10 Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving at Home

Many of us are trading in travel plans for a cozy day and night at home this Thanksgiving. Even though this year’s holiday may look a little different, there are still plenty of ways to make sure your family’s day still feels equally as festive. From kid-friendly crafts and can’t-miss TV specials to delicious recipes to serve and much more, keep reading below for 10 ways to ensure your at-home Thanksgiving still leaves you feeling extra grateful.

Get Crafting: 

One of the sweetest ways to decorate your home during the holidays is with crafts created by your kids! We spotted this turkey DIY, this pumpkin pie garland, these painted leaves and rocks (kids love collecting items!), and this coloring page (perfect for older kids and adults, too). What will you and your family make?

Watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade: 

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade always signals Thanksgiving and the holiday season has officially arrived, so plan to tune in with your family. The parade will still happen just as it always does (with a few Covid changes, of course), and it always offers such a fun peek at New York City. The parade starts to air live at 9 a.m. EST on NBC!

Watch the National Dog Show: 

Don’t change the channel when the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade comes to a close because the National Dog Show airs right after on NBC. This special is a competition, but the announcers always offer plenty of insight into the dogs and their breeds. If you’re thinking about adopting a dog, the National Dog Show will offer plenty of inspiration, not to mention an abundance of cute pups.

Take a Hike: 

Whether you visit a local park or search for a new-to-you trail to explore with your family, spending time outside is one of the most fun ways to spend a holiday. You can even turn your hike into a scavenger hunt for your kids by asking them to point out different colors, animals, or items found in nature.  

Run a 5K: 

Before the tryptophan hits, consider running (or walking!) a 5K with your family. You don’t need to follow a specific route; you just need to complete 3.1 miles. If you’re hoping to do a more official race, look online for virtual options to help to hold you and your crew accountable.

Set the Table: 

Today is a great day to use the “good” china! Pull the pieces you save for holidays off of their shelves, and set a table that will make you feel extra fancy (even if you’re planning to feast in your daytime pajamas). You can even make your own centerpiece to add extra flair.

Bake a New Recipe: 

If you have been eying a new recipe, Thanksgiving is a great day to give it a try! If you’re searching for delicious desserts, pop into the app, take a peek at Sally’s Baking Addiction, or pay Ina Garten (aka: The Barefoot Contessa) a visit. All three sources have plenty of recommendations to share!

Zoom Cocktail Hour: 

Whether you’re missing family and friends or simply want to say “hi”, invite your favorite people to a Zoom cocktail hour. You can even share cocktail recipes beforehand or make them live together. Outside of catching up with your loved ones, defining your Zoom as a “cocktail hour” places a time limit just in case the energy starts to lag.

Share Your Grateful List: 

Now more than ever, we’re all searching for positivity. Even though this year has had plenty of twists and turns, we do firmly believe there’s at least one thing (even if it’s small and simple) that has left you feeling grateful. Whether you share what you’re grateful for over dinner or dessert or throughout the day, make sure you do. Hearing positivity is certain to make you smile.

Watch a Holiday Movie: 

End your Thanksgiving Day by welcoming the holiday season! Plan to watch a holiday movie with your family inside cozied up on the sofa or outside on a projector. You can’t go wrong with “Love Actually” (for teenagers and adults) or “The Grinch” (perfect for anyone at any age)!

How are you spending your Thanksgiving? Keep sharing ideas with our community on Facebook!

Top 5 Thanksgiving Hacks to Make Hosting Fun and Easy

When we think about Thanksgiving, family favorite recipes and visions of loved ones gathered together immediately comes to mind. During a year when we have spent more time apart from family and friends than ever before, a holiday spent (safely!) together sounds like an absolute delight. 

Even though Thanksgiving is one of the most joyful holidays, there’s also an element of stress for the host. So, if you’re planning to host your first Thanksgiving or your fiftieth, keep reading! We’re sharing our own list of 5 tips and tricks to make this year’s hosting duties a breeze.

