She is a mom, wife, and passionate believer that Jesus changes everything.
Thanksgiving is a lot of work, right? The meal takes hours to prepare, and many guests have to travel hours to be together with friends and family. The highlight of the day is the meal – and since it’s Thanksgiving, that’s when tradition dictates everyone share something they are thankful for this year.
So what tends to happen at Thanksgiving when it’s time to share what you’re thankful for? Bustling, laughing guests all gathering round the piles of food sprawled out on the table. The atmosphere has been light and jovial, and the centerpiece of the day – carved turkey – awaits consumption. However, as everyone sits down to eat, the host suddenly asks the busy room, “Ok, so what is everyone thankful for this year?”
And silence ensues. Crickets…
Eyes become blank and stare downward. After a few awkward moment, one brave soul calls out, “Family.” A few grumbled affirmations follow in support of family. A few more moments pass and another person says, “I’m thankful for football!” Laughs circle around the table, but die down quickly. Disappointed by the lack of engagement, the host decides to cut the activity moment short by blessing the food and abandoning the exercise. Once the rolls start passing, the conversation bursts forward again and the moment is gone. Thanksgiving meal underway – don’t forget the gravy. But…doesn’t it feel like something’s missing? Shouldn’t there be more to the meal?
Sound familiar? Do you wish your Thanksgiving was actually centered on gratefulness?
Any good hostess or host loves to get their guests engaged with the festivities.
Thanksgiving is a day of reflecting on all that we are thankful for. However when it comes to sharing our thankfulness, sometimes guests can feel a little uncomfortable and put on the spot. And we don’t want that!
I love getting people to share and open up, and I am always trying to come up with creative ways to help people to feel comfortable and go a little deeper in conversations or celebrations. I mean Thanksgiving is all about being thankful, right? So wouldn’t it be nice to have our guests actually share what they are thankful for?
So here’s what I did.
First, I pulled out some of my craft supplies and a fine tip marker. Some of the supplies are just a few things I picked up at a local Joanne Fabrics store.
For example, here are some little paper banners with a gold grommet:
And here are the mini clothespins that I also found at Joann, but these are also at other craft stores, like Hobby Lobby.
Next, I wrote something that I was thankful for on each little piece of paper, like my kid’s names, my husband’s name, my health, God, etc.
I then took out some twine and an open frame, both from Hobby Lobby.
Using clear scotch tape, I taped the twine on the back of the frame and then pinned the banners on. At first, I attempted to lace the banners on, but you couldn’t read them very well (see below for an example of what it looked like laced on):
Craft clothespins worked much better than lacing the banners on. The clothespins make it much easier to read all of the gratitude, and it adds another detail to the piece!
I then took the “grateful” cut out that I also found at Joann’s and simply taped (double-sided) it to my frame.
So here’s how to implement the project for Thanksgiving Day
Get some paper and place it out on a table with a few pens. Ask your guests to pick one thing they are most grateful for this year and to write it down. At some point during the day, gather up all the gratitude paper slips and assemble it like I did above.
You could also use this as table decor and read some of them aloud during dinner.
One last thing to consider:
For the “paper” in this project, you can use anything. Here are just a few ideas:
- Scraps of fabric and a fabric marker
- Specialty paper, just check out a craft store for all the fun ideas. They have such cute little embellishments and you could really have a lot of fun putting this craft together.
- Fake leaves and a fabric marker or sharpie
- You could use mini pumpkins and have your guests write what they are thankful for on them with a Sharpie.
Below is just a sampling of ideas of ideas you could have your guests write on:
Seriously, endless possibilities. Be creative!
I have created a print out for you, in case you just want the “banner look” and do not have time to run to the store.Free Thanksgiving Activity Template
So there it is! A fun and easy way to get your guests to share what they are thankful for this Thanksgiving.
Doing this activity can really add some specialness to the Thanksgiving dinner and make lasting memories.
Happy Thanksgiving may it be a good day for you and your loved ones!
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