Take time to write in a Thanksgiving journal each year.

Saved and added to each year, this journal becomes a reminder of God’s blessings bestowed on your family. After breakfast on Thanksgiving Day, set aside time for each person to fill in his or her thoughts. Every year, the handwriting and the blessings become more precious.

Have one of the children make place cards for the guests at the table.

Fold a blank 3 x 5 card lengthwise and decorate it with holiday stickers, stars, markers, or leaves. As your child writes the names of the guests on the cards, talk about why you are thankful for each of those individuals.

Ask each guest to come prepared with something to share after dinner.

This could be a song played on a musical instrument, a poem cut from a magazine, a verse of Scripture, a historical word scramble, a picture drawn for the occasion, etc. Create a warm atmosphere of sharing, and end with a prayer of thanksgiving.

Name those blessings.

Make a decorative poster, using your last name as an acrostic. Each letter should start a word, phrase, or sentence of thanksgiving. Keep it simple or make it into a rhyming poem. Thanksgiving becomes more personal (and specific) when your name is involved.

Know God’s Word.

Early in the week, challenge your family to find appropriate Scripture verses to share. Each person will copy the verses onto decorative paper and then read them aloud between the main course and dessert. Post them for further contemplation and discussion throughout the day. Use them for evening prayers.

Sing a hymn of thanks or a praise chorus before or after the meal.

Some ideas: “Jesus We Just Want to Thank You,” “God Is So Good,” “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow,” and “Bless the Lord, O My Soul.” Hold hands while singing, and pass along a squeeze!

Copyright 2010, The Old Schoolhouse®. Used with permission. All rights reserved by the Author. Originally appeared in the Holiday Supplement 2010 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade publication for homeschool moms.

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Brynda Filkins lives in Charlotte, Michigan with her husband, David. They homeschooled their three daughters, who now live in Texas and Colorado. All of the family remembers many happy times around the dining room table, celebrating holiday traditions. Other homeschooling families, neighbors, and international students often joined in the fun.