Traditions enrich our lives bestowing upon us a sense of belonging and being connected.  They help us preserve family values to pass along to future generations.  In celebrating Thanksgiving, traditions are an important part.

Whether reinventing old or establishing new ones, it is interesting to share ideas.  The following are some family traditions that you might want to adapt for your own Thanksgiving celebration.

Buy a scrapbook for each dinner guest to sign and inscribe with their gratitudes.  Add a picture of the group.  Then, repeat each year.  It will be fun to look back through the years. 

Record gratitudes on slips of paper and bake them into the homemade dinner rolls.

Buy a simple flat, king size sheet.  With fabric makers, have each person sign and add their gratitude for the year.  It can be used as a cloth on the buffet or children’s table.  As the years pass, it will be interesting to have this record.

Purchase special Thanksgiving dinnerware to enjoy only at this time of the year.  The family will look forward to using it. 

As a family, donate food or time to a homeless shelter.  Through this, the list of gratitudes will lengthen.

Let the family work together to make a Thankful Tree Centerpiece.  Gather several like sized tree branches.  Tie them together with ribbon toward the base of the branches.  Place in a vase or other container.  Cut leaf shapes or circles from fall colored paper.  Have everyone write their gratitudes on the paper cut-outs, then hang them on the tree.

Turkey Day Awards to celebrate this year’s achievements are given to everyone in attendance at dinner.  These awards are tailored to a person’s life – Aunt Grace might get the award for “Making the best Lemon Pie of the Year” or Uncle Eddie who gets the award for “Purchasing the Wiggliest Dog in History”.

With a little advance notice, the Thanksgiving Dinner could be a costume party as Pilgrims and Indians will attend.  What a great photo opportunity to enjoy for years to come!

When blending several families, the hostess could request each guest to bring a dish.  It would be made from a recipe they remember from when they were growing up.  There might be several Sweet Potato Casseroles but that would be the fun of it.

A rousing game of family touch football could ready everyone for the upcoming dinner.

Ideas for customary traditions as well as ideas for creating your own traditions are bountiful.  This Thanksgiving let gratitude be your focus.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted on 2014-11-01 by Sue Ann Truitt