Top 5 Thanksgiving Hacks to Make Hosting Fun and Easy | www.shopkick.com

1. The Early Shopper Always Wins: 

This year, Thanksgiving is on Thursday, November 26. You’re likely thinking you have plenty of time to shop – and you do! But, why wait until the week of Thanksgiving when grocery stores will be packed to purchase everything you need? Instead, start adding nonperishables and paper products (more on this below) to your pantry, especially if items are on sale. As the holiday approaches, you will only have items like turkey, vegetables, and any fruit still on your list.

Top 5 Thanksgiving Hacks to Make Hosting Fun and Easy | www.shopkick.com

2. “I’m attracted to pie.”

We’ve all heard that homemade recipes are the best recipes, but Lorelai Gilmore wouldn’t knock pre-made pie and neither should you! Consider picking up a pre-made pie or use pre-made pie crust for your pumpkin pie recipe. By purchasing pre-made where you can, you can still add a homemade twist. The difference is the time needed will be far less and will feel much more doable.

Top 5 Thanksgiving Hacks to Make Hosting Fun and Easy | www.shopkick.com

3. Warm it Up: 

Most Thanksgiving dishes require differing temperatures and timelines for cooking, so warming settings will prove helpful. Consider using slow cookers to keep dishes, like mashed potatoes, stored and warm. You can also use thermoses to keep gravy warm, and you can always warm things up in the microwave.

Top 5 Thanksgiving Hacks to Make Hosting Fun and Easy | www.shopkick.com

4. Dress Down Your Code: 

If ever there was a year for a casual dress code, 2020 is the year! While we do suggest wearing something other than your daytime pajamas, encouraging your family and friends to arrive in clothes they feel comfortable wearing will create a more relaxed atmosphere. This year, the focus is truly on spending time together.

Top 5 Thanksgiving Hacks to Make Hosting Fun and Easy | www.shopkick.com

5. Make Cleanup a Breeze

Holidays are typically when we all like to use the “good china”, but why? On holidays, we’re joined by more people than those who typically sit around our tables on an everyday basis. That means more cleanup! To make cleanup a breeze, opt for paper products for everything from plates and napkins to silverware and cups. The added bonus of paper products this year is you won’t be washing used items (a great added safety layer during Covid). 

Do you have any Thanksgiving hacks to add to our list? Join the conversation with us and our community on Facebook!

Reward yourself this Blue Weekend

Calling all Shopkickers! Earn big kicks this weekend, 12/15/17 – 12/17/17.

Put some cheer in your last-minute store visits this weekend by collecting up to 10,000 kicks available in stores during our Blue Weekend event!  We’re making your last-minute store trips more rewarding with up to 200 kicks when you walk into Marshalls, T.J.Maxx and more. Plus, earn double the kicks on your purchases made with a linked card at participating stores.

Happy shopkicking!

Check out the Blue Weekend kick plan!

Take a look at the plan below, or see it here.

Don’t have the app? Download it here to join the fun!

5 Trends from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday

Throughout the beginning of the year, the media was consumed with stories of a retail apocalypse; exemplified by mounting bankruptcies and store closures as well as consumer spending shifting away from retail and towards experiences, dining and travel.  So all eyes were on the biggest shopping weekend of the year, Thanksgiving-Cyber Monday, to evaluate both the current health and the long-term viability of the beleaguered retail industry.

The results? Blockbuster sales all weekend long for both physical and online retailers, propelled forward by aggressive promotions and a surge in mobile shopping. Adobe Analytics reported that American consumers spent $19.62 billion online over the five-day period from Nov. 23, 2017 (Thanksgiving) through Nov. 27 (Cyber Monday). This was $2.6 billion and 15% more than they spent during the same timeframe last year. At Shopkick, our users actively shopped throughout the long weekend both in-stores and on their phones at retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, TJX, Walmart, Kohls and eBay.

Below, we explore 5 key Thanksgiving-Cyber Monday trends and what they mean for the rest of the holiday shopping season.

1. Shopping is spread out throughout the whole weekend

Given that discounts are readily available to consumers year-round, and holiday discounts started in early November, Black Friday has mostly lost its significance as THE make-or-break shopping day. Also the nature of the event has changed, as better online and mobile experiences has meant that the days of millions of consumers waiting outside for doorbuster deals and enduring jostling crowds are largely over as consumers can shop from the comfort of their own homes or phones.

