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This week it is Thanksgiving here in Canada.
It is also my partner’s birthday weekend.

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? What are your rituals and traditions?

Growing up Thanksgiving was the holiday with an eclectic mixture of people at our table. We didn’t really have much for family so my mother would often invite people home for dinner. People she worked with or friends. When I think of a Thanksgiving tradition that is what I think of.

But when I look at my Thanksgivings when I was raising my children yes it was having friends around the table but we also had specific things that needed to be on the table. Thanksgiving was turkey, mashed potatoes, broccoli rice casserole, and marshmallow salad (ambrosia). We added other things, but these items were always there.

But, I don’t remember having specific traditions around giving thanks to things we did that day. Those things would change each year, we usually spent the day cooking and visiting but we always gave thanks in some way.

I’ve compiled a list of some ways in which you can give thanks this year.

At Dinner

Saying Thanks. 
Ask each person around the dinner table, in turn, to express their thanks for something that has occurred over the past year.

Pass the Gratitude Basket. 
Everyone gets a sheet of paper and a pencil. Ask each person to write down one thing that makes them feel grateful and put it into a basket. Pass the basket around the table and have everyone read another person's paper, followed by the group guessing who wrote it.

Thanksgiving Show and Tell. 
Everyone is asked to bring along something that reflects what they are thankful for that year. Each person takes turns sharing it with the group and tell their story. It might be an item, a photo, a song, or any other item that illustrates their point.

A Thanksgiving Sing-Along. 
Download and sing songs about Thanksgiving or giving thanks, that include old favorites as well as songs sung by contemporary artists.

Thanks All Around. 
If your Thanksgiving table is filled with close friends and family, and not guests who are meeting one another for the first time, go around the table and each person says why they're thankful for the person sitting next to them. It can be the person on their right, left, or even both sides.

Thanksgiving Scrapbook. 
A holiday scrapbook that will be more cherished as the years pass. Take a blank scrapbook and each year put in photos of family and friends gathered that year; photos of all of the food served; add notes about special things that happened that day; recipes for the dishes and notes about who created each dish. Ask each person to write in the book what they are thankful for that year.

Thanksgiving Cookbook
Ask everyone to bring their favorite dish to dinner as well as the recipe, compile those recipes into an ongoing cookbook. Adding to it each year.

Thanks for the kids (big and small)

A Picture Says a Thousand Words. 
Draw pictures of the things that you feel most grateful for this year.

Create a Thankful Mural. 
Cover a wall with a large piece of kraft paper. Draw pictures and words for those things which you are grateful.

Artful Turkeys. 
Create turkey pictures using your traced hands. Write what you are thankful for on each feather, followed by coloring in the turkeys. When the turkeys are finished, share what's written on the feathers. You can add these to your scrapbook as one of the memories for this year.


Other Things You can Do to give thanks

  • Have a conversation with someone you love
  • Send a handwritten letter or note
  • Donate to a favourite charity
  • Serve at a food kitchen
  • Visit a hospital
  • Send a care package to a soldier or elderly person
  • Deliver a care package to someone on the street
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter
  • Create and deliver a Thanksgiving dinner basket for a family in need
  • Donate items to a second hand store/thrift shop

Whatever you decide, I wish for you the best holiday for you.
I will be with my partner’s family celebrating Thanksgiving and her birthday.

Have an amazingly Creative Day,


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