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Family Time

12 Tips to Have a Memorable Thanksgiving – Special Family Traditions

Coming together with family and having a big Thanksgiving meal is only part of the celebration. To make it a truly memorable occasion, take some time to celebrate in such a way that you will treasure the holiday memories!

Here are some ideas to make this the most memorable Thanksgiving ever:

1. Gratitude Journal. I love these! You can create a journal that everyone writes their gratitude in to every year. This is a great keepsake and can be handed down through the generations. It is fun to look and read all the previous gratitude years too!

2. Count your blessings with a blessing tree. 

Get a branch from the backyard, secure it with some rocks in a pretty jar. Place a bowl of cards or cutout leaves with string attached to them next to the tree. Let your guests and kids write what they’re thankful for on the cards/cutout leaves and hang it from the tree.  As the day goes on, the tree will get fuller and fuller. This could be a simple project your kids could put together too!

3. Volunteer you and your family’s time at a local soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or nursing home. Food pantries are another area where you can give of your time – they are usually very busy at this time of year. You can also donate a meal to a shelter or adopt a family.

4. Have guests over to share your Thanksgiving meal and also invite someone new. Maybe you can share your celebrations with a new neighbor, or someone from another country, or an elderly person without any family nearby.

5. Invoke the history of the holiday into your celebrations. With crafts, decorations, and authentic foods and table settings. You can present a Thanksgiving meal that is rich in history and tradition.

6. If there are children, get them involved in the celebration. Children can help celebrate by making decorations or even putting on a Thanksgiving play or puppet show.

7. Make phone calls to family members who can’t be present for the festivities. Have everyone participate in the phone calls. Making cards or notes to send is another activity that will help your family connect.

8. Have everyone share something he or she is thankful for. Having guests and family members share their sense of gratitude is a memorable family tradition. Simply go around the table and everyone has a turn to speak it.

9. Make Gratitude Rolls. Each family member writes down what they’re thankful for and it is printed out on a piece of paper and baked in the buns. You can use crescent rolls if you wish, then you just roll it up over the paper and bake it, similar to a fortune cookie. Then everyone gets theirs and they try to guess who wrote what.

10. After dinner do something fun together like go for a walk or go play football at the nearest park. After all the food, being a little active and being in the fresh air is a great activity to do!

11. Use original Thanksgiving recipes handed down through the generations in your family. So much more sentimental this way. Or create new ones!

12. If you do not like traditional Thanksgiving fare or just would like a change create a different theme. For example, a pie theme. Everyone makes a pie, savory and sweet. 

Happy Thanksgiving and happy memories!


I have been a professional nanny working with children of all ages for over 15 years. My work has taken me all over the globe and I have had many amazing adventures with the families that I have worked with, all of which has taught me a great deal about how to make parenting less stressful.

I helped create Mothers Lifestyle in order to share parenting tips and secrets that I learned along the way, as well as to provide life-saving tools and advice from the world’s leading experts that I rely on every day in my professional life.