For many American families, Thanksgiving Day is steeped in the kind of traditions that add to the warmth and meaning of the occasion. From things as simple as participating in a road race to watching a full slate of NFL football games – not to mention the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade – Thanksgiving has a unique set of rituals and fun activities. That, in turn, inspired us to do some research on other family Thanksgiving traditions. Who knows, maybe you’d like to introduce one or more of these to your family:

  • Gratitude Rolls – The two key ingredients are unbaked crescent roll dough and parchment paper. As guests arrive, or even if your family is dining alone, have each person write down a special Thanksgiving memory or something they’re thankful for. Roll up the notes with the dough and bake your rolls. Later, have each person read the note inside their roll…out loud, of course.
  • Thankful Tree – A Thankful Tree can be drawn on paper or crafted into a 3D centerpiece. Either way, the leaves are cut from paper, each one containing a message of thanks. Make a new leaf each year to continue to grow the tradition.
  • Help out at a Local Food Kitchen – There’s no better way to appreciate the bounty of a Thanksgiving dinner than to see the faces of those not as fortunate. So, whether it’s helping to serve Thanksgiving meals at a local homeless shelter or taking up a collection of food at work or school, share the bounty with others.
  • Thanksgiving Family Journal – If the scraps of paper that accompany Gratitude Rolls or a Thankful Tree aren’t big enough to capture everything you’d like to say, why not start a family Thanksgiving Journal? Pass it around throughout the day and have each person write about what’s most important to them. Stay consistent and you’ll have a lifetime treasure trove of shared memories.

Have a favorite Thanksgiving memory or tradition? We’d like to hear from you so we can post at least a few of your comments on our Facebook page.

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