*Here is a fun post that I shared with the girls over at Or So She Says last year…*
Have a Thankful Family Night!
Before the big Turkey Day with all the dishes to prepare, tables to set, and relatives to entertain, invite your Happy Home to an evening of being thankful.
First thing to do to prepare for Thankful Family Night… Schedule the whole family to be there. It needs to be a night when everyone can be together.Second thing to do… On the night of your Thankful Family Night, place a cute basket by your front door to collect all forms of media (that’s right, no cell phones, iPhones, iPods, Blackberries, etc.).
Third thing to do… Serve something absolutely delicious but super simple to make. You can find some great menu options for your Thankful Family Night HERE!Fourth thing to do… Dim the lights as you sit down to dinner. Put tealights at each family member’s place setting. Discuss the meaning of being thankful. Look up the definition in the dictionary or share a Bible verse about thanksgiving (my favorite is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). While you are enjoying your delicious-but-super-simple-to-make-meal, go around the table and have each person share what they are grateful for. Have them light their candle after their turn (or if your Happy Buddies are teeny like mine, light it for them and then place it 3,489 feet away. ).
Fifth thing to do… After everyone has Happy Bellies and the room is warmly glowing with gratitude, do an activity as a family that focuses on being grateful. I have a whole post of ideas that you can read HERE, but here are a few others that are lots of fun…
- Make Thank You cards for the people in your family’s world that you interact with regularly but don’t necessarily know, like the grocery store cashier, the bank teller (my little Happy Buddy and I LOVE sending treasures through those containers at the bank drive-thru. What a surprise!), the coffee shop employee, etc. Put all the cards in a special bag that you can take with you when your family runs an errand. Let your kids hand them out.
- Ding Dong Ditch a bag of Thanksgiving groceries to a family you know that is in need. I can’t think of anything more magical than that!
- Have each member in the family decorate large envelopes with Thanksgiving-themed stickers (I always find the cutest ones in the card aisles at local stores like Wal-Mart of Target), hand-print turkeys, and their name written front and center. I wrote “Gobbling Up Gratitude For…” on ours!) That night each person jots down one thing that they are thankful for about their parent/sibling and slips it into the appropriate envelopes. Then hang the envelopes where everyone can see them. Over the next several days leading up to Thanksgiving, encourage your family to jot notes of thanks to one another and drop them in the corresponding envelopes. Open your envelopes on Thanksgiving morning and read all the grateful nuggets your family members have said about you!
- Make a Chain of Thanks using strips of construction paper in yellow, orange, and brown. Write ways that God has been good to your family on each strip, staple them all together and tada! A reminder of your many blessings and a beautiful decoration to enjoy!
- Call someone as a family – just to tell them you are grateful for them. Guess it’s okay to bring out the cell phone for that!
Don’t forget to share a Thankful Family Hug at the end of your Thankful Family Night!
Happy Thankful Family Night-ing!