Monday, November 23, 2009

Kay - Living My Five

Happy Monday!

With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, I've been giving a lot of thought to gratitude lately. This year, I want to create a family tradition for Thanksgiving that makes sharing our gratitude fun and really helps us focus on what we are thankful for.

I have a wonderful book called The Book of New Family Traditions: How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Everydays by Meg Cox. She gives so many great ideas for creating special family traditions that it's a wonderful thing just to browse through when you want a neat new way for your family to refocus and reconnect.

Here are a few of the ideas I'm considering:

1) The Gratitude Tree - You create a large tree on a sheet of paper and put it up on the wall. Each person gets a bunch of construction paper leaves and writes down things that they are thankful for. Then, taking turns, each person gets to share their leaves and explain why they are thankful for that thing before attaching it to the tree. I love how this focuses everyone on a single activity so our gratitude sharing isn't overwhelmed by food (or football). :-)

2) The Thankful Box - This one takes place during the meal, but it sounds like such fun! Each person writes the things they're thankful for on a sheet of paper and puts them into a shoebox. During the meal, the papers are read aloud and everyone tries to guess who wrote what.

These are just two possible ideas, so I would love to hear about other Thanksgiving traditions! How do you show gratitude on Thanksgiving in your family? And for those of you abroad who don't celebrate the US Thanksgiving holiday, what traditions do you have for showing gratitude in your family?


16 comments:

  1. You know, I am going to write about the same thing on my blog today (Okay--after I leave this comment I am going to do my blog post, really! :) I was thinking about this subject and how to get kids to show more graditude for things in their lives. I was thinking that THANK YOU notes are a big deal--they were in my family and I want to pass that on to my stepson. If you teach children to write thank you notes for gifts and nice things people do AND you do it yourself too, then you can be thankful all year round and not just during the holidays. And I am talking actual notes--not e-mails--so that should help the post office, too. :)

    Great topic!
    Margo Dill
    Read These Books and Use Them
    http://margodill.com/blog/

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  2. Those sound like great new traditions, Kay. Our Thanksgiving tradition is to make tons and tons of stuffing! Just kidding (sorta). Really, we just focus on spending the day together and relaxing, being thankful for a day off from the rat race. That's enough for us.

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  3. These are awesome ideas Kay, and I love that it gets kids (and adults!) really thinking about all the things that they're grateful for! I know I could easily fill up a tree this year!

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  4. Margo - Cheers to you for encouraging the classy, handwritten note! My husband and I both grew up writing them and, although I often send email thank yous these days too, nothing says thank you like a personal note the old-fashioned way. :-) Off to check out your blog post!

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  5. Tera - Mmm... stuffing... :-) I still make my late grandfather's stuffing. It's one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving. I love the idea of just chilling out and *being*. That's a great way to be thankful!

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  6. Alyson - Isn't that a neat one? I have a feeling that's what we'll end up making our tradition. :-) And absolutely on filling up the tree - so many wonderful things to be thankful for!

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  7. They're both very cool ideas, and the Thankful Box sounds like an idea I might suggest at my own house. Every year my family goes around the table and says that they're thankful for, but the box idea sounds like it adds a bit of fun. It sounds like a great way to share all the things I'm thankful for (which is quite a lot).

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  8. Hey, nice post! It's me, Meg Cox, author of The Book of New Family Traditions. Contact me at my website, www.megcox.com if you want some fun ideas for the December holidays too. Would you like a free copy of my book to do a giveaway for the holidays on your blog?

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  9. Those are fun ideas. The Gratitude Tree could double up as a nice artsy family project :)

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  10. Lizzy - That's what we usually do too, go around the table and share what we're thankful for. It's always been lovely, but I agree that the box idea sounds really fun too. :-) I love family traditions!

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  11. Meg - So good to see you here! Thanks for the sweet giveaway offer - how thoughtful of you! I'll touch base with you via email soon. :-) And thanks for writing such a terrific book!

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  12. Bunny - Ooo... good idea! In fact (thinking, thinking), if we made the tree in the shape of a Christmas tree, we could even keep it up as a Christmas decoration too! So many fun ways to spin it. :-)

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