Over the past few days, I've been having a discussion with some friends over email about Thanksgiving traditions. The families are changing, some of the siblings or children are visiting in-laws, grandparents have passed away, and the holiday just doesn't feel like the holiday anymore. So, I started thinking of some ways that a family could institute some new (or revive some old) traditions to help Thanksgiving feel more like Thanksgiving year after year.
1) At the mealtime, move around the table and ask everyone to list a few things for which we are most thankful. This would lead to some good discussions....a great time of worshipping our Lord together.
2) Each year, a new person could be assigned to write down a few "thankful" verses and hand them out to different individuals to read aloud. A family could do all sorts of different things with them: see if the familiy members know where they are found in the Bible, try to remember the context of the verses around them, and try to help each other memorize those particular verses throughout the weekend, reciting them together several times a day.
3) After dinner, you could read a short story about the first settlers of our nation or discuss historical facts about their trip to the new world.
4) A different person is assigned each year to think of a craft project for the entire group to create after the Thanksgiving noon meal throughout the evening. This could be clay ornaments to paint, fleece blankets to tie, potholders on looms, shrinky dinks, papercrafts, decorating wreaths, snowmen out of clay pots, etc. Then, these can be kept or taken to a nearby elderly care facility.
5) We play some of the same games each year. And, a family could build this into something known as the "Thanksgiving Tournament." The same game could be played year after year...or a new challenge (cards or a board game) could be introduced each year to highlight everyone's strengths. You could have "friendly competition", but it would be fun to see who wins every year and possibly pass a traveling trophy.
6) We have some friends who always watch the same movie on Thanksgiving night - an epic that everyone loves. We don't watch the SAME movie...but we usually watch a movie. It would be fun for some to spend the afternoon making special snacks for the movie night. You could create some red and white popcorn boxes....along with raisins and peanuts dipped in chocolate. You could even open up the kitchen to see who could make the most creative and tasty snack.
Are there any traditions that your family has for this time of year?