Meaningful Thanksgiving Traditions for Families

how to simplify your homeschool

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, settled between fall fun and the often chaotic (but exceptionally special) Christmas holiday, we have been planning some meaningful Thanksgiving traditions for families … that we can actually do as a family. Instead of only having our traditional Thanksgiving dinner, I wanted to add a little more meaning and heart teaching to our Thanksgiving holiday this year.

thanksgiving traditions for families

I created five meaningful thanksgiving traditions that we can do as a family and carry it on for years to come. Grab the freebie bundle of printables that will help you prepare for these traditions!

Five Meaningful Thanksgiving Traditions for Families

“You’ve Been Thanked”

I have seen the popular “You’ve been boo’d” tradition go around for a couple of years now, but instead I wanted to put a little Thanksgiving spin on it– “You’ve been thanked”. A sweet way to thank others and pay it forward.

Whether it is in the Starbucks line paying it forward and you leave a note tagging them “You’ve been thanked” or leaving a sweet surprise on someone’s doorstep, the idea of brightening up someone else’s day that you are thankful for them reminds us to think of others and paying it forward.

You could leave something out for the mailman with a “You’ve Been Thanked” card or somebody at church. Just look around and leave something special for someone you are thankful for!

Create an Acrostic THANKFUL Poem

Take an afternoon to create an acrostic THANKFUL poem. Have each family member create one and then read them aloud! Again, if you are a keep-everything-sentimental-mom like I am, store them away in a memory binder or scrapbook and look over them each year.

I also have a fall freebie bundle that includes fall acrostic printables that you can check out here!

meaningful Thanksgiving traditions for families...easy to do

Create a Giving Tree

Grab an artificial branch from a craft store or a real one from the yard and stick it in a vase. Cut out some cute tags or print off some leaf clip art and create little leaf tags. On each tag write an act of kindness or giving you that you can do for the month of November as a family.

Acts that can be done within the family and giving to others. Hang the tags on the branch and take the weekends to do a couple of acts, finishing them all by Thanksgiving Day. Acts such as donating canned food to the food bank or leaving a bag of coins at the laundry mat.

“I am thankful for..” Place Setting Cards

When setting the Thanksgiving table, leave each setting an “I am thankful for…” card for them to write on/fill out. After going around the table and reading them, gather them and store them away in a scrapbook or photo album.

Yearly Family Thankful Jar

On the last day of every month of the year, have every family member write what you are thankful for, from that specific month. Place them in a family thankful jar.

On the day before, the day of or the day after Thanksgiving have everyone gather around and read all the things you guys were thankful for throughout the year. A way to remember thanksgiving is not just for the month of November.

Give Thanks to God

what is thanksgiving - how to give thanks

For a fun activity for the kids create a thankful turkey. Write on the side or on the turkeys belly the Ephesians 5:20 Bible verse and fill his feathers with all the things you are giving God thanks for.

Read Ephesians 5:20 aloud to the family and talk about how giving God all the thanks is the most important act we could do this holiday season and everyday.

Once you have kids and a family of your own it is so special to see the holidays through your children’s eyes and create meaningful traditions with them.

Hopefully one day you will see these sweet and meaningful thanksgiving traditions carried on to future generations. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


If you would like our Thanksgiving Freebie, enter your name & email below.

Hi there! My name is Kim. I am a stay at home, homeschooling mama to two boys ages 3 and 5. My husband and I are high school sweethearts and have been together for 11 years this fall. Along with our 2 boys and 3 dogs, we live in the Dallas, Ft. Worth area of Texas. I blog over at about all things motherhood, parenting, and homeschooling. Besides my family, a few of my favorite things are Jesus, coffee, a good book, a binge worthy show, and all the beauty that is fall and winter.

NOTE: Not all views from guest bloggers are the views of Kerry Beck or How to Homeschool My Child.

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