Thanksgiving, family and friends, and getting so full you can barely breathe, do you anticipate it as much as I do?!
A day set aside to be thankful for all of our blessings. Thankfulness that should flow throughout the year instead of just one day. Right? Let’s make a mental note right now to practice that. Everyday. All year. Be Thankful. Got it? Me too.
Family traditions are a favorite of mine. They bring such wonderful warm memories with them. My children and I enjoy looking back on thanksgiving keepsakes I’ve kept of theirs. Here are a few family traditions that are my absolute favorites that I will be starting with my loved people this year and I encourage you to do the same!
A TABLE CLOTH OF MEMORIES
Find a solid color table-cloth that’s perfect for writing on. Lighter colors are ideal. Use it to cover the table for thanksgiving dinner. Have permanent markers, fabric markers or pens available for your family and friends to write what they are thankful for on the table-cloth! Kids also! Let them be creative! They love this! If the kids have their own table to eat at, have a separate one for them. Every year bring it back out and reuse it, adding more thankful memories to it, while enjoying the memories from the year before.
A JAR OF “THANKS”
Decorate a jar for “I am thankful for..” notes from all your guests. Have each of your family and friends write what they are thankful for on a piece of paper and place it in the jar. Pass it around during Thanksgiving dinner so each person can pick one out. Read them aloud and try to figure out who wrote each one. Make a game out of it. This is a great way to get everyone engaged in conversation while discussing the blessings each of you are thankful for.
I love this idea! You wake up Thanksgiving morning and usually hit the floor running with all of your to-do lists running through your head. It’s a mad race to get everything prepared before dinner. Sloooow down! Fix breakfast and enjoy it with your family before starting your preparation for Thanksgiving. Breakfast doesn’t have to be extravagant. There are some super cute Thanksgiving breakfast ideas for kids on Pinterest!
A bonus: During breakfast, have each of your kids write what they are thankful for on a piece of paper and store it in a binder. You and your spouse do the same! Repeat this tradition every Thanksgiving. Your Thanksgiving binder will become a favorite as the years add up!
THANKSGIVING PRAYER CHAIN
My family and I always pray before we eat. “Who wants to say grace?” is the question usually asked. How about this!? Everyone says grace! Hold hands with each other. If you have a lot of family and friends over for dinner, this chain of hand holding could flow down the hallway and through bedrooms, maybe even outside. That’s okay! Someone starts off the prayer and when they are done they squeeze the hand of the person to their right, or left, either way, and then that person says a prayer of thanks, and so on. It doesn’t have to be long. Short and sweet, yet sincere. Everyone’s hungry! This is a great way for each person to thank God for their blessings, speak what they are most thankful for, or just remember a loved one that is no longer with them.
YOUR “LITTLE PICASSO’S” THANKSGIVING ART WORK
You know all of those cute Thanksgiving coloring sheets or projects your kids are bringing home from school or daycare? Frame them beauties! Best Thanksgiving decorations ever! Make sure you put a name, date and year on the back for easy reference, especially if you have more than one child. It’s frustrating to find yourself years down the road asking “Which kid of mine made this??”. Not that I would know or anything (shhhh).
Let your kiddies get creative at home as well. You can find lots of easy and inexpensive craft ideas for kids on the web. Frame each artwork proudly. Bring them out every year for decoration around the house. Super fun idea and the kids love it.
Take your family to a soup kitchen or community center to help serve Thanksgiving dinner to those in need. It makes my heart happy to help others. This is a great tradition to start that helps you and your kids realize how blessed you truly are for what you have and how we seem to take it for granted. Spend the day serving others and hearing their stories. So many people are lonely on Thanksgiving. Your company will mean so much. Also, there are more than likely organizations/food pantries accepting Thanksgiving food donations for needy families in your area. If you think really hard, you can probably think of someone you personally know that could use some help providing food for their family.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
For the whole month of November, encourage your children to perform random acts of kindness to others. Help them write down ideas and carry them out. This is a practice that can be carried on throughout the whole year. A practice that should be carried on throughout the whole year, by all of us. Acts of kindness can be anything from helping your elderly neighbor with some yard work or complimenting a stranger on their super sweet kicks. You never know what the smallest compliment can do for someone!
Do you have family traditions? What family traditions will you start this year? I’d love to hear about them!
Be Thankful. Be Kind.