Last year we inaugurated a new family Thanksgiving tradition: requiring a “ticket” for admission for each member for Thanksgiving dinner. While this ticket is free, there is a cost involved–everyone has to put in writing at least one thing for which they are thankful from the previous year, then place it in our Thankful Box. Ideally (for the members in our household), everyone is supposed to be writing “thanks” throughout the year. It hasn’t exactly worked out that way, but, still, it’s one of my countless mama-fantasies that sounds GREAT on paper. For children too young to write their own, they can dictate their thanks to older siblings or Mom or Dad.
Last time it provided fabulous, laughter-filled, post-dinner conversation and provided a peek into the sometimes scary, sometimes insane psyche of my family. Perhaps for the first time ever, we spent time considering ALL the blessings for which we have reason to give thanks, some light-hearted, others quite profound–if you clicked the previous link, you saw that no blessing was “too small” to be included (soap? regular bowel movements??? you really should click the link…).
After realizing I had written about this, my kids reminded me that we passed around the box and took turns reading the slips of “thankful notes”; then, we tried to guess who had written it. If you’re looking for a fantastic conversation starter, this will compliment ANY meal, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter…whenever you’d like to extend your time together.
I wrote a short little poem to explain our Thankful Box; for Christmas, I gave a copy of it and a decorative box to each of our siblings (I wonder if theirs are empty or full….). You can pick up beautiful but inexpensive boxes at Hobby Lobby, Kirklands or (I’m sure) other craft stores in your area (especially with half-off coupons in your local paper), or for a fun project, you can make your own Thankful Box.
I’m just a little Thankful Box
And treasures I do hold.
Memories from this year gone past
As priceless as pure gold.
Each time you’re truly grateful
For big things and for small
Write it down and drop it in ~
I want to hear them all!
Be sure to write your name and date
So everyone will know
How special was this memory
And how God blessed you so.
Then, once a year, take them out
All gathered ’round to listen.
Reading, with smiles, remembering~
A Thanksgiving tradition.
~ Robin Dance, www.robindance.me