With Thanksgiving a seasons of traditions start. When I was a kid it meant we coulf not eat until we all said what we are thankful for. This was great at the time, but since than our traditions have changed. Our new traditions allow us to create memories, and constantly be reminded what our past selves were thankful for. This year we are going to keep some of our old traditions and throw a new one into the mix. Today I will share three traditions. One will allow you to have instant memories every year, one will encourage service with your kids and the last one will have your guest feeling loved and special.
The first tradition started with my parents. My mom is an amazing woman, in her free time she supports and mentors other women. One year my mom had this crazy idea. You see she was tired of saying what we were thankful for before we ate. Don’t get her wrong, she loved to hear the odd things her kids would say. What she didn’t like was, that the next year we wouldn’t remember previous years. Her solution? A table cloth. I know that may sound strange, but you will see how amazing a simple table cloth can be. Every year my mom puts down a tablecloth with fabric markers and every year while we are waiting to eat we write what we are thankful for and the year. My mom than uses the same table cloth every year. Now we get to stroll down memory lane every Thanksgiving. It interesting to see the years where hardships once occur because we still found something we were grateful for. Now with some of our family members not with us, it is a good memory of us with them. Once the table cloth can no longer be written on due to space, it become part of the decorations for the next year. I have come to cherish this tradition, the messages of this table cloth inspire hope for the future and cherished memories of the past.
The next tradition started last year. This tradition encourages kids to serve, which is why I love it. Last year my grandmother started using a walker. This made it harder for her to move around, gather her food, and bring it back to the table. My awesome dad came up with a solution. He made menus for people like my grandmother. They had everything from drinks, sides, the main course and even pie! Than my grandma would check off what she wanted and my daughter would get her food for her. This did a few things, it allowed my daughter to serve someone in our family, it created a constructive opportunity to be praised, (which all kids need) it allowed a positive memory with her great grandma and it left a desire to serve more. Imagine if your kids where given a “buddy” that they had to serve before they could serve themselves. What kind of atmosphere would that set for not just the dinner, but for the future?
The last tradition is one we are starting this year. It’s kinda like a game. You know those table place cards? Your going to need them to play this game. On each place card write the name of a person attending dinner. Than place the place cards into a bowl. As your guest come or it gets closer to dinner, have each person grab a name card out of the bowl. Than hand them a pen and a index card. Have them write something they like or are grateful for about that person. If you are having a party, and the person doesn’t know the name on the card than it is up to them to go have a conversation with that person. When the index card is filled out, than the person places the name card at any seat around the table. When it is about time to eat, everyone reads their card. A fun variation would be: If everyone knows each other don’t have your guest sign their name. Than have the person reading the index card try and guess who said the nice thing. Imagine how everyone would feel eating dinner with the nice thoughts of them from of someone else dancing in their minds? Sometimes it’s the little things we need to get us in the Holiday mood.
To sum it up wither it’s saying what you are grateful for or just enjoying each others company Thanksgiving is time where you can stop and reflect on what is important in your life. These traditions such as writing on a table cloth, serving members of your family or even saying nice things about the people in your lives will cultivate a spirit of giving and will make your home feel incredible.