Giving Thanks At Home

When I was a child, we lived near all of my extended family. There was always great excitement as we prepared for our grandparents to come over for Thanksgiving. Alternatively, for us to enjoy a family holiday at their home. However, now we have settled into local work, we don’t have that luxury.

We live about 5 hours from my parents, and 12 from my husband’s. For the first few years that we lived here, I felt really sad about that and felt like the kids were missing out. Even though I still wish we were close to family all year, and not just the holidays, we do a few things that make memories for our children during this special time of Thanksgiving.


We let the kids get involved, all six of them, to help prepare our meal. Their favorite thing to make is the pumpkin pie. While the dough chills, we work on deviled eggs, rolls, baked beans, and any other goody we have chosen for the meal.



Nothing expensive, we are all about making memories without the cost.  

We each write down what we are thankful for on construction paper leaves, and use them on the table as decoration, and later during the meal, we take turns giving thanks.

We use the same white tablecloth every year. Until my grandmother passed away, we used clear plastic disposable plates that look a little fancy. I have since inherited my grandmother’s best china, and we pull it out twice a year. Even when it is just us, we make place setting cards, and change-up the seats we usually sit in. The girls like to wear dresses, and we try to dress “up” more than our daily attire.


It doesn’t always work out, but we try to find someone who is also without their family during the holidays and invite them to share with ours.

One year we learned that a family was in need and unsure of how they would even get a meal together. I asked a friend to help, got some food from the store, our pantries, and donated some cash for their turkey. Our small donation of love was much appreciated, and our children learned a great lesson in caring for one another.



The last thing we do that really keeps the mood cheerful is to deck the halls. We usually bring out the tree and decorate it after our meal.  We get to reminisce about the added ornaments over the years and see how our family has grown.

American Tradition
American Tradition / Source

We are left feeling full of blessings {and full}, and thankful for everything.