Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fun Thanksgiving Traditions!

 Here are some of my dreams and also some ideas I've researched for Thanksgiving Traditions:

Thanksgiving Tablecloth.  I really want to get a washable tablecloth that I can pull out only for Thanksgiving Day each year!  I want to buy some permanent Sharpies (Rub-a-Dub kind won't wear off in the wash) and let my family year after year draw or write some things they are grateful for.  Each Thanksgiving we can laugh and enjoy looking back at what everyone wrote!

Gratitude Rolls.  Have everybody write on a small pieces of paper things they are grateful for.  Wrap these papers inside homemade roll dough or store-bought crescent rolls and bake them!  Your children will have so much fun unrolling the surprises. ... You could also do this on their birthdays by having others write something they love about the birthday person! 

Tree of Thanks.  I know many families who do this throughout the month of November.  Family members can write things they are grateful for and glue these papers (which are in the shape of their handprint or leaves) onto a tree.  Some people do a big paper turkey and write things on the paper feathers. 

Christmas Celebration!  On the day after Thanksgiving, I loved as a little girl putting up all the Christmas decorations while pumping out the Christmas music!!

Learn about the Pilgrim Story as a family.  
 CLICK HERE for an awesome website that explains the First Thanksgiving.  Under "Voyage on the Mayflower" you can "Take the Journey" or "Tour the Ship."  Under the "Daily Life" tab, you can learn about the Pilgrims and Wampanoag's housing, clothes, food, chores, school, and games!  Under "The Thanksgiving Feast" tab, you can view the "slideshow" to learn about what they really ate or how this time of thanksgiving was a week long!

Thankful List on Cash Register Tape.  On the powerofmoms.com awesome website, I read Saren Eyre Loosli's (daughter of Richard & Linda Eyre - who founded Joy School) article about how each Thanksgiving morning her dad would pull out a roll of cash register tape.  "He'd write down everything that he and anyone else who walked into the room was thankful for.  He'd number each item and by the time dinner was ready, we'd have hundreds and hundreds of 'thankful things' on that list.  Dad would drape the list like crepe paper around the dining room and it helped us ponder our blessings as we enjoyed our feast."

Thank You Notes.  Pull out Thank You cards (or even create your own) and have each family member write some notes to send off to others.

Plan some service projects - maybe racking leaves for a widow or baking some pies for a new neighbor or give some of your old toys to a child who needs them.  Nothing teaches us more about our gratitude than serving others!!

Playing Sports Together.  Often the men go out and go manly things together like playing football.  But wouldn't it be fun to also go to the church gym and play sports together as a family?!  Once my family rented out an indoor soccer place for an hour so we all could play soccer (the grownups, kids, even toddlers had a blast passing the ball and running around together).

Gratitude Prayers.  Every year you could have the tradition of expressing only a prayer of gratitude for your family prayer Thanksgiving night.  Encourage each family member to also do the same that night in the their personal prayers.

The Birdie of Gratitude.  Familyfun.com says: "Have someone toss the birdie of gratitude to someone else; as each person catches it, he names something he's thankful for, then tosses it to another player."  I've seen this idea done in lots of different ways - have some pieces of dry rice under each plate for the amount of thankful things each person has to say.... or candy corn or corn kernels.

Culinary Cornucopia Night.  Every member of the family gets to choose their favorite food and they buy it and prepare it.  One day in November, you enjoy this conglomeration of all the foods you are most grateful for!

For a True/False about the First Thanksgiving CLICK HERE
Thanksgiving coloring pages to print out CLICK HERE
Teach your kids how to talk like a Pilgrim! CLICK HERE or HERE
Some fun CRAFTS:
Turkey Handprint

Turkey out of fall leaves
Fun treats:
CLICK HERE for Pilgrim Pies recipe

CLICK HERE for Pilgrim Hats recipe


  1. What fun ideas! I especially like the writing on the tablecloth.

  2. Holy cow! who knew there were so many traditions people could have for thanksgiving! I think it can be a little overlooked. Which is sad. I've come to appreciate it more and more each year!

  3. We do also and "Thankful Jar" decorate a jar and 2 weeks before thanksgiving you get it out, put paper and pen or pencil next to it. That way, when you feel grateful about something you can write it down right away and then read it on thanksgiving day! :). Also, setting up the kids side of table with crayons and thanksgiving coloring pages so they don't get bored! and what a coincidence, we also have the same tradition of putting up Christmas decoration the day after! :P Fun ideas that I have to add to our traditions though, Thanks!!!

  4. Oh my! These are awesome ideas! We should incorporate some of them tomorrow!!!! Love ya!