Thanksgiving is a stressful time of year. It’s all hands-on deck when it comes to preparing a meal large enough to feed an army. Not to mention finding a place to put all of the extended family that comes into town. As Thanksgiving fast approaches it’s easy to lose sight of the reason we gather together and stuff our bellies full of turkey and dressing. This holiday season take time to stop and smell the gratitude and really think about what it is you’re grateful for.

 

Thankfulness is much more than a warm and fuzzy feeling you get once a year. It’s important to remain thankful throughout the year and find the little things in your daily life that you might take for granted. Here’s some ways you might remind yourself and your family what you have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and maybe even reduce your holiday stress:

1. Thanksgiving Tree:

Get out the Christmas tree a little earlier this year. Instead of hanging the traditional lights and ornaments, make tags out of card stock for you and your family to write down a few things you are thankful for each day until the day of Thanksgiving.

2. Gratitude Chain:

Cut fall patterned paper into strips for guests to write one thing they are thankful for as they arrive. After dinner, share with one another what you wrote. Give the kids a stapler and let them create a paper chain from the strips. Add on to it year after year and use it to decorate your home or a fall tree!

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Saying Grace with Thanks:

If your family always says grace before beginning Thanksgiving dinner, you can easily create a thankful tradition by asking each person around the dinner table, in turn, to express their thanks for something that has occurred over the past year.

6. Say it with Place Cards:

If you use place cards at your Thanksgiving table, add a special message by incorporating why you are thankful for that specific person. As a country, we’ve set aside this special day of thanks for nearly 400 years, and part of what makes Thanksgiving so great is that it is rich with tradition. This year, as you look forward to what’s always been, plan to add in something special that has never been. How will you make the most of Turkey Day?

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