I started this meaningful, yet easy Thanksgiving Day idea with my family about 8 years ago and I am so happy I did. I call it our Thanksgiving Box and each year before we sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, each family member fills out a card, writing down what they are thankful for that year.
In the early days, my two youngest needed their cards written for them. Fast forward a few years and we have the few precious years of hilarious spelling mistakes and misused words. In recent years, a moody teen hurriedly scribbled “everything” on his card. Not exactly what I was hoping for- but a memory nonetheless.
Each year before reading the new cards, we go back and revisit the years past, which makes for lively conversation and memories. We have guests participate as well.
As our children make their way to adulthood, concepts of what they are thankful for start to replace things. Pumpkin pie and pizza become good food to eat, which becomes health. My skateboard, becomes having things and privileges, which hopefully will become the ability to give to others.
For the adults, I have found some of our past thankful lists were a little stale, (that will be another blog post!), but for the kids, it tells their stories of growth and development and reminds us what was going on it their lives at the time.
We keep our thanks in a simple wooden craft store box, I doctored up a bit. If you are more creative or want something that would be a conversation piece, a centerpiece that holds cards would also be a great idea. Perhaps a cornucopia or a tree would be a great Thanksgiving table or buffet centerpiece. Anything the kids make adds a personal touch to the meal and could also be used. We are not famcy with the cards, but on some years, the kids did decide to draw pictures.
For me, no holiday says family more than Thanksgiving and I can’t get enough of the little hands made into turkeys, so that became the art for my box. These little hands are gone now, replaced with bigger hands and feet than mine.
This year I will be adding the memories in my Thanksgiving box to my list of what I am thankful for!
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