Making Memories – Family Thanksgiving Traditions

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Making Memories - 7 Moms Share their Favorite Thanksgiving Traditions - BPhotoArt.comAs the years go by, life seems to keep getting busier and busier. Despite the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I always love the timelessness of our own family traditions. Some of our family traditions were begun generations ago, while others were started since the births of our sons.

Some of my favorite Thanksgiving memories center around Thanksgiving day football. For many of those raised in Michigan, it’s a tradition to watch the Detroit Lions play ball on Thanksgiving, year in and year out. Beyond that, for us, Thanksgiving is a day of family togetherness. This year, Toby helped make a photo thankfulness tree, and we tried to focus on gratitue by celebrating a month of Thanksgiving. And for my husband, tradition may be the food — he loves to cook either a delicious turkey or ham, plus create decadent desserts for all to enjoy.

That being said, Thanksgiving conjures up different memories for other families than it does for ours. Most of these traditions, despite their differences, do focus on the family …and on cultivating gratitude.

Favorite Family Thanksgiving Traditions

All families have their own traditions, though, right? So I asked some bloggers: “what’s your family’s favorite Thanksgiving tradition and why?” Here’s what they had to say.


We go around the table on Thanksgiving and we each say what we are thankful for. It is a great way to keep the point of the holiday in perspective. I also like that we are modeling gratitude for our kids! here is a Thanksgiving tradition we do as well.

– Brittany, Love, Play, and Learn


Thanksgiving truly is my favorite holiday. I love the idea of gathering around the table and being thankful. From watching the Macy Day Parade, to throwing the football around outside in the leaves. However, my FAVORITE tradition for that holiday is our gratitude journals that we do each night starting November 1 with our kids. Each day, they write about something they are thankful for (or draw a picture if they can’t write yet) – these have become beautiful examples of gratitude over the years with my children.

–  Mandy, Worshipful Living


Our traditional Thanksgiving used to involve packing up two trailers, pulling them to Death Valley behind our Honda Aspencades (touring motorcycles), camping out at Furnace Creek, and cooking Thanksgiving dinner over campfires and on Coleman stoves – turkey, potatoes, gravy, veggies, rolls – for anyone camped there (or working at Furnace Creek ) who wanted to drop on by. Rain or shine (or wind etc), dinner was always an adventure. We rarely had under 15 people show up – and often over 40.

– Casey, The Garden Lass


We go to the Outer Banks for Thanksgiving and have pizza from Pizza Hut. It’s quirky, yes, but it’s quiet. The pizza started because many years ago, it was the only place that was open Thanksgiving Day. Now it’s just tradition. We do a big family get together for Christmas, and just enjoy our small unit on this day.

– Yvie, Gypsy Road


He was excited to point out some of the people he was thankful for.
This year’s photo thankfulness tree.  Toby was excited to point out some of the people he was thankful for.

Creating a Thanksgiving tree. I love that it is a creative and cooperative way to prepare for the holiday together.

– Erin, Bambini Travel


We have a thankful tree each November and write out what we are thankful for on leaves and add them to the tree each day. Then for thanksgiving we tape the leaves together to become the table runner for our meal. Great conversation piece!

– Katie, Paradise Praises


I look forward to seeing what my children will choose for our Thanksgiving Calendar. Some times I am really surprised.

– Christy, Thriving STEM


What are Your Favorite Thanksgiving Traditions?

So, let me ask you the same question. What family traditions do you treasure, what memories of Thanksgiving celebrations do you hold dear? What traditions do you want to pass on to future generations?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

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