November 19, 2012

10 Memorable Thanksgiving Traditions To Start Now

Whether your Thanksgivings are small, intimate affairs or your house is designated Party Central for the entire neighborhood, it's surprisingly easy to let the impending food binge take over the stage. Whether we intend it to or not, the day often becomes more about how many different turkeys we can make (roast! deep fry! bbq! turducken!) and who can best who in the kitchen (it's a mother-in-law vs. daughter-in-law throwdown, folks) than about creating memories beyond our tastebuds.

It is my experience that most of us are grasping for something more substantial in our holiday fĂȘte than a pretty Sandra Lee tablescape overrun with a dozen different desserts. I believe we are looking for something that will ring happily in our memories and our children's memories decades from now. Something that speaks to family. To true charity for neighbor. To gratitude to God.

Without further adieu, here are 10 ideas for making the holiday more than just an opportunity to indulge our appetites. Which one will you choose this year?

1. Begin a Thanksgiving tablecloth

2. Make a Thanksgiving Journal

3. Go to Mass/a Thanksgiving prayer service

4. Run (or walk) for a good cause

5. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, food bank, or nursing home as a family

6. Have an appreciation gift delivered to a heroic person or community group you and/or your family is especially thankful for this year (ie: firefighters, police officers, pastors, nurses, etc)

7. Bake up some gratitude rolls

8. Create some "Blessing Bags" as part of your Thanksgiving Day festivities

9. Craft a "surprise" Turkey centerpiece for the kids (or the kid in all of us)

10. Invite someone new to join you at your Thanksgiving table (the old widow across the street, the college kid at church, your coworker, the parish priest, etc.)

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
John F. Kennedy

Linking up to Top Ten Tuesday


  1. I LOVE the Thanksgiving tablecloth idea! I might just have to run out and buy one before Thursday. Thanks for sharing those fun ideas:)

  2. Oh I am a blubbering emo girl after reading about that tablecloth! What is wrong with me?? Reading about the baby hands made me so emotional - I am going to have to learn to embroider so we can do this too! Thanks for sharing these.