Don't get me wrong. I love Christmas. I really do. It's just that I feel like we jump straight from Halloween to Christmas and directly into "need MORE, want MORE, buy MORE" without ever even having a chance to stop and be thankful for what we already have. Thanksgiving has little to offer retailers so it gets quickly trumped--as if it didn't even exist.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Over the years we've built some traditions around this holiday that hopefully cultivate some gratitude in our children.
Years ago we started the tradition of a "thankful chain". Beginning on November 1, I'd keep strips of colored card stock in a bowl on our kitchen table and each night at dinner we'd write something we were thankful for on a strip, then staple them together making a simple chain.
Our chain would typically hang in our kitchen the entire month (or longer, depending on how long I could stand it!) One Thanksgiving, I improvised and used our chain as a last minute centerpiece by arranging it around a candle in a deep glass bowl. All of our chains are hanging on a coat rack downstairs in our basement. I can't bear to throw them out.
A few years ago, I took the same idea of the thankful chain and switched it up to make a Thankful Turkey!
Using a grapevine pumpkin I had, I cut a turkey face/body and turkey feathers (using my Silhouette) and used double-sided tape and toothpicks to insert them into the pumpkin after we'd written what we were thankful for on each side. I like the "turkey" because it doubles as a bright and cheerful centerpiece to our table for the month of November. I've saved all of our "feathers" from years past just like the chains; it's fun to see my kids' handwriting and what they've been thankful for from year to year.
My children are older but they still look forward to these traditions. In fact, I haven't yet made the feathers for our "thankful turkey" this year and all three of my children have asked me why! Don't worry--it's on my agenda for the week!