A friend shared with me an idea to write down what our family is thankful for on a pumpkin. Focusing on gratitude every day has been a shining light for me, especially this year. When I received this idea I knew it would be a great family activity and tradition for my toddler, husband, and me to do. Gratitude can range from the big things we are thankful for in our lives like our health and our second child due next month to small everyday things like hanging a fruit basket that I’ve been searching for since we bought our house back in June. This theme of gratitude is emerging in many more ways during 2020, acting as a counterbalance to all the negative things we have experienced.
This is our first year hosting Thanksgiving and although it may look slightly different, we are focusing on the people we can spend time with and the food we’ll share together. Last year, as our family sat around my in-laws’ beautifully set table, we each went around and said three things we were thankful for about the person sitting to our left. It may not have been an earth-shattering idea, but it was something more meaningful than just three things we were thankful for. I know it may be uncomfortable to some, but oftentimes we forget to express our genuine gratitude for those closest to us. Maybe adapting that idea for your family’s Thanksgiving celebration may be helpful to focus on the joys of this year instead of the pain it may have brought.
Ideas to Help Children Grasp the Concept of Thanks
- Materials: 13 x 9 paper, or cut your own from a roll of plain paper, clear contact paper, markers, and scissors
- Each person can use words or drawings to show what he/she are thankful for this year
- This can easily be completed by the whole family and would be a fun activity as you wait for the turkey to cook.
Gratitude Scavenger Hunt
- Materials: a premade list of items to find, camera or paper for kids to write/draw what they find
- Send the kids on a scavenger hunt to look for objects around the house or yard that represent things they are grateful for
- Examples: Find something that makes you laugh. Find your favorite place in the house. Find someone who gives the best hugs.
Note of Thanks
- Materials: paper, envelope, pencils, and stamps
- Maybe you cannot physically see family members this Thanksgiving, but you can still thank them for the role they have in your lives. If this pandemic has taught me anything, it is that time together is so special and should not be taken for granted.
- Dedicating one afternoon the week before the holiday to sit down and write letters to significant people in your lives can be so impactful for both the writer and receiver of this special gift.
Regardless of your plans for Thanksgiving, I challenge you to focus on the positives and the blessings you have received. Please feel free to comment below and share ideas for how your family plans to give thanks this year.