Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Traditions Tuesday - The November Edition

For the introduction to this new Tuesday feature click here.

I'm so excited that November is the month to debut this new feature.  When I think of the month of November I feel warm all over and can almost drink the memories of love from family and friends...not to mention all of the wonderful tastes and smells.

I hope you will enjoy these ideas and feel free to share some of your favorites!

Letters of Gratitude:
Start a family Gratitude Journal to be kept up throughout the year.  Each night, a family member can share something that they are grateful for.  Share the highlights of this family tradition at the dinner table next Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving Tablecloth:
Designate a particular tablecloth for your family Thanksgiving celebrations.  Provide fabric markers where guests can record their “gratitudes” or special prayers for the year ahead.  Ask your guests to sign and date each message.  Use the same tablecloth year after year and add another one as your family grows.

Tree of Thanks:
Collect colorful leaves from your yard or local park. To preserve them, seal them in clear Con-Tact paper.  Every year, each family member can pick two or three of the pressed leaves and write one thing they are grateful for on the front of each with permanent markers, then put the date on the back. Tape a trunk made out of construction paper to the wall and add the leaves, new and old. Your family will get a big kick out of looking back to see what they were grateful for in the past. (Note: you can also use leaves made from paper or synthetic leaves from your local craft store.)

Time of Thanks Devotional:
Sometime before or after Thanksgiving or even that evening, hold a “Time of Thanks Devotional”.  This is a time to share poems, songs, and stories about thanksgiving and gratitude.  At the end of the devotional supply each family member with a pencil and paper/envelope so that they can choose someone in their lives to write a letter of gratitude to.  The younger family members can dictate their letters while the adults and older children serve as scribes.  

Pilgrims’ Kernels:
Just before you enjoy your feast, have on each of your plates 5 kernels of corn — a reminder of the Pilgrims' daily ration during one of their first difficult winters.  Pass a basket around the table.  Each person places one kernel of corn at a time into the basket and tells of one thing he or she is thankful for. The basket goes around the table 5 times.  As each person tells what they are thankful for, record this in a special notebook that is only used for this occasion.  Leave the notebook out for family members to review at their leisure throughout the day.

What Traditions Do You Have?  We'd Love to Know!