While Shoppertrak found that foot traffic did decline on Thanksgiving and Black Friday by 1.6% from last year, sales were up, especially online sales.  Thanksgiving Day saw a surge in online spending in the U.S., with purchases growing 18.3% to $2.87 billion compared to last year’s $1.3 billion, according to Adobe Analytics. On Black Friday, a record $5.03 billion was spent online, an increase of 16.9% over last year and a new record for the day. A good deal of the shopping took place on the websites of physical retailers – not just online only retailers. Finally, on Cyber Monday, a record $6.59 billion was spent online, an increase of 16.8 % over 2016, making it the largest mostly U.S.-based online shopping day in history and nearly a billion dollars more than last year at $5.6 billion.

2. A surge in mobile shopping

Consumers are now much more comfortable shopping and transacting on mobile devices. On Black Friday, Adobe reported smartphones accounted for 45% of visits and 26% of revenue for online retailers, working out to just under $2 billion in sales. On Cyber Monday, purchases made on smartphones broke records with $2 billion in sales. Adobe said early data for Cyber Monday activity showed mobile driving nearly 40% of online sales.

Another positive sign is that conversion rates on mobile are improving, due to improved apps, wallet integrations, and mobile transactions closing at a 12 percent higher rate year on year. Conversion rates on smartphones were at 3.5%, a 10% increase over last year according to Adobe.

3. Amazon vs. everyone else

Amazon continued to assert its dominance, and not just on Cyber Monday. Amazon accounted for half of Black Friday online sales. Based on web traffic, Amazon and Walmart increased their combined market share by 1.5%, while Target, JCPenney, and Sears all lost ground. Cyber Monday was Amazon’s biggest shopping day in company history, beating out the previous record holder, Prime Day. Amazon isn’t planning on slowing down anytime soon as their Amazon Prime subscriber growth — in terms of both numbers and how much they spend — sets them up nicely for the rest of the season.

4. Differences between online and in-store shopping

NRF and Prosper Insights found that more Americans shopped both in-stores and online, rather than sticking with just one channel. 38% of shoppers shopped both online and in-stores whereas 33% shopped online only and 29% shopped in-store only. These multichannel shoppers are more valuable to retailers, spending $82 more on average than the online-only shopper, and $49 more on average than those shoppers who only shopped in stores.

Aside from shoppers, successful omnichannel retailers are tailoring their marketing and merchandising strategies to each shopping environment. Walmart, for example, had more discounts online for heavy or bulky items like electronics that are more suitable for shipping, whereas in-store was stocked with deals for smaller, impulse buys.

5. Driving the sale: differentiated experience or discounts

Retailers essentially had 2 options to drive sales during this time: either rely on discounts or create a differentiated experience. Those that can drive sales through differentiated experiences, such as product assortment or a stellar in-store and mobile experience will protect their margins and equity against those that solely rely on heavy discounting.

Smart, not blanket, promotional strategies will win out as retailers are under tremendous pressure to feed today’s discount-driven consumer, with research showing that more than 60% of holiday shoppers are motivated by discounts. In fact, retailers have already discounted goods 10% more this year than last. These major discounts early in the holiday season lead consumers to believe that deeper discounts will be coming.

A positive outlook for the rest of the season!

While the immediate week following Black Friday was slower, as consumers recuperate and remember the doorbuster deals, December is poised to be strong for retailers. Healthy economic conditions for consumers and strong confidence should result in robust sales for physical and online retailers alike. Retailers must focus on strategies that engage shoppers across channels with relevant content, merchandise, experiences and promotions.

Get ready for our Black Friday and Cyber Monday event

Save the date! Our biggest kick event yet is coming up starting Black Friday. Give thanks with family and friends this Thanksgiving, and then let the holiday shopping begin!

You can get thousands of kicks when you walk in, scan, and make purchases in stores like Walmart, Target, and more. Plus, earn double the kicks in store when you use your linked card to purchase at stores, including TJ Maxx.

Looking to shop online? You’ll also be able to earn more kicks than ever when you shop online at stores like Walmart.com, eBay, Groupon, and more through the Shopkick app. Get a head start and begin planning your kicks now!

Happy shopkicking!


Check out the Black Friday & Cyber Monday kick plan!

Take a look at the plan below, or see it here.