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What is your Thanksgiving Family Tradition

By grandparenting 5 years ago10 Comments

I live in the Northwest. When we see the golden and red leaves falling from the trees we know the Thanksgiving holiday is near. Thanksgiving is a special time for families to get together, enjoy each other and the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. It is a good time to think about the many blessings we have experienced during the past year. At our house, we have a traditional candle lighting activity as we go around the table sharing about our special blessings for which we are thankful during the past year.

Our grandchildren are growing up in a self-absorbed culture where many think mostly of themselves and focus on all the things others do for them. It is good for the children to think and verbalize for what they are thankful and to hear the adults share their thankfulness.

If we think we are the center of the universe, and everything revolves around us, then it is unlikely we will express much gratitude to God. On the other hand, if we
acknowledge Him as the awesome creator of the universe, the all-powerful One, then this recognition will stimulate appreciation. When we realize that the Lord loves us and values us, our hearts should overflow in praise to Him.

Showing appreciation is of great importance in our relationships with others. We all need acknowledgment that we are of value. Appreciation brings a harvest of good feelings and blessings to the giver as well as the receiver.

During this Thanksgiving season, give thanks to God for His faithfulness to you and the children and grandchildren He has given you. Send a note or a Thanksgiving card to
express your appreciation to your loved ones for what they mean to you.

Let’s be an example to our grandchildren and encourage them to express their appreciation to others and to experience the blessings of giving and receiving appreciation.

Dear Father, help me to be sensitive to those whom I need to express my appreciation, especially my family members. Help me to be an encourager by recognizing the character qualities and achievements of others. In Jesus’ name. Amen   

 I would appreciate it very much if you would share some of your Thanksgiving family traditions in the comments below this blog.

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Lillian is the National Prayer Coordinator for Christian Grandparenting Network for many years. She is a speaker, blogger and authored Grandparenting with a Purpose: Effective Ways to Pray for your Grandchildren. She and her husband have 3 sons, 9 grandchildren and 2 greats.


  • Janet Dubac says:

    We have played a kids vs. parents touch football game for years at my family’s Thanksgiving celebration. It is a fun way to get everybody up and moving around after the big meal!

  • Lillian says:


    Thanks for your comment. It sounds like a fun and togetherness activity after a big meal.

  • Ele says:

    We choose to do a handcraft that differs from year to year. This year that kiddos will be putting together a turkey (main body is a paper plate.) The adults will be composing a “I’m thankful for….” placemat that will be used to spring-board what we’re thankful for this year. Everyone, including the kiddos, around the table shares something they are thankful for. We also share re. the historical context of Thanksgiving. As our nations drifts further from our roots we as a family choose to continue to remind ourselves, and to teach our grandkiddos, truth in each holy-day.

  • Ele,
    Thanks for sharing your tradition. Those are great ideas. It is a wonderful time to verbally share our thankfulness, isn’t it?

  • Pat Whisler says:

    We have a long standing tradition to have Thanksgivng at Aunt Jo and Uncle Dale’s near Baltimore. (my sister and brother-in-law). This dates back to before I was married (over 41 years ago). Last year was particularly special. My daughter and family from San Diego came, my daughter and family from Alexandria, VA came and my nephew from Tampa (who had to quit his job in order to get the time off) came. It was great as 3 or these were my grandchildren that I don’t see often enough. This year there will only be four of us but Thanksgiving at Aunt Jo’s is still tradition whether all make it there or not. God provides the connection.

  • Pat.
    Thank you for your comment. I am sorry there will only be the four of you but what precious memories you have from last year. May God bless you.

  • Gwen Colfer says:

    Thanks, Lillian, for your ideas. Our offspring alternate the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays between us and their in-law families. That has worked very well for our immediate family, in that we are together for at least one of those major holidays every year. This year, we are together for Christmas, but not for Thanksgiving, so I love your idea of sending a Thanksgiving card to each member of our family with an expression of what that person means to me!!! GREAT idea! Thanks so much. May you and your family have a Blessed Thanksgiving.

  • Gwen,
    Thanks for sharing. I hope you will have a wonderful Christmas celebration with your family. Happy Thanksgiving we you praise God for His blessings upon you. God bless!

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