Thursday, November 14, 2013

8 Thanksgiving Traditions {Sister Inspirations}

With the start of the holiday season, we were obviously inspired by Thanksgiving. Instead of writing about the food or holiday decorations, we wanted to focus on the spirit of thankfulness. So here are eight traditions that you can start with your family this year.

Thanksgiving Journal

Every Thanksgiving, have each member in your family write a note about what they are thankful for during that year. Keep the same journal every year, that way you will have a chronological record of everyone's thanksgivings.

8 thanksgiving traditions: thanksgiving journal

Kids' Tablecloth

Lay down butcher paper the length of your kids' table and let them draw things that they are thankful for. This is a great way to entertain the kids, while getting a glimpse of their perspective. 

An added bonus is that you won't have to worry about spill-proofing a nice tablecloth. We always did this at our church Thanksgiving dinners and it was one of my favorite things about those potlucks. Besides the food, of course.  

8 thanksgiving traditions: kids' tablecloth

Five Kernels of Corn

This is one tradition that our family has practiced for many years. At each table setting, place five individual kernels of corn. During dinner, go around one by one, and have each person say a thanksgiving per kernel. My family does it so that each person only shares one thing at a time, so you end up going around the table five times. But you could always have each person say all five when it comes to their turn.

The five kernels represent the meager rations of each pilgrim during their first hard winter in Plymouth. The kernels represent the hardships that the pilgrims suffered, but also a reminder to rejoice in the blessings that they did receive. 

The traditional meaning of the first kernel celebrates the Autumn beauty and the harvest it provides. The second kernel reminds us of our love for each other. The third represents our thankfulness for family. The fourth represents friendship and the fifth kernel expresses gratitude for the freedom that the pilgrims found in America.

8 thanksgiving traditions: corn kernels

Random Acts of Gratitude

This list focuses on blessing those people that constantly serve and enrich our lives. Take a little time to express your appreciation and let them know that you notice how hard they work.

  1. Leave a sweet treat for your mail man. Legally, they cannot accept money, or gift cards more than $20, but little things like candy bars are acceptable.
  2. Shovel a neighbor's driveway
  3. Leave an extra big tip at a regular restaurant or coffee place
  4. Randomly leave a gas card on a coworkers desk
  5. Pay for the car's order behind you in line at the coffee shop's drive thru
  6. Give gift cards to your children's teachers
  7. Deliver a meal to your pastor or another family you want to honor
  8. Send a card with your child to give to their bus driver
  9. Surprise your significant other by doing one of their usual chores
  10. Send you parents a handwritten note expressing your appreciation 
8 thanksgiving traditions: acts of gratitude

The rest of the traditions can be found on Amy's blog. Click here for the rest of the list. 

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