Stuff We Like: Giving Thanks Together

In a recent post on our site, 10 Thanksgiving Traditions to Try, author Sandy Wallace advocates starting a new tradition with your family this year to help you fully appreciate the symbolism of Thanksgiving and the importance of giving thanks for one's blessings. Even if your little ones (and the grown-ups) are a picture of thankfulness on the fourth Thursday of November, it's tough to keep that same mindset once the want-want-want mantra of the gift-giving season begins. Wallace's suggestions help families extend the spirit of generosity past the pumpkin pie. Below are a few of our favorite ideas, plus some cool products that will help you pull off these new traditions in style.

chalkboard tablecloth or table runnerConstruct a Family Tablecloth

Wallace suggests using a plain white tablecloth and fabric markers, but this chalkboard table runner we found on Etsy.com is a neat alternative. Pictured here in black, it also comes in seven other earthy colors. It's made of a durable cotton material coated in chalkboard paint, which means you can doodle to your heart's content, then wipe it clean and start over. The runner comes in three sizes: Small (36″ x 14″; $24), Medium (54″ x 14″; $32), and Large (72″  x 14″; $40), and custom sizes are available on request.

cookbookDesign a Family Cookbook

Creating your own cookbook is a great way to hold onto family recipes and ensure they get passed down to the next generation. Wallace suggests keeping it simple by typing up your recipes and putting your kids to work on the illustrations. This can definitely be fun, but there are also several online self-publishing services that can help you create your own cookbook in a snap. One is Blurb.com, which offers pre-made layouts with the option to add your own illustrations and photos. Blurb.com also makes it easy to sell your cookbook, if you choose, making it a great community-service project if your profits go to charity.

Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving bookHave a History Lesson

Get into the giving spirit by reminding your kids (and everyone else at your holiday table) how Thanksgiving started and why we celebrate it the way we do. Head over to Scholastic's Thanksgiving site, which features holiday-themed book recommendations, printable worksheets, and informative videos. The site even allows children to take a virtual tour of the Mayflower and learn what daily life was like in 1621.

Read More on Our Site:

Holding On to the Thanks: One Mother Tries to Maintain a Spirit of Gratitude During the Holidays

Teach Your Kids to Appreciate the Little Things

How to Teach Your Kids to Be Thankful this Thanksgiving

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