Keeping Thanksgiving Traditions Alive

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When you think about Thanksgiving, no doubt you think about all the food you will eat and some of the things for which you are grateful. What other traditions do you have? Will you be using our free 2 Weeks of Thanksgiving Scripture Study? We love watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade every year (and saying "Ahhh" whenever the dog competition commercials come on). Another tradition of ours is to make one new thing for the Thanksgiving table. Each year it is so fun to pull out the old ones and add to our collection. Pretty soon I think we are going to have to make the plates! This year, I'm sharing our new creations with you.

Napkin Rings and Paper Chains

We are adding napkin rings to our Thanksgiving table this year. There are four different ones you can use. Assemble them one of two ways: 1. Cut and glue to a cardboard ring (save those paper towel and toilet paper tubes) or 2. Cut, laminate, and stable together. Since we want to use them every year, we are laminating them. However, if you do, know that you can't make them as tight or circular. You can see in the above example that the cardboard tube ones are tighter (right side of the picture). My kids also colored some decoration on the "Live in Thanksgiving" ones but they would also be really nice on some light brown paper. I recommend printing all of these on a thick paper like cardstock or gluing it to some construction paper to make them nice and sturdy. 

Why in the world are there two sizes? The bigger size is great if you don't need napkin rings and want to do something else with them. Make a decorative Thanksgiving chain adding some color paper in between or wrap it around a glass for decoration at the table. If you are trying to keep track of whose glass is whose, they are great for writing names on. You can also cut them up and cover little treats or just use it as a bookmark.

Silverware Holders and Name Cards

A few years back we made this really cute Be Thankful silverware holders. We loved coloring them and enjoy using them every year. However, we've also discovered that they were too narrow to add anything else (hence the separate napkin ring). If you want a wider one so you can also fit a napkin or because you have big silverware, these turkey ones work great. Laminate then sew them together with a simple straight stitch. Write memories or other blessings you count every year on the back before laminating for a great keepsake. While my silverware holders are wider, they are also shorter (which I actually like better). However, the taller ones (Be Thankful) are better for having kids pass out the silverware.

Need some name cards too? Here are two that you can use. Add your names before you print them out or have one of your kids write the names. One card just has leaves surrounding the name. The other card has the words, "I'm grateful for" then you put the person's name. If you are having kids help out, they can color the backs or all around too. You could also have each person make a gratitude list on the back or pass them around and each person writes something he admires about that person. If you want your name cards to stop falling over, I recommend folding it like the picture above. Make a crease at each of the arrows. The bottom fold with just a little bit of paper is for the glue-glue it to the back of the name card. This way you have full triangle and it won't slowly spread apart and flatten. The other key is printing these on sturdy paper or gluing to construction paper after you print them. I glued it so I'd have some extra paper to make the final triangle bigger.

Print the Leaf Name Card here

Print the I'm Grateful For Name Card here

Children's Activities

If you need to keep the kids busy for a bit while gathering everyone to the table, use this great Thanksgiving Search. It is easy enough that the little ones can use it but has enough activities that the older ones can have a little fun too. There are also these great Thank You cards to use to help celebrate the day. I have the outside and inside of the card side by side here but just click one part and you will be able to print out both. I also included a thankful tree printable- one with leaves already and one without so you can add your own. These Thanksgiving Playdough mats would be great to use while you are cooking or for some morning fun. 

Decoration

And last but certainly not least, if you are looking for a few Thanksgiving posters to put around the house or table, here are some for you to choose from (click the picture of the one you want to print).

Looking for even more fun things to add to your Thanksgiving traditions? Be sure to check out my Happy Thanksgiving and Fall Pinterest board. There are so many great ideas on there.  

Your Turn- What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?