Thanksgiving Traditions to Start


I don’t know about you, but it seems like the retail world wants us to skip Thanksgiving.

Halloween is done, and then BAM, Christmas comes at us in full force. It’s easy to minimize Thanksgiving to a day just about food and football, but it’s so much more than that. And I want to remind my kids that there is a holiday between Halloween and Christmas, and it deserves to be recognized. I’m thankful to have a day to be thankful!

I love making a big deal out of holidays for my family and making the days special. So here are two traditions to emphasize Thanksgiving a little more:

Turkey Table Runner

We started this tradition when my son was very small, and we still do it every year. I bought a blank burlap table runner from a craft store, and we put handprint turkeys on it for each year. We paint our hands with acrylic paint and stick them on. Then when they dry, I add the feet and face to the turkeys! This past year, we were able to add my daughter’s two month old teeny-tiny hand turkey! Make sure to label them with the year, so you can look back through the years and see how your family has grown, both in number and in size!

Thankful Pumpkin

This is a tradition that is new to my family this year, but one that I think we will continue for years to come. The idea is that you get a pumpkin, either a new one or one leftover from Halloween. Then, you write something you’re thankful for each day of November leading up to Thanksgiving. You can have each family member write on the same pumpkin, or you can have individual pumpkins for everyone! It’s neat to see how your kids think and what they value in their lives. And it’s also a great exercise for yourself and other adults in your family to remember how to be grateful.

You could even take it one step further, if you want/are able—place an action behind each thing you’re thankful for. If your daughter writes that she is thankful for her friend, maybe she could make a bracelet for that friend. If you write that you’re thankful for your home or food, maybe you could volunteer at a homeless shelter, or donate items to a soup kitchen. Or if your son writes that he’s thankful for his grandparents, maybe he could make them a card and mail it.

Think of ways to show your gratitude!

Do You Have Thanksgiving Traditions?

Thanksgiving is easy to get lost in the rush of the holiday season, but I feel that it is an important holiday to stop and savor. Does your family have traditions for Thanksgiving? What could we add to this list?


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