1. Volunteer for Thanksgiving: There are so many things that you can do to help others in need year round, but the holiday season is a time when those could use a little extra effort on our ends. Whether it’s taking time to help collect canned foods during a food drive or serving food during a thanksgiving feed at a mission you are certain to enjoy giving back where you are able to.
  2. Give a Family in Need a