Though the Pilgrims could never have envisioned it as such, Thanksgiving is the calm before the storm. A day set aside to reflect on our blessings and bounties before the craziness of the Christmas holidays hit.
I’m fortunate to have all our daughters living here in our city, and we get together every Sunday for a big family dinner, without fail, which my husband and I absolutely treasure. But as my family grows with grandbabies and sons-in-law, I’m feeling the need to establish some traditions apart from those we had with my own parents. A special day and meal to stand out from the 52 Sunday meals we already share.
Thanksgiving tradition comes in many varieties for many families, but it’s perhaps most meaningful of all to the children.
Here’s a few tradition ideas that I’ve found delightful:
**The week before, make a Thanksgiving Tree. Draw a large tree trunk and branches on poster board. You could even use a small *real* tree branch. Attach to a door or wall. Make construction paper leaves out of fall colors. On the days before Thanksgiving, have everyone in the family write something they’re thankful for. Attach to the tree each day. What a great display of all our blessings!
**If you’re like me, Thanksgiving is the day to lay out a beautiful table with china, tablecloth and lit candles. However, children can lend their touch with ‘Sugar Cone Cornucopias’ which will keep little hands busy while waiting for guests to arrive. These could even be used as name cards if you wish. Simply take sugar cones and decorate with fruit candies. Tie a ribbon around the opening of the cone and write guest names on using store-bought decorator icing. Place paper doilies over saucers, set the cone on top, and fill with candies such as candy corn, citrus slices or raspbelly jellies.
**Designate a special tablecloth to use during each Thanksgiving dinner. Provide fabric markers and have each guest write a message or something they’re thankful for. Be sure to date each message!
**This one is an absolute must at our house. Talk about what you’re thankful for! Everyone gets a turn to say something, and when my daughters were younger, they’d groan about it, but invariably, by the time we’ve gone around the table, there’s nary a dry eye left.
**Instead of joining a gazillion shoppers the day after, have Family Friday. Stay home, play games, watch a movie together. Enjoy those you love most without the distractions of the outside world. Make Mexican or bring in pizza. Something different than turkey. Those leftovers will keep!
These are just a few tradition ideas that will help make Thanksgiving even more special.
Have a wonderful, blessed holiday tomorrow!