Give Thanks, Be Mindful…Oh, and Eat Up!
While Thanksgiving quickly brings to mind thoughts of savory turkeys, sweet pies, and other beloved sides that have been associated with this holiday over the years, we believe Thanksgiving is really all about gratitude, plain and simple. Let’s take a mindful moment to stop and think about how truly grateful we all are for all that surrounds us.

Since giving ‘thanks’ is the focal point of the holiday, why not add another tradition or two that focuses on gratitude, a tradition that may become as special and anticipated as pumpkin pie? To help you get started, here are a variety of ways you and your family can build on the thankful traditions of Thanksgiving:

Take a moment together to say ‘thanks’. If your family and friends say a few words before beginning Thanksgiving dinner, you can easily create a thankful tradition by asking each person around the dinner table, in turn, to express their personal thanks for something that has occurred over the past year.

Pass the Gratitude Basket. Give everyone a sheet of paper and a pencil. Then ask each person to write down one thing that makes them feel grateful and put it into a basket. Pass the basket around the table and have everyone read another person’s paper, followed by the group guessing who wrote it.

Thanksgiving Show and Tell. Ask everyone to bring along something that reflects what they are thankful for that year. Then each person, in turn, can share it with the group and tell their story. It might be an item, a photo, a song, or any other item that illustrates their point.

Read a Story About Thanksgiving. Read a Thanksgiving book as a group. You can choose whether to read about the history of the original Thanksgiving, fictional stories about the day, or a book about ways for families to give thanks. This can be done as everyone waits for the meal to finish cooking. Or, it can be a fun activity in between courses to give everyone a chance to digest. Take turns reading the story and allow even the younger children a chance to show off their developing reading skills.

Get in the Kitchen Together. Pull out all those family cookbooks and get everyone involved! Creating the Thanksgiving menu can get stressful with everyone’s likes/dislikes/allergies, so make sure to ask for input as to a menu selection. This way everyone will be satisfied with at least something on the menu!   Take a look at some of our favorite thanksgiving classic menu recipes


*Portions of article reprinted from: