Though things are changing in my life now being a part of multiple families, there is still one tradition I hope to hold on to even if it looks a little different. It is our Thanksgiving tradition. Every year before we sit down for our glorious Thanksgiving meal, we all have a little booklet where we write what we are thankful for. Then after we are stuffed to the max, we read them to the rest of the family so we can celebrate together.
We’ve had some silly things shared, like my sister and I being thankful for a working toilet again. I know one year I took a joke I heard in class and wrote that down: “I’m thankful I didn’t get caught.”
I love hearing what the little ones around the table have to say. Their lists are usually pretty long and have a lot of variety: Mom, Dad, Jesus, my new Xbox game, etc. It is great to be able to encourage them to think about what they have to be thankful for.
My family also regularly has some additions that vary from year to year. Family friends who couldn’t travel to be with their family for whatever reason, a single man who doesn’t really have a place to celebrate, or just some college friends who opted to join our festivities. These guests bring a unique aspect to our tradition, as they also get to share. It is wonderful to hear about life from a different perspective.
Along with the lightheartedness and joking, there some very moving things shared. I vividly remember the year that I told my family that I was thankful for grace. It was one thing to write it down, but sharing that with my family brought me to tears.
There have been other hard things shared over the years. Years that there were family members lost surface most quickly. The beautiful thing is that even though we face some hard things, there is always something to be thankful for. Always.
One of the best parts about this tradition is that you get to look back on years past and see all the awesome things God has done in your lives. Its great reading through my book with my sisters and reliving some our best moments.
This Thanksgiving it might be time to start this family tradition in your own home. Encourage your children to find things to truly be thankful for. Lead by example and share something that causes your heart to overflow with gratitude. They will surely see your genuine heart and be more inclined to stop and appreciate the moment.
You can learn how to make your own booklets or you can just use these!
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