Thanksgiving can be so much more than turkey, football, and the Macy’s Day Parade! It can be a time of memorable Thanksgiving traditions you and your family will always treasure!
It’s so easy to simply focus on who you will be spending Thanksgiving with this year and what you will eat-especially as a wife and mom. But incorporating some special and fun traditions in addition to the wonderful meal can make it a time the whole family truly looks forward to!
Adding one or all of these memorable Thanksgiving traditions for families is a great choice!!
#1- Give kids a special Thanksgiving job!
If your kids are old enough to talk, they can be given a special job! The way this works is thinking through some jobs that your kids can do based on their age and expertise. Stir some excitement by assigning them their task beforehand!
Some ideas of jobs that a kid can do:
- Helping you set the table,
- letting your CHILD choose a side to have and then helping you prepare it,
- planning a game for the kids to play, etc.
Definitely sing their praises for a great contribution in front of the rest of the guests once you all sit down to eat the meal! This will engage and excite kids of all ages!
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#2- Thanksgiving Journal!
One year my husband had this very sweet idea! Make a “Thanksgiving journal”!
Simply designate a journal to be the “Thanksgiving Journal” like this lovely leather one. Start it off by writing some things you are thankful for this year and make sure to put the date.
It doesn’t have to be a long entry, but it is a great exercise to take some time to FOCUS on things you are grateful for.
Once you’ve written in the “Thanksgiving journal,” just PASS IT AROUND from person to person to add their thoughts.
If a child can’t write well enough yet, still let them participate! You can write down what they say this year.
The really fun part is next year and the years after when your family reads the previous year’s entries! They will often bring laughter and joy for all!
#3- A family game time!
A family game time at some point in the day is always a memory maker! Games help loosen everybody up and certainly serve to get kids (and adults) expending some energy!
I find that people are often reluctant to play a game when it is suggested, BUT everyone has a great time once they play!!
So think of a game that would work for your family based on age and stage! Soccer, football, relay games, family “olympics”, board games, card games, all add up to tons of fun!
Take a minute and think what game could work for your family and definitely try one this year if you haven’t in the past!
#4- A “Thankful” Jar!
This one is really special!
You get a glass jar big enough to hold lots of folded pieces of paper 🙂 Place a small pad of paper beside the jar.
The way it works is-everyone in the family writes down at least one thing they are thankful for on a piece of paper. (Little ones who can’t write yet dictate to older siblings or parents)
The goal is for everyone to write atleast one thankful thing once a week! Sundays work well for us to do this.
And then at Thanksgiving time each year—the tradition culminates as you open the jar together and read every paper! It will fill up each soul with gratefulness to God to remember all the good things He’s done!
#5- Listen to a Thanksgiving Story!
Many families travel to visit loved ones on or near Thanksgiving, so listening to something like this on the drive is perfect! It doesn’t matter how young or old, kids usually get into any well done audio-drama!
Focus on the Family has a radio theater production called “The Legend of Squanto”. It is a wonderful telling of a compelling story in American History. It dramatizes the first Thanksgiving and in so doing, teaches honor, integrity, and gratefulness to God. I highly recommend it!
Also, Focus on the Family has their fabulous Adventures in Odyssey shows. They have many thanksgiving editions and can be streamed as well!
Even if your family is not driving anywhere this Thanksgiving, gathering everyone to sit together in the den for a short time and listen can be a super special family tradition!
These Thanksgiving tradition ideas have been a huge blessing to us, and I hope that some of these can help make your Thanksgiving a memorable treasure each year!