In September of last year, a blog post was written about traditions.
When I polled family, friends and clients, here were some of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions that were shared with me.
  • Throughout the year there is a thanksgiving box, with note cards next to it. When something good happens or when a family member is thankful for something someone else did they write a note and place it in the box. On Thanksgiving morning, the kids enjoy dumping all the notes out and reading all the things the family is thankful for that year.
  • All of the extended family gets together around 12pm for a turkey day flag football game.  To make things fair  (since the kids play too) adults can only catch the ball with one hand.  Whoever wins gets to go first in the line for food that evening and get prime seating at the table. Pictures are always taken of the adults who have to sit at the kids table!
  • When my kids were young, we used to create a thanksgiving tree during the week of thanksgiving. Throughout Monday through Thursday the kids could create leaves writing what they were thankful for. Their typical answers were, their dog, their Nintendo  their superman shoes. On thanksgiving they always had their picture taken in front of their tree.
  • On Thanksgiving each member of the family has to contribute to the meal. Sign ups are on the Sunday before. By the time we were teenagers we would wake up really early to sign up for the easy side dishes.
  • No excuses meal! Everyone is to be present, dressed up and ready to share with the family what they are thankful for.
  • On Thanksgiving morning, our family wakes up at 4am, to drive into the inner city.  We then spend the next few hours cooking thanksgiving meals, and packaging them up.  At 11 or 12, we then walk through the city giving those meals to homeless families we see.
  • We attend the thanksgiving parade, and then join our extended family’s pot-luck dinner.
  • Each thanksgiving week, our family uses that time to take a vacation.  Mom isn’t a good cook,  and would rather spend the time enjoying our company than sitting around a table of mediocre food.
What is YOUR family’s tradition?
Each family is unique, and so are their traditions.   Traditions allow families to build memories and share stories.   These traditions allow us to create a sense of identity and bond with each other. If you don’t have a thanksgiving tradition, this is a perfect time to start!Many Blessings, and a Happy Thanksgiving!



Jennie Wilson is a child and adolescent therapist. She holds the credentials of a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor