A New Thanksgiving Tradition for Your Grandchildren


I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving for over three decades and I’m always looking for new traditions to share with my family. A few years ago I came up with one that’s fun for all generations.

Go to a craft store and buy some paper fall-colored leaves. As your guests arrive and are awaiting the big meal, ask each one to take a leaf and write something they are grateful for on the leaf. Ask the youngest children, who don’t know how to write but understand the idea, to tell you what they’re grateful for and write it on a leaf for them. Tell them not to show it to anyone. Collect all the leaves in a basket and put them away until after the meal.

After the dishes have been cleared, bring out the basket and pass it around the table. Let each person pick a leaf and make sure it’s not the one they wrote. Then take turns going around the table and ask each person to read the leaf she selected and try to guess who wrote it. You’ll have fun hearing what different generations write and you’ll instill a sense of gratitude in a light-hearted but purposeful way.


  1. says

    I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving for 30+ years just like you. I think I did my first one in 1974. Thanksgiving is “my” holiday, and your idea is a good one to make it even more special.