Thanksgiving is a holiday that has always been about starting new family traditions. Turkey dinners, football, and parades are now the standard national customs, but none of these things were present at Plymouth Plantation in 1621. Continue the holiday custom of adding new Thanksgiving traditions to your celebration.
Everyone has heard the story of the first thanksgiving. It was originally a small local custom celebrated by a religious group until it George Washington gave thanks nationally in 1789. Even then it didn’t become a Federal holiday until President Lincoln made it official in 1863. There is a reason why we give thanks. Look back on the nation’s history, and remember its rocky start. Take time to appreciate extraordinary standard of living now enjoyed in America.
Giving To the Less Fortunate
There are still many who go without every year. Thanksgiving is a time of remembering the blessings you have received in your life, but it is also a time of sharing. Make a plan to give as well. Invite friends who may be spending the holiday alone to your family’s celebration, or donate generously to charity.
Update the Annual Thanksgiving Journal
Just about everyone has sat around the holiday table and declared what they are the most thankful for. It’s a common ritual, but have you ever thought about the same thing from year to year? Keep a log book of your family’s thanksgivings. Remind yourself of the things you have all been grateful for through the years.
Try New Things at Dinner
Turkey and stuffing are the staples of every holiday meal, but try adding something you’ve never tried before. Perhaps your family would enjoy a sushi roll or some French duck. Of course everyone looks forward to their favorite dish, but you don’t need to be limited by routine. Thanksgiving is a feast of plenty. Make things exciting by adding something exotic.
Combine Your Gratitude Tree with a Family Tree
If there is anything to be thankful for it should be your loved ones. While it has become popular to construct gratitude trees, take it a step further, and make the exercise about your own personal family history. Bring your loved ones together by giving thanks for each other as you construct your tree with photos. Remind yourselves about the importance of your family’s own unique past.