Want to make your Thanksgiving mean more than just turkey and football? Maybe it's time to start a few holiday traditions that help you capture the magic, memories and meaning of this holiday. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Craft your gratitude: Nothing captures the moment better than a craft. Help your kids make a gratitude wreath from cut-out hand prints that are labeled with things to be thankful for. Or use the same concept to make a thankful turkey and label each feather with something you and your children are grateful for this year. Check out these previous posts on thanksgiving crafts for kids and crafts for teens and tweens for more ideas.
2. Show and thanks: Most families take a few moments around the dinner table to discuss the things they are thankful for, but why not make it more meaningful to kids by actually letting them show you why they are giving thanks? Ask each member of the family to bring three items that represent what they are grateful for this year. Whether it's a good grade in school or a toy they share with a sibling, you may get a better glimpse into what items your children truly cherish.
3. Get a jump on Christmas: I like to make sure that Thanksgiving gets its proper due. So in our house, we don't decorate, shop, or in any way celebrate Christmas until Thanksgiving is over. But I do cheat a little but by starting some of the crafts on Thanksgiving. After dinner, make it a fun tradition to make a Christmas ornament or other holiday decoration with your kids that you can look forward to and cherish from year to year.
4. Cook up some memories: Don't forget to keep family in the forefront while you're cooking up the holiday feast. The meal will be even more meaningful for you and your kids when you serve up Aunt Sadie's famous broccoli casserole and share the family stories behind each dish.
5. Can you hear them now? In between the food and football, take a few minutes to catch up with far away family and friends. Pick up the phone and call your relatives or an old college roommate and just get reacquainted. Or try out an Internet-based service like Skype that allows you to make free calls and even use video to connect with family over the Web.
6. Get off the couch: Make it a tradition to do something fun and active with your family this Thanksgiving. Play a family touch football game, run a relay race obstacle course, or just go for a walk around the block to walk off all of that turkey!