Packed away in my tote of fall decorations is a little brown blank book that came from the dollar store. Warmth spreads through my heart when I flip open the cover and see handprints, doodles, and scrawled words inside.
Each year for the past 11 years our family has taken some time on Thanksgiving Day to write or draw what we are thankful for. Each family member gets one page. Even the babies and toddlers participate by having their hand traced. Then either my husband or I jot down a few things the little one is really into at the moment.
There are always the usual answers about being thankful for God, family, and friends. But then there are the things that are very specific like the year our house finally sold and the year that God provided a mini-van for us.
What have our kids enjoyed about our Thanksgiving Journal?
- Nathaniel, aged 12, must be noticing how he has grown over the years. He says the Thanksgiving Journal “helps us remember what our minds were focused on in the past and helps us realize that what we focus on now is more important.“
- Evelyn, aged 11, says she likes “the memories! I like to see how our hand was so small and now it’s so big. I like how people like to grab it and look through it because it is so popular!“
- I asked Caroline, aged 9, what she liked about the Thanksgiving Journal. She quipped, “I am thankful for it! (See what I did there!) It’s traditional. It has a lot of memories and it’s funny.”
- Molly, aged 8, said “it’s so memorable. It’s like we can go back in time and see what we liked then.”
I enjoy seeing the handwriting especially the kid’s handwriting. It reminds me how tiny they once were and how they have grown. Reading something handwritten feels more intimate than reading something typewritten.
It’s never too late to start a thanksgiving journal. Why not try this year? And if you are the one who hosts Thanksgiving Dinner invite anyone who comes to take a page and write in it.
Is there a way that your family records what you are thankful for? Please share in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!