens the team bond.

Example Ideas:

1. Recipe Swap Session: Organize a virtual gathering where employees share and explain traditional Thanksgiving recipes from their cultural backgrounds, fostering a culinary exchange.

2. Virtual Travel Diaries: Encourage team members to share virtual travel diaries or presentations about how Thanksgiving is celebrated in their countries, promoting cultural understanding.

3. Storytelling Webinars: Arrange storytelling webinars where employees narrate personal or family Thanksgiving stories, creating an emotional connection within the team.

4. Custom Recipe Book: Compile a digital recipe book featuring contributions from employees, showcasing the diversity of Thanksgiving traditions within the team.

5. Interactive Quiz Night: Host an interactive quiz about Thanksgiving traditions worldwide, allowing employees to test their knowledge and learn something new about global celebrations.

28. Create a Thanksgiving Playlist for the Office

Set a festive mood by curating a Thanksgiving playlist for the office. Music enhances the work environment, boosting productivity and morale.

Platforms like Spotify make it easy to share playlists, allowing employees to contribute their favorite tunes.

In a study by Cornell University, it was found that listening to music can positively impact the emotional well-being of employees.

Include a mix of classic Thanksgiving songs and modern hits, catering to various tastes. This simple gesture adds a touch of joy to the workday.

Example Ideas:

1. Classic Hits Mix: Include timeless classics like “Over the River and Through the Woods” alongside contemporary covers, creating a blend that appeals to various musical tastes.

2. Gratitude-themed Tracks: Curate a playlist with songs centered around gratitude and thankfulness, aligning the music with the Thanksgiving theme.

3. Employee Picks Section: Dedicate a section of the playlist to songs suggested by team members, ensuring everyone feels involved in creating the office ambiance.

4. Instrumental Background Music: Include instrumental tracks or acoustic versions of popular songs to provide a soothing background for focused work during the holiday season.

5. Collaborative Spotify Playlist: Use a collaborative Spotify playlist, allowing employees to continuously add and enjoy new tracks, fostering a sense of shared ownership of the office soundtrack.

29. Give Out Employee Recognition Awards for Outstanding Work During the Year

Acknowledge and celebrate employees’ hard work by instituting recognition awards during the Thanksgiving season.

Recognizing achievements boosts morale and creates a positive work culture. According to a survey by Globoforce, 89% of HR leaders agree that recognition programs positively impact organizational success.

Categories can include ‘Innovation of the Year’ or ‘Team Player Award.’ Personalize awards with small, meaningful prizes or certificates. This not only motivates the awardees but sets a standard for excellence within the organization.

Example Ideas:

1. Innovator of the Year Award: Acknowledge employees who demonstrated exceptional innovation, contributing fresh ideas that positively impacted the company.

2. Team Player Trophy: Recognize individuals who consistently demonstrated strong teamwork, enhancing collaboration and cohesion within the team.

3. Customer Service Excellence Certificate: Award employees who provided outstanding customer service, contributing to the company’s positive reputation and client satisfaction.

4. Leadership Achievement Plaque: Honor those who displayed exemplary leadership qualities, guiding and inspiring their colleagues throughout the year.

5. Adaptability Star Award: Recognize individuals who showcased exceptional adaptability during challenging times, highlighting their resilience and versatility within the workplace.

30. Invite a Guest Speaker to Share Thanksgiving Stories and Words of Gratitude at the Office

Inspire gratitude and motivation by inviting a guest speaker to share Thanksgiving stories and words of wisdom with your team.

A compelling speaker can offer fresh perspectives and ignite enthusiasm. Research shows that exposure to positive role models can enhance employee performance and job satisfaction. 

Choose a speaker who aligns with your company’s values, and if in-person events are not feasible, host a virtual session. This enriching experience not only fosters a sense of gratitude but also provides valuable insights, leaving a lasting impact on your team.

Example Ideas:

1. Motivational Speaker Session: Bring in a renowned motivational speaker to share inspiring stories, leaving employees motivated and energized for the upcoming year.

2. Industry Expert Insights: Invite a guest speaker with expertise in your industry to provide valuable insights, aligning their talk with the company’s goals and aspirations.

3. Personal Development Guru: Host a speaker known for personal development and self-improvement, delivering messages of gratitude and empowerment to your team.

4. Employee Success Stories Panel: Arrange a panel of successful individuals within the company to share their own Thanksgiving stories and express gratitude for their professional journeys.

5. Interactive Q&A Session: Conclude the speaker’s session with an interactive Q&A, allowing employees to engage directly with the speaker and deepen their understanding of the presented topics.



As we conclude, we hope this guide has provided you with a wealth of ideas to make this Thanksgiving truly memorable for your employees.

By implementing these thoughtful gestures, you can foster a sense of appreciation, camaraderie, and belonging within your team, ensuring that the spirit of gratitude permeates throughout your workplace.

Remember, Thanksgiving is not just about the holidays; it’s about expressing gratitude for the people who make your organization a success. So, go ahead, spread the cheer, and let the festivities begin!

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Stephen is a passionate professional with expertise in communication skills. He is dedicated to helping businesses excel through effective workplace communication. Join him for insights on professional development, productivity, and business success. Do follow him on Twitter.

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