I want to introduce you to some not so common traditions for Thanksgiving. I was prompted to write this post because since my grandpa died several years ago, I’ve been thinking about how to better preserve my family’s Thanksgiving memories. Let me tell you the story first.
My grandpa began declining in health around the holidays a few years ago and died right after Christmas. He was able to join us for Thanksgiving, but we knew it was going to be the last one with him. We were frantic taking family photos so we could have some visual memories. For some reason we never take holiday photos together. My grandma is relatively health, but at some point, she is going to pass on. I wanted a tradition that would help preserve some memories of my family at Thanksgiving aside from photos.
I love my grandma’s handwriting. She writes in cursive and it’s beautiful. I began thinking about how everyone knows what their family’s handwriting looks like. If a family member has passed away and we find a note or a card with their handwriting on it, we tend to feel comforted and nostalgic.
I took this idea and ran with it to make a priceless family treasure.
Creating Family Memories
What You Need:
1. 4″x6″ album: I got mine at Target for $4.00.
2. Cardstock: I would go with a light color. I also used a textured cardstock.
You can use the FREE templates I provided or make your own. If you use mine, print out however many you need and trim according to the trim lines on the printout.
Hand them out to your family and friends at Thanksgiving. You could even take a picture of each person and insert the photo above their thankful card.
THANKSGIVING FRAMED POSTER BOARD
What You Need:
1. Poster board: traditional size 22″x28″
2. Frame: size 20″x28″; Micahels always has great sales and coupons on their frame
3. Letter stickers: this is to spell out “GRATEFUL,” or “THANKFUL,” or whatever you want!
4. Writing utensil – markers, pens, etc.
Cut down your poster board to fit into the frame. Put your letter stickers on the board.
Now you’re ready to introduce it to your family at Thanksgiving. Take out the poster board, have your family write what they are grateful for, put it back together, and hang it up for everyone to see. Once you run out of room on your first poster board, there’s enough room to put more.
What You Need:
1. Tablecloth/runner: make your own or buy a light colored one
2. Permanent Fabric Marker: fade resistant when washed or dry cleaned
Once you have your tablecloth, bring it out each Thanksgiving to have your family write what they are grateful for on it with the permanent fabric marker. Wash and put away until the next year.
What You Need:
1. Contents from the album you created and maintained for many years
2. Reputable book making company: Blurb makes fantastic quality books for a decent price
Eventually, maybe every 5 or 10 years, you could make a book from what you’ve accumulated in your binder. Of course though, a book doesn’t have the hard copy of your family’s writing. It would just be a fun, beautiful memoir to have; another way to preserve the family tradition.
Thankful Card Template
I hope you like the Thankful Card templates I made. Be sure to download the card templates I provided above. It’ll save you tons of time. If you’re wondering how I made them, let me know and I’d be glad to do a tutorial. If you’re wanting other years for the Title Page template like 2013 and so on, let me know that too and I’d be glad to provide them for you.
My 2012 Thanksgiving Tradition
I’m going to make the Thanksgiving Album a tradition from now on. It’s super cost effective. Plus you can use the same album for several years if you don’t have that big of a Thanksgiving get together. I’m definitely going to try and actually take photos from now on too. I’m going to regret not having the photo memories. I’m going to love watching the age metamorphosis. Well maybe not so much for myself 🙂
Your 2012 Thanksgiving Crafts
I want to see what you’re doing this year. Email me, comment with a link to your website or a photo of your crafty goodness, or just tell me about it! I also want to know which of the above crafts you like most or you see yourself doing at some point.
Happy Thanksgiving crafting my lovely home philosophers!