Beyond the traditional feast, Thanksgiving is a holiday that is steeped in tradition. From watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, rooting for your favorite football team, or breaking the turkey wishbone for good luck, traditions are oftentimes passed down from generation to generation—something that becomes increasingly important as we age. Traditions create warm memories, a sense of comfort and belonging, and can strengthen a family bond. This Thanksgiving, introduce new traditions that will involve family members of all ages, and will surely stand the test of time.
The Thankful Pumpkin is an easy and meaningful way to celebrate gratitude during the entire month of November. All you need is a pumpkin (maybe even one leftover from Halloween) and a permanent marker. Each day, leading up to Thanksgiving, take a moment to write one thing you’re thankful for on the pumpkin, starting at the stem. Invite your family and friends who visit to add their message of gratitude to the pumpkin. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, you’ll have a pumpkin that’s full of meaningful messages from those closest to you. The pumpkin also makes a great centerpiece and can be a fun conversation starter at dinner.
Gratitude Guessing Game
To kick off the Gratitude Guessing Game, invite family and friends (and those at the kids’ table) to write down one thing they are thankful for and put their message in a basket. During dinner, pass the basket around the table, inviting everyone to read one message of gratitude aloud and guess who wrote it. You’ll be surprised at the number of laughs (and maybe happy tears) this game will offer.
Share Family Stories
Family stories are powerful and can provide a sense of identity for younger generations. Take advantage of the time you get to spend with those closest to you this Thanksgiving and help preserve your family history by swapping stories from the past—even if it’s one you’ve told a hundred times before. Who knows? Maybe that story will be told over turkey and mashed potatoes 50 years from now.