Traditions to Articulate Gratefulness

by - Saturday, November 17, 2012

This year, I am trying to figure out how to start some family traditions that we can keep through the years and that aren't about buying or having stuff (even though obviously I am working on that too). At my family's on Thanksgiving we all write down what we are thankful for, then someone reads them out loud and everyone guesses who wrote them. It is really fun, and it's neat because my Nana keeps track of them all. 

The picture is of the board we made last year with everyone's thankfuls on them. I have been trying to think of how to incorporate this tradition into our own little house 

My Aunt Joanna has a tradition in her family where they make a paper chain, and every year each person adds a few rings to the chain. This, right now, is my favorite idea, because I like that it marks the accumulation of things worth being grateful for every year. This may be our winner, but there is a challenge in how do you store it? And what do you do with it the first few years when there aren't that many links on it? Still, this offers a nice moment where everyone sits around a table and makes their links, then you solidify the connections.

I have also seen ones where you can make a big family display, like we do at Nana's. The trees are cute, but the turkeys are even cuter. I especially love the one where the feathers are so decorated. My question is, what do you do with them once the holiday is over?

Of course, maybe it is alright to not have a record of what everyone was thankful for everyyear? Or taking a picture is enough of a record, and then you need to let it go. But it feels to me like if there is anything you should keep a memory of, it is the things you are thankful for, because it can be really easy to forget.

I have also seen these, which look a bit like Advent calenders, where you take the event and extend it over the whole month of November. Maybe you could make a paper ring every day and then put them all together on Thanksgiving? Something like that. Clearly, we won't be doing that this year, but if we are doing a paper chain, I want to start it now, so we can see it grow every year of our family. I'm pumped about doing something, now I just need to pick and get us going!

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