This Mommy tries to be grateful…Three Thanksgiving traditions to cultivate gratitude in your home

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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.

My daughter’s note from last year

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?

My grandma and her cute friend Phyllis filling out a menu on Thanksgiving
The menu my dad made

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.

Name Cards



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.

What are your Thanksgiving traditions? Let me know in the comments below!

27 thoughts on “This Mommy tries to be grateful…Three Thanksgiving traditions to cultivate gratitude in your home

  1. HI Tiffany!

    This is a great post with three fantastic ideas.

    We go around the table and say what we are thankful for as well, but you’re 100% right when we don’t remember from year to year. A lot of times we just say the same thing over and over again. Now I just have to figure out how to get my family to agree to a tablecloth!

    I also think that the third suggestion could work really well for our family. We have a lot of people so picking a random index card and writing down something nice about that person could really get the laughs flowing and remind everyone why we love each other in the first place 😉 Great post!

  2. This is such a great post. I love the idea of a table cloth to write what you are thankful for. We used a pumpkin last year but it’s so convenient to just have a spot for everyone. I’m going to dive in and read some of your other posts! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. We do not really have a Thanksgiving celebration here in our country, but what is almost similar to that will be our celebrations of Christmas and New Year! 🙂 We still share gifts and presents to one another, and also eat together especially in the Eve of both Christmas and New Year. What makes everything special is the ability to really just have the time with the family. Spending quality time, that is. To socialize and be able to catch up with one another. That is the best thing for our own version of giving thanks. Thank you for the wonderful ways you’ve shared love with your family!

  4. Wow! Just wow! I LOVE this post!! Such wonderful and heart felt ideas which are easy to implement! I can’t wait to try the table cloth idea! And the others too! Very lovely post!!

  5. I love your ideas and especially the game. We’ve been asking each other all week to name one thing a day that we’re thankful for. I’m going to try to incorporate the game into our Thanksgiving activities this year.

  6. These three Thanksgiving traditions are must try for our family this year. We try to make games every year and this name card game I would love to try!

  7. So cute! I love these ideas! Maybe when my kids get a little bit older I will have them serve their grandparents. I might do the placecard thing. I made placecards. That is nicer than just going around the table.

  8. Omg, I love these ideas! My sister showed me a tablecloth embroidered with the ppl who visit signature I thought that was a pretty neat idea.

  9. These are amazing ideas and I think I’m going to use all of them! Lol The tablecloth!!! Such an amazing idea and beautiful keepsake I can’t wait to start one

  10. These are amazing ideas and I think I’m going to use all of them! Lol The tablecloth!!! Such an amazing idea and beautiful keepsake I can’t wait to start one for our table

  11. Love reading this post.. I remember some traditions from india as well. We always used to pray for a few seconds before having the food. Now it’s not so much in habit.. I would try again to be thankful for my meals.

  12. Each night, the kids and i discuss three things that we are grateful for. SOmetimes they are larger things and other times without such a large impact. We are so lucky. Recognising the good in the now is so important for a healthy mindset

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *