Though this will be Gus and Lula's second November and December, it's their first holiday season with us.  So I've been thinking a lot about traditions and how to (eventually) convey the meaning behind Thanksgiving and Christmas to them.  I want them to know that these holidays are about more than food and presents and football and shopping.  I want them to slow down on Thanksgiving and reflect on all that they're thankful for, instead of just stuffing their faces and wondering what they can add to their Christmas wish lists (we'll get into that later).  I want them to focus on the meaning behind the holiday, and to take joy in the family gatherings.  I want this time of year to be a time of giving and, well, thankfulness for all God has done in our lives.

So how to practically implement all of this?  I've come across a few ideas.......
 A thankful tree.  With free printable thankful cards from the amazing Emily at Jones Design Company.  

 More free printables.  Use them as napkin rings or to make a paper chain.  Might be fun to let each person write on one and add to the same chain year after year. 

I love this idea.  Have everyone sign the table cloth (and write what they're thankful for!) and then hand embroider over the writing.  It makes a beautiful keepsake to be used every Thanksgiving.  (Or you could just use fabric markers and skip the embroidery -- not quite as special, but more likely to actually get done!)  

Grateful rolls.  Have each person write what they're thankful for on a strip of paper and slip it into a crescent roll before baking.  Everyone reads what's inside their roll aloud.  Kind of like a Thanksgiving fortune cookie.  

........I'd love to hear yours as well.  How do you help your family to focus on being thankful during this time of year?   
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