Creating a Thanksgiving to remember doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to be expensive, either. However, it can be something that your family will always remember.
Thanksgiving just may be my favorite holiday since the focus really is on sharing faith, family, and good good all combined into one activity. The things we do are generally low key, and some of them start in the week or two leading up to Thanksgiving itself.
Here are our favorites
- In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, which is actually what we are starting today, we read this book together.
It is an amazing accounting of the Thanksgiving story from a Christian persepctive. It is written by Barbara Rainey, wife of Dennis Rainey who is the founder of Family Life. Yes, I really do love Family Life! This book has amazing pictures and comes along with a CD of beautiful Thanksgiving music. The book is a bit pricey, but it is so worth it, especially if you read it year after year. There is also an audio CD of the book. We have this also, and it is really well done – much less expensive, too!
- We read a few other Thanksgiving books, too, and these are some of our favorites.
We have a collection of books that are appropriate for various ages. The younger kids are present when we read them all, but they really love when we read ones that are geared toward younger kids.
- Thanksgiving morning always starts with our traditional french toast casserole. You can find the recipe for Thanksgiving French Toast by clicking on this link.
- Sometimes we spend Thanksgiving with extended family, but we are more often found at home with just our family since it is our holiday just to be sick. When it is just us, we love doing everything we can to make it a memorable time despite the fact that everyone might not be there since some may be quarantined.
- My older daughters love creating a beautiful table including homemade place cards, cloth napkins, and fancy dishes.
- Some years, we have cut out leaves with construction paper and all written things we are thankful for on the leaves. We then read these during dinner. Then we decorate the walls with them somewhere in the house.
- Other times, we have had our kids write or dictate a list of 10 things that they are thankful for each Thanksgiving. These are so precious to go back and read.
- A fun spin on this is to assign each family member a different family member and then write or dictate a list of 10 things they are thankful for about that person.
- At times we have started our meal by placing five kernels of corn on each person’s plate to symbolize the extreme hardship the Pilgrims faced when first coming to the New World.
- There is always plenty of help in the kitchen preparing the Thanksgiving meal, and often it is my oldest son who sticks with me the longest. He is such a sweet boy. He likes to give me a run for my money, but he is also such a good kid.
- In the time between dinner and dessert, we are usually playing games. These are some of our favorites.
I think the key to having a successful Thanksgiving, is keeping the focus on being thankful, the love shared between the people you’re with, and reflecting on the life you live not only on Thanksgiving, but every day of the year.
Thanksgiving truly is a time to establish some wonderful traditions that your kids will treasure for a lifetime!
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