There is so much to be thankful for. My husband and I have created several thankful traditions that remind our family of the spirit of the holiday (especially leading into the greediness that often rears its ugly head during the Christmas season). Your family could easily do these on Thanksgiving day or the week before or after.
1. Read about the first Thanksgiving
It wasn’t like you learned in elementary school. The pilgrims didn’t invite the Native Americans to join in a big feast to celebrate their hard work. Well, they sort of did, but there’s a lot more to the story. Check out Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving for the whole story. Long before the first Thanksgiving, God was at work orchestrating a miracle. This book tells an amazing story about our BIG God. Don’t miss it.
2. Make a thankful poster
Take a piece of poster board or foam core, write THANKFUL or GRATEFUL in the middle in your fanciest handwriting, and hang a marker on it in a prominent space in your home. Encourage your family and your guests to get involved by writing what they’re thankful for and even by drawing little pictures or pasting pictures from magazines. When you’re finished, take a photo of the poster to keep for posterity, and compare the posters over the years to see what changes and what stays the same.
3. Make a thankful tree
Along the same lines as the above, get some pre-cut paper or felt leaves, write what you’re thankful for on them, and tape them to a paper or felt tree on a door, wall, or window.
4. Say 3 things you’re thankful for at dinner
It doesn’t have to be a Thanksgiving dinner (although you can do it then, too), but share your blessings with your family on a regular basis.
5. Give back
Make a point of sharing your blessings in November, whether you’re donating food to a food bank or giving your time to an elderly neighbor. Help your children to see that being blessed means sharing what you have!