Some Thanksgiving traditions will never change. Okay, there are definitely more vegans at the table each year, so Tofurkey is less of a lazy punchline and more of a latter-day necessity. Also, you’ll have to find a pumpkin pie alternative for everybody who’s doing keto.
"Alexa, is cranberry sauce paleo?"
But mostly, Thanksgiving follows a predictable script: you exchange jusssssst enough pleasantries to sound civilized, grab a plate, and then shove a dozen pounds of food into your mouth hole. At some point, you’ll publicly express (or feign) gratitude and then get sucked into a political argument that you swore for months you’d avoid.
Oh, and there’s football. (Which is possibly the cause of that political argument now.) You have two options: watch it on TV—the NFL has a few marquee games—or go outside and play it yourself. We definitely recommend the latter, as far as Thanksgiving ideas go.
First off, it’s a great way to bond with your cousins, assuming they’re not way bigger than you. Secondly, you’ll burn off the thousands of calories you’ve just inhaled. And, you’ll be taking part in a long, proud Thanksgiving tradition of bragging to your relatives on the losing team for the next 12 months.
If your cousins are way bigger, though—or if the kiddos want to join, and you’d rather not give them concussions—then flag football games are definitely the way to go.
Flag football, which replaces tackling with the gentler alternative of grabbing a ribbon, goes back to the 1930s and ‘40s. The U.S. Army encouraged the sport because it didn’t injure soldiers pre-deployment, and over the next few decades flag football spread to backyards, campuses, and a national league.
Somewhere along the way, it became the standard way to kill an hour on Thanksgiving while the potatoes roast. A nice thing about flag football—aside from just being, y’know, nicer—is that you can simplify the rules for everybody who wasn’t a linebacker in high school. For example, if it’s just adults playing then blocking is fine, but if youngsters are taking part, you can drop it and give them an edge. (Pro tip: let the kids win. C’mon.)
So if you’re hosting this year, looking for holiday family ideas and need a flag football set, then check out our Flag Football bundle. It comes with a 10-person flag football set (including belts, flags, and cones for goal lines), an NFL-size football, plus a frisbee if you want to switch things up. Oh, there’s also a camp chair with cup holder for spectators or the referee, because ideally the only argument you’ll get into with the fam is whether that forward pass was legal.