Thanksgiving traditions: start a tradition of thankfulness

Thanksgiving Traditions: Start a Tradition of Thankfulness

There’s always room for a new tradition, especially one that helps your family capture the spirit of love and appreciation that goes along with the holiday season. This year, count your blessings and give thanks with these fun and meaningful Thanksgiving activities—they just might become one of your new favorite holiday traditions.

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Give thanks at the dinner table  

  • Draw names
    Put your guests’ names in a hat and take turns drawing names. Go around the table with each person giving thanks for at least one thing about the person they picked.
  • Guess who’s thanking
    Instead of names, have all guests write one thing they are thankful for and place it in a hat. Pull the notes out one at a time and see who can guess which guest wrote what.

Give thanks throughout the year  

  • Start a thank-you jar
    Encourage your kids to write quick thank-you notes and place them in a special thank-you jar. Next to the jar, put slips of paper that say, “Today I am thankful for…” On Thanksgiving day, read the notes as a reminder of all the reasons you and your family have to give thanks.
  • Create a thank-you photo gallery
    Go through the past year’s photos with your kids, having them pick out specific pictures that capture something they are thankful for. When Thanksgiving comes around, you can put on a slideshow of all of the new experiences, the good times had, and the memories made throughout the year.
  • Absence makes the thanks grow stronger
    Encourage your family to spend a day without something you all treasure, but often take for granted. For example, pick a weekend day and put everyone’s cell phones away in a drawer. The next day, you’ll be thankful to have texting and Facebook back, but better yet, you’ll probably be thankful for a day with fewer distractions and more face time with your family.
  • Thanksgiving in July (or any other time)
    Sometimes helping others reminds us of the many gifts in our life, while giving us a new experience for which to be thankful. Contact a local homeless shelter and arrange to prepare and serve a Thanksgiving-style feast at a time of year when it’s unexpected.