Do you have a Thanksgiving tradition?

I asked a preschooler, “Do you have tradition for your thanksgiving dinner?” He looked at me and said, “I eat turkey for thanksgiving dinner. “Tradition” does not really sound like something my mom can cook in the oven.”

What is your Thanksgiving tradition?

What is your Thanksgiving tradition?

Even for preschoolers, traditions and rituals sound like something that are hard to do. They also make you want to stay away from Pintrest. On Pintrest you can find recipes for homemade rolls that you put little pieces of paper in to pull out things you are thankful for. You find ways to use a Halloween pumpkin and turn it into a Thanksgiving center piece. You find table cloths that are pulled out each year as family members add new things they are grateful for. There are ideas for creating trees with falling leaves that will help children document things in their life they are grateful for. All these ideas are wonderful, but busy parents don’t have to be elaborate to still be impactful.

In reality, traditions are a secret weapon against children later having issues with anxiety, self-worth, a sense of belonging and connectivity. Traditions can offer peace, confidence deeper levels of trust, comfort and security. . There is no where that it says a tradition must be hard and complicated to actually be successful. All a tradition has to do to stick is to be personal and have a purpose.

Today I got to challenge a group of mothers to look at their families and choose a tradition they would either like to continue or one to start. These mothers all loved their children. These mothers were also cohesively overwhelmed with having to do bigger, better, faster and more unique things than others. We walked away knowing that none of us will ever be related to Martha Stewart, and that can be a good thing. A snuggle time morning ritual or a fun pancake breakfast with Dad or a sleep in Sunday can do more for a soul than Martha’s homemade pie recipe with a crust that has dough cut out in the shapes of leaves around the edge.

  • Is there a tradition you remember having as a child?
  • What things would you like to pass on to another generation?
  • This Thanksgiving, will you try something that is meaningful enough that you may want to try it again next year?

“I have the best memories as a kid eating ice cream. It was a family tradition that I had with my father. It was nice.”

Michael Strahan (Former NFL player for the NY Giants)

“Nice” does not have to be complicated…..Anyone for the start of an ice cream tradition?


“What are you thankful for?”


I asked a preschooler, “What are you thankful for?” He said, ” I don’t know what thankful is but Thank full is better than Thank empty.”

Full of thankfulness for friends

Full of thankfulness for friends

Everyone is thankful about something, and everyone is ungrateful about something. It is up to us to draw the lines where we want to be. Anything we look at can be seen through a lens of gratefulness or ungratefulness. You can choose to be more full or more empty.

The line in the grocery store can be seen as a frustrating waste of time, or it can be seen as an opportunity to spend time in thought and be grateful for shelves so full of food.

The lack of sleep from a crying baby can be seen as wear and tear on a day and a reason to breed crabbiness, or it can be seen as a night that no one will ever get to experience in the entire world. It can be a night where a young child is loved in a way that no one else would ever love him. It is a night where the safety of a warm house, ample water and food and the dawn of a new day can bring overwhelming gratitude.

The guy who cuts you off in traffic can be seen as adjectives fingers should not type on a keyboard. He can be a cause for raised blood pressure and revenge. This same guy can be seen as a way to get your attention and be grateful you have the physical ability to maneuver a car. Many do not. Only 9% of the world’s population even owns a car, and you are one of that small privileged percentage.

This Thanksgiving as the turkey comes out dry and the kids don’t want to sit at the table or try any of the food that was prepared and your uncle makes inappropriate comments and your clean up crew is non-existent, may you find peace in seeing the tremendous fullness of your life.

  • If you had to measure your thankfulness, are you more thank full or more thank empty?
  • What stops you from being more thankful each day?
  • What can you do to turn a seemingly bad situation into something to be grateful for?

“Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.” Alphonse Karr

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” Tecumseh