Thanksgiving has the word “thanks” right in the name, but how often do we skip over the thankful part and instead focus on the turkey, seating arrangements and Aunt Mable’s offensive perfume? This year, let’s get back to basics and really think about the reason for the season. Help your family re-capture the essence of the holiday with a scrapbook that builds memories of thankfulness year to year.
What you will need:
1) A large scrapbook with 12×12 inch pages. Look for autumnal colors, but don’t hesitate to get white – you can add your own decorations to make it festive. Decide how many pages you want to devote to each year and how many years you intend to maintain the book.
2) Notions. Get the kids together and give them each a few dollars to select the seasonal decorations that catch their eye at your local craft store.
3) Plastic box. You can corral all of your decorations in a storage box to be used in years to come.
4) Pictures. On Thanksgiving day, make sure you take pictures of special moments and special people. If your children have brought home a host of thanksgiving crafts, line them up on the dining table and take a picture to add to the scrapbook. Their turkey made from dried beans may not last forever, but the picture can!
5) Mementos. If you use place cards, add one to decorate your pages. Leaves or small finds collected on a fall nature walk also make great embellishments.
While all the above elements make for a pretty memory book, we need to get to the purpose behind the book: thankfulness. There are many ways you can incorporate this into your book. Here are some suggestions:
1) Have everyone write what they are thankful for on a slip of paper. Glue a small envelope to the page and add the slips. Each year, those slips can be reviewed and retold.
2) Have a turkey hunt. Copy and cut out several small drawings of a turkey. Hide them around the house. Each time a person finds a turkey, they have to share what they are thankful for that year. Keep the cut out turkeys in an envelope in the scrapbook to be played year after year.
3) Make a meal for a shelter, soup kitchen or shut-in neighbor. Tape a place setting to one page (fully equipped with a white paper plate, napkin and plastic ware) and have your children draw the foods that were served on the surface of the plate.
4) Create a thankful tree. Draw a tree trunk or cut one out of brown construction paper and glue it to a scrapbook page. Cut out leaves of different colors. Place a bowl of the blank paper leaves in the center of the dinner table along with a pen. Have everyone jot down a quick note of thanksgiving. At the end of the day, glue the leaves to the tree.
We all have so much to be thankful for this year. Creating a keepsake of thankful memories can help your family maintain that spirit the whole year through.