Giving Thanks and Creating Traditions

November is here and the countdown to my favorite holiday is on.  With the opportunity to eat lots of delicious food and take time to reflect on all of God’s blessings, who couldn’t love Thanksgiving?  For as long as I can remember we always did Thanksgiving with my dad’s family.  It was full of the best food taste buds can imagine and lots of family to fill my grandparents basement.  We gave thanks to God for our blessings, dug in to our completely overstuffed plates, because you couldn’t leave out any of the tasty dishes, and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon with family, complete with a few napping people on the couches because the food coma had kicked in.  As my family has grown up and gone our separate ways, we’ve come to appreciate the memories of Thanksgiving at Grandma & Grandpa’s.

I’ve taken on Thanksgiving the past few years (with the help of my mom!) and, of course, had to make sure all of the best dishes like my grandma’s infamous chicken noodles and my great aunt’s date nut tapioca pudding were included.  I’ve loved every minute of it and hope the love has shown through each dish, every decoration, and each new/old tradition.  But as growing up goes, things change and people go their separate ways and new traditions are formed.  Last year I started the countdown to Thanksgiving with my kiddos.  We did the Thanksgiving alphabet book.  

It was great for my 3 & 1 year old as it helped with learning the alphabet, letter recognition, sound association, etc.  All I did was make a page for each letter on the left side of the book and a blank page next to it on the right.  Each day counting down to Thanksgiving we took the next letter, figured out something we were thankful for that began with that letter, drew a picture of it on the blank page next to the corresponding letter, and wrote the word of each picture…partly for the practice of writing letters, but more importantly so we could for sure recognize the pictures for years to come.:)  The kids loved it and by the end we had multiple pictures for each letter.  And, I love that it’s a keepsake that is easily stored.

This year, I’m a little late getting on the ball, but today I found a great idea at Make and Takes…great blog, btw.  

My turkey is made, feathers cut out, and we’re set to start giving thanks tomorrow.  I think I’ll write a verse about giving thanks on the turkey instead of “Happy Thanksgiving,” but other than that mine looks pretty similar.  Thanks for the idea Make and Takes!

And, because of my late night blog surfing and Dresses ‘n Messes, I have my idea for next year AND the time to plan it out!  I love the way it takes it to the next level and gives the opportunity to teach service to others along with realizing all your blessings.  Maybe we’ll actually get started November 1st.:)

I’m excited each year to share with my kids our reason for celebrating Thanksgiving.  Because of the love put into each Thanksgiving growing up, we’ve all missed our big family Thanksgiving and it looks like this year we’ll have the opportunity to get together with some of the family and enjoy each other’s company.  Every part of me, especially my eyes that will forever be way bigger than my stomach, can’t wait!


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