Our “Giving Thanks” Tradition

AbramsPagePost_nov“As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible.” ― Ann Voskamp

Thanksgiving 2017, is on its way and we are preparing to usher in another whirlwind holiday season.  As parents, we have chaotic schedules, hungry kids, extra long grocery lines and sleepless nights. So the times we are able to make cherished memories are often lost in our everyday routine. Being moms, we are usually the gatekeeper of traditions during the holidays whether from our own childhoods or the start of something new. I’d like to share with you a tradition that we have begun in our household which I hope will inspire you amid all the busyness of preparations, to experience the joy of giving thanks with your family.  Oh, and did I mention it’s easy, VERY easy to do. It’s our “Giving Thanks” tablecloth tradition.

Start with buying a white tablecloth that fits the table your family will be seated at for Thanksgiving. Then grab a few Sharpies or markers, nice if they are fall colors but no worries if not, this is to be a STRESS-FREE moment, so don’t get hung up on the details if you don’t have those colors on hand.  Then comes the fun part, as the guest arrive to have the kids direct them to the table and ask them to write on the tablecloth what they are thankful for and sign.  This gives the kiddos something to do if you are hosting the Thanksgiving feast and also allows friends and family to reflect on what was meaningful to them this year AND keeps them out of the kitchen. Brilliant!

For us at every Thanksgiving, this treasured keepsake is part of our day. We reuse our tablecloth, so it’s a good idea to get placemats moving forward for those pesky stains that may not come out.  We’ve had the kids draw around their hands making turkeys. We reminisce about the loved ones who joined us at the table in years past or when my husband was deployed, how we missed him.  It’s fun to watch how the kids handwriting is changing and what they are thankful for as they grow.  And don’t feel like you’re behind the eight ball, it’s never too late to make something this unique and meaningful.

So put out the gluten-free bread for your friend’s husband who has Celiac disease. Drink out of the hidden bottle of wine in the kitchen, after the mother in law comments that your son’s hair needs cut. Tell your nephew’s vegetarian girlfriend there are plenty of sides for her to choose from and above all celebrate the joy of giving thanks with the ones you love.  Happy Thanksgiving!