Thanksgiving is a time for the whole family to reflect on their blessings and to give thanks for all the good things in life. Sometimes, the day is stressful and busy with preparing a big meal, traveling and interacting with family, and the time to give thanks can get lost in the shuffle. Here are some tips on how to refocus yourself and your family on giving thanks:
- Start a New Tradition with a Gratitude Tree. The internet has many ideas on how to make a gratitude tree or journal. Make use of one of these ideas and start a new annual tradition. My family gathers a branch from outside and anchor it in a bowl or flower pot with playdough or dirt. The kids cut out leaves from construction paper. Before dinner, everyone uses a marker to write down their blessings on leaves that we tie with yarn to the branches. During dinner we take turns reading out the blessings for all to enjoy.
- Write thank you notes. Sometimes family cannot get together for the holiday, and we miss out on visiting with them. Before the big day, have your kids write thank you notes and mail them. This helps your kids see the importance of family and to think of someone else.
- As a family, take up a collection of money for a charity with meaning for you. Or have everyone bring canned goods to give to the local food pantry or pet food and paper towels for the Humane Society. Have kids deliver the donation the next day so that the idea of giving to others makes an impact.
- Invite someone to share your meal. Every church, neighborhood or school has a family that has to work or has no family to share Thanksgiving. Consider inviting them to join your celebration or make extra food to deliver so that they can partake in Thanksgiving as well.
Happy Thanksgiving. May you and your family have a day filled with blessings and gratitude.