Thanksgiving Traditions to Start This Year

Thanksgiving is almost here! Are you looking for a new Thanksgiving tradition to start this year? Or perhaps expand on your existing traditions. Making memories is the best part of the holiday season. If you are searching for new Thanksgiving traditions to start this year, check out the following list.

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  1. Decorate: Get crafty. Decorate as a family project. Thanksgiving decoration ideas include placements, name holders, and centerpieces.
  2. Being Grateful: When sitting around the dinner table, ask your family and friends, why are you grateful this year? If you do not want to say your reason out loud, write on a pumpkin. Or jot your message down on precut leaves to hang on a tree.
  3.  Saying Grace: Start a new tradition of praying before you and your family eat Thanksgiving dinner.
  4. Get Outdoors: Spend some time outdoors. Play football, go for a hike, go on a nature walk, or be part of a fun run (Turkey Trot).
  5. Bake Together: Make the meal together as a family. Dig out an old family recipe to make. Tell a story about the person who originally made the recipe.
  6. Volunteer as a Family: Many organizations cater to the homeless on Thanksgiving. Volunteer as a family to homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or other community organization.
  7. Attend a Thanksgiving Parade: Parades are popular on Thanksgiving. If you cannot attend one in person, watch one a television.
  8. Family Photos: Before everyone gets too tired from eating all that delicious turkey, take family photos.
  9. Make Memory Cards: Ask each person to write a Thanksgiving memory. Memory cards are an easy way to learn about your family history.
  10. Record Family Stories: Use your cell phone to record family stories. Or ask each person to tell you the best part of the day.
  11. Board Games: After clearing the table, pull out board games. Old favorites, Monopoly, Life, or Sorry, are always a wonderful way to engage your family. 
  12. Watch Football: Get comfortable after the big meal and watch your favorite team.
  13. Watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: Who cannot resist Snoopy and the gang? Or you could kick off the Christmas season by watching A Miracle on 34th Street.
  14. Thanksgiving Journal: After everyone is asleep or watching television, take a moment to write in your journal about Thanksgiving 2021.

Happy Thanksgiving! What tradition will you start this year?

Celebrating Advent

Tomorrow, December 1st marks the beginning of Advent. Running from the first of December to Christmas Eve, the Advent marks the birth of Jesus. In fact, the word Advent is actually Latin for coming. Advent is a celebration to help people focus and remember the reason for the Christmas season. 

Depending on the day Christmas falls on, Advent can begin on different days. The start of Advent on December 1st only occurs when Christmas falls on a Wednesday. Each Sunday before Christmas has special meaning. 

The Candles of Advent

Each Sunday before Advent, a candle is lite. The candles hold special meanings for the holiday season. 

  • First Sunday: A purple candle, symbolizing hope, is the first candy lite. The first Sunday candle is also known as “The Prophecy Candle” to remember the prophets who predicted the birth of Christ. 
  • Second Sunday: Another purple candle is lite to symbolize faith. The faith candle or “The Bethlehem Candle” focuses on Mary and Joseph’s trip into Bethlehem. 
  • Third Sunday: For the third week into Advent, a pink candle is lite. The pink candle or “The Shephard’s Candle” represents joy. The birth of Christ brought great joy. 
  • Fourth Sunday: For the fourth week, a purple candle is lite. The fourth candle, or “The Angel’s Candle,” represents peace. 

Depending on how you celebrate, a fifth candle may be added to Advent. Lighting a white candle on Christmas Day to celebrate Christ’s birth, the candle represents light and purity. The centered white candle is also known as “The Christ Candle.” 

In some cultures, the colors of the candles do not matter. The action of remembering Advent is an essential part of the holiday season.

The Advent Wreath

The Advent wreath is part of the candle lighting ceremony. The four candles are set on the wreath with the fifth candle (optional) placed in the middle. The wreath consists of evergreen branches woven together in a circular form. The evergreen circle represents eternity. 

Advent Calendars 

Advent Calendars are generally part of celebrating Advent. Counting down to Christmas, an Advent calendar has 24 or 25 openings. Advent calendars vary, including traditional Christ laying in the manger scenes to popular products like Harry Potter mini-figures, Lego, perfume, or jewelry samples.

Other Advent calendars are homemade with chocolate, small toys, or other treats behind each little opening. No matter the type of Advent calendar you use, enjoy the Christmas season. 


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2018: The Year to Make Memories

Do you want to start a new tradition for yourself, your family, or your furbabies? Consider creating a memory box. Living in a digital age, small moments often get lost in the technological universe. Keeping a record of memorable days does not require attending large social affairs or ultimate road trips. Even though, both would be an excellent addition. Taking time to record simple, daily events may be the most memorable moments of the year.

The Memory Box

The memory box can be an old shoe box, a popcorn tin from the holidays, or a plastic basket from your local dollar store. You just need to create a space to store your memories. Get creative, decorate the box. If you have young children, consider making the box an afternoon project.

Feel free to create a unique, one of kind memory box for you or your family to enjoy.

What to Put in the Memory Box?

Keep in mind, there is not a specific guideline on what to put in your memory box. Creating a tangible storage space away from your digital devices is one reason for creating a memory box. Having fun is another reason.

1. Every Day Moments

Every day should be a celebration. Your child takes his or her first steps. Your son finally mastered Algebra. Your daughter got the lead in the school play. Or you received recognition for a project at work. Small moments go by quickly. Use index cards, notecards or scraps of paper to write about the daily event. Encourage children to participate. Even if they just draw small pictures, the notecard can be part of the box.

2. Ask Questions

Asking questions is another way to encourage your children to participate. At the same times, you are opening lines of communication. Questions to ask may include:

  • What was your favorite part of school today?
  • What do you want to do when you grow up?
  • What did you eat at lunch?
  • Did anything funny happen in school or practice?

Just keep an open mind, when you find out your son laughed and milk came out of his nose. And, he instantly became a lunchtime sensation.

3. Postcards

 Going on day trips, field trips, family vacations or even a trip to your local grocery store, you will see postcards for sale. Postcards are an inexpensive resource for making memories. Picking up a few postcards or allowing your child select a favorite, allows you to record your visit with a picture. Ask your child to tell you the favorite part of the trip. Jotting down a couple lines on the back of postcard provides an instant keepsake.

4. Other Memorabilia

When you begin adding items to your memory box, you will soon learn in the world of technological devices, a paper trail still exists.

  • Movie tickets stubs
  • Concert tickets
  • Program brochures
  • Schedule of events guides
  • Menus
  • Fortune cookie inserts

The list is endless. By keeping the small items, you can jot notes in the margins. Or add a notecard later describing the experience.

What Next?

What do you do when the year comes to a close? Open the box, review your memories, place them in a scrapbook, or create time capsules to view down the road. The small effort you make to today to add little notes will leave a larger impact later when you read the memories.





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