Fun, Family Thanksgiving Traditions

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You might already have some Thanksgiving traditions, but why not start some new ones with your family and friends this year!

Do a Service Project: While you’re waiting for the food to cook, or after dinner, take time to complete a service project. It’s the perfect way to show gratitude for all we’ve been blessed with. Some ideas could be: go on a family walk and pick up garbage along the road, tie blankets and donate them to a nursing home, make cards for soldiers serving overseas, rake leaves/shovel snow at a neighbor’s house…the project doesn’t have to take a lot of time or cost a lot of money. Brainstorm with your family this week to complete a project Thanksgiving day.

Gratitude Tablecloth: this is an tradition that keeps on getting better! Set the table with a plain cloth tablecloth and put a fabric marker by each plate. Have your guests write what they are grateful for this year (don’t forget to put your name and date by it!). Next year, get the tablecloth out again and keep adding to it. It will be so fun to look back to see what was written in year’s past.

Play Games Together: While you’re waiting for dinner to cook (or after) play games like Thanksgiving Bingo, charades, sing karaoke, and other board/card games. Go on a fall scavenger hunt.

Watch Family Movies: Nothing will get you feeling grateful for your friends and family more than watching old family videos! It’s a great time to reminisce with everyone together!

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? Are any of you starting new ones this year?

Becoming More Thankful

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With the holidays fast approaching, it’s a time of year when many of us strive to be more aware of our blessings and to strive to be more thankful. Some days that’s hard to do! We live in a world filled with negative things happening daily and social media can be full of negative posts that bring our own attitudes down. To help with this, here are a few tips to help us remain positive and more thankful this holiday (and throughout the whole year too)

  1. Keep a Gratitude Journal: Whether you do this just during this time of year, or throughout the whole year, you’ll be surprised what things you’ll jot down. At the end of the day, pick 1-3 things to be thankful for. This could even be a fun conversation starter around the dinner table!

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2. When things don’t go as planned, choose to be positive and tell yourself “at least…” For example, you plan a fun family outing but nothing goes as planned. You leave late, the kids are fighting in the car, and you forgot you wallet and had to turn around to get it. It’d be easy to get upset and say that the day was a total failure. Instead, take a deep breath and focus on something to be grateful for “At least we’re all together. At least the weather is nice. etc..”

3. If you can, give back. The best way to show that we’re truly thankful for something is serve. I love the saying “Because I have Been Given Much, I Too Must Give” The holidays are a great time to serve others: donate to toy drives, coat drives,  the food pantry, and do random acts of kindess for family, friends, and even strangers. Teach your family about finding joy in service.

4. Banish negativity. It’s hard to be thankful if we’re constantly negative. For help with this, see my article on rewiring your brain for positivity HERE