Start a New Thanksgiving Tradition!
Thanksgiving begins the time of year when people are more generous, more thoughtful and more thankful. It’s the time when families gather and reconnect, when time-honored meals are prepared and relished, and when we express our gratitude for the blessings we’ve received and lessons we’ve learned throughout the year.
If you have treasured traditions you hang onto every year, make the most of them this Thanksgiving! And if you’re looking for a new Thanksgiving tradition to add to your holiday merry-making and memory-building, here are some ideas you can begin this Thanksgiving.
Sharing Thanksgiving Blessings
Capture the spirit of the first Thanksgiving harvest meal by sharing it with someone you have nothing in common with, just like the first Thanksgiving dinner guests! English settlers sat down with Native Americans with whom they shared the land and 17th century life hacks. Follow the spirit of camaraderie and friendship and invite an unexpected guest or two to your holiday harvest meal and see what develops!
While not completely unique, these traditions that make someone else’s life better might be new for you! Volunteering through the Parker Task Force for Human Services is as easy as dialing 303-841-3460 to find out about providing food and other help on Thanksgiving to those in need. Or contact the Douglas/Elbert Task Force, which provides meals and assistance on Thanksgiving and throughout the year, at 303-688-1114.
My Sweet Homelife has more ideas for making someone else’s Thanksgiving more meaningful, like doing yardwork for an elderly neighbor or friend, paying for someone else’s coffee or meal, or taking a Thanksgiving treat to someone who you know will be alone this year.
One old Thanksgiving tradition that’s fun for everyone is cracking the turkey wishbone — the bigger the wishbone the better the chances of your wish coming true, or so we’d like to think. Breaking the wishbone is an ancient tradition, starting with the Romans and eventually making its way to the Pilgrims. Just remember the bone has to be completely dry and brittle before it will snap, and you have to come away with the longest piece for come-true wishes!
Another old Thanksgiving tradition includes retelling the original Thanksgiving story like the fun collection of facts at National Geographic for Kids, about English settlers and Native Americans sitting down to a three-day feast together. You can make a game of it by asking wee ones how different their lives would be in 1621. Have older kids research some unusual facts about the first Thanksgiving and offer a prize for the best one.
More Family Thanksgiving Traditions
Get a gratitude jar and jot down your blessings every year – all the things you’re grateful for — and date it. Amazon has a Blessings Jar for $14 and with 10 craft paper hearts to record your blessings. Next year you’ll enjoy popping the cork on the jar and reading through the notes of gratitude you counted critical this year!
Making a Thanksgiving tablecloth to bring out year-after-year is a memory-building project that starts with an orange or white tablecloth and permanent fabric markers. You can grab both at the Walmart Supercenter in Castle Rock on Sam Walton Lane. Every year, family members and/or invited guests inscribe what they are most thankful for (with the year) so that future celebrants are treated to sentiments from the past. Kids get older, family members and friends move on, but the memories can last forever!
Creating a family cookbook used to be a whole lot more work but with digital help-mates – if you can get family members to help you type up the treasured Thanksgiving recipes — it can be a snap. Kitchn suggests a scaled down project to start (like a 20-page softcover book) using the publishing website Blurb. For multiple copies of a 5-inch x 8-inch softcover book, you’ll spend about $10 each. Or you can create a hardcover coffee table cookbook, with family photos and histories of recipes, using a program like Shutterfly.
Now THAT, could become a treasured family heirloom!
Family Traditions in Crystal Valley
One tradition that’s popular among Crystal Valley families is the habit of asking neighbors to share meals and “break bread” together to celebrate big holidays and milestones. If you’re looking for a sense of community, check out the nine new home models from D.R. Horton, Kauffman Homes and Richmond American Homes. See why Crystal Valley is among the top five fastest-growing communities in the state, with new homes priced from the $300s.