Picture from 3 Fun Family Traditions to Celebrate Thanksgiving
The Thanksgiving holiday often brings families together and gives parents a chance to start some new seasonal traditions. Image ©Dollarphoto.com/Marek

3 Fun Family Traditions to Celebrate Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving comes smack dab in the middle of the Halloween sugar slump and the Christmas rush. Known as one of the busiest travel holidays of the year, it is estimated nearly 44 million people fly or drive to spend time with family or friends during this long weekend. But along with feasting, football and Black Friday shopping, families can also instill meaningful traditions into this family-oriented celebration.

1. Most parents urge their children to say thank you to others throughout the year. But during this holiday, parents can incorporate other ways to encourage their children to express gratitude.

Help younger children trace around their hand. Cut out the shape and then have them write things they are thankful for on the hand. Or cut out other shapes like triangles or circles. Write something they are thankful for on each shape and string them together to make a holiday banner for the fireplace or staircase.

Give each family member several strips of paper. Use fall-colored paper for a more festive look. Have each person write one thing they are thankful for on each strip and then staple or tape the strips together to make a long chain.

Set out blank cards and pens for family members to write thank you notes to people who aren’t present. Encourage individuals to express thanks to teachers, coaches, other family members, military personnel or other people who serve in your community.

2. With stores already festooned with Christmas displays it can be easy to get caught up in the “gimmes” of the upcoming holiday season. During tough economic times, health challenges or family crisis it can also be difficult to feel thankful. However, taking time to help someone else can put our own lives in better perspective. Look for ways your family can help others over the holiday.

Some families choose to serve meals at homeless shelters or contribute to local food banks. Call ahead to see if there is a time your family can serve meals or help organize food orders. Buy extra meal supplies to contribute to local organizations that feed the less fortunate.

Go through toy boxes or clothes closets to look for items that can be donated to local charities.

Consider those you know who may not be able to travel to be with family or who will be alone during the holiday. Look for ways to brighten their holiday by including them in family activities or visiting them.

3. For many families, the best thing about Thanksgiving is spending time with each other. Whether it is cheering for your favorite football team, pulling out a well-loved board game or cuddling on the couch for a holiday movie, the Thanksgiving weekend offers time for families to enjoy one another. Here are a few movies that celebrate the Thanksgiving season.

Charlie Brown and his pals seem to have a seasonal film for almost every holiday and Thanksgiving is no different. In this animated adventure, Charlie is making dinner for all of his friends. But don’t expect the typical feast on the table in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

The events that led to the first Thanksgiving are highly fictionalized in the animated Disney movie Pocahontas and the live action film The New World. But the films still pay credit to the Native Americans who helped the struggling Europeans who arrived on the shores of this country centuries ago.

The annual Macy’s Day Parade, held in New York City on Thanksgiving Day, kicks off the holiday season. This famous event also serves as the backdrop for the classic movie Miracle on 34th Street and the 1994 remake.

Rockymight not seem your typical holiday movie. But the aspiring boxer meets the love of life at an awkward Thanksgiving dinner in the first movie.

However you spend your holiday, Thanksgiving is one day that reminds us to stop and be grateful for all the good things in life.

More details about the movies mentioned in this post…

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Pocahontas

Pocahontas

The New World

The New World

Miracle On 34th Street (1947)

Miracle On 34th Street (1947)

Miracle On 34th Street (1994)

Miracle On 34th Street (1994)

Rocky

Rocky