Family traditions are so very important. They are what tie us all together in our memories forever, and holiday traditions, to me, are especially valuable.
We started the tradition of the Thankful tablecloth on our first Thanksgiving here in Florida, 2005. I simply threw a white twin-sized sheet on the table and supplied the children with pens and markers, telling them to write what they were thankful for. Since Rey was just a tiny baby at the time, and Curly-Top just a toddler, I traced their little handprints. The other children followed; adding their own handprints and drawings, in addition to their thankful messages.
Every year since then, we have pulled out the same sheet, and the children have added their new touches. They enjoy comparing the size changes in the handprints from year to year, and being reminded of what they were thankful for on the previous years. I am told that this is their favorite tradition, and they look forward to it with much delight!
Gator has gotten a bit more detailed with his handprints over the years.
I’m not quite sure when we began making a “Thankful Tree” – we’ve been doing it for ages, but I believe the inspiration originally came from Family Fun magazine.
Every year, we simply fill an empty vase or flowerpot with stones or other weighted material, and place a bare branch in the center of it. Using different colors of craft foam, we cut out leaf shapes, which we then set out beside the plates at the Thanksgiving table.
At some point, either during the meal or after, the children take turns using the provided markers to write what they are thankful for on their individual leaves. Then they hang their leaves on the “tree”.
What are some of YOUR family’s favorite Thanksgiving traditions?