Valentine’s Day is the stereotypical romantic holiday, but there’s no reason you can’t feel the love on Thanksgiving, too. After all, it’s a day for gratitude, and one of the best things God can give you is the right person with whom to spend the rest of your life.

Whether you’re a childless couple or you’re raising kids, these five suggestions will help you ramp up the romance with your spouse on Thanksgiving.

1. Dine Out

Yes, Thanksgiving is normally all about cooking a lavish meal with everything from turkey to sweet potatoes to Grandma’s green bean casserole and pumpkin pie for dessert. It means waking up in the wee hours of the morning to make sure everything’s perfect at dinner time.

Why not dispense with tradition this year and go out to a restaurant? If you don’t have kids, choose the most romantic spot possible. It’s actually a very appropriate way to spend Thanksgiving since you can celebrate your gratitude to God for sending your soulmate.

If you have kids, go to a more family-friendly eatery. Many family-oriented chains are open for the holiday and have special Thanksgiving menus. That way, your family can enjoy a turkey feast without any prep time or washing dishes afterwards.

2. Sail Away

Most people equate Thanksgiving with being home and spending time with family and friends, but there’s nothing wrong with stepping out of the mold and spending the holiday strictly as a couple. Cruise ships are a perfect place to do this because not only are all your meals provided, but you’re also waited on hand and foot.

There’s someone to clean your cabin and turn down your bed each night, and you can feed each other the chocolates that show up on your pillows. There’s dancing every night and most on-board spas have romantic treatments like couples massages. Loosen your muscles with a soak together in the hot tub, then get that massage.

Even if you have children, a cruise is perfect for a romantic Thanksgiving experience with your spouse because most ships have children’s clubs that look after the kids. Send them to the club to play games, watch movies and have their own fun while you and your partner enjoy some precious alone time.

3. Ban The Turkey

Cooking together can be great fun. This Thanksgiving, consider ramping up the experience by making a totally non-traditional meal with your spouse. Ban the turkey and cranberry sauce and opt for something crazy or unusual.

How about trying some Chinese or Indian recipes or another type of ethnic cuisine that you don’t normally cook? If neither you nor your spouse is a gourmet cook, you can take on a challenge together and tackle an elaborate recipe. Keep things lighthearted and even a little silly as you sift, blend, brown and bake. If you have kids, let them join in the melee.

So what if you burn that fancy curry dish or the soufflé falls? Have a frozen pizza in the fridge as a backup plan and laugh about any disasters as you feed each other a slice. Your cooking adventure can become a fun part of your family lore.

4. Write Each Other Letters Of Thanksgiving

When we first fall in love, we tend to make our feelings known to our partners. Then we get married, time passes and we start to take each other for granted. Words like “I love you” and “I’m so thankful to have you in my life” become rarities.

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to remind your spouse of how much you love him or her and how grateful you are to be sharing a life together. Each of you can write a special letter that you’ll share before or after dinner on the holiday.

If you don’t have kids, you can take it further by having your dinner by candlelight, which always adds an air of romance. After reading the letters over dessert, enjoy a special couples’ activity, like giving each other mutual massages or enjoying drinks by the fireplace with a soundtrack of your favorite love songs.

5. Plan An After-Dinner Romantic Outing

There’s nothing like a huge turkey meal to make you feel groggy, but you don’t have to stay home watching TV on Thanksgiving. Have dinner early, then plan a romantic outing for the evening. You might not feel up to something as active and exhilarating as dancing, but you don’t need a lot of energy to head out to a theater to see the latest romantic comedy.

These are just suggestions, but the realm of Thanksgiving romance is wide open. Make your Thanksgiving rival Valentine’s Day this year and your spouse will be very thankful for your efforts.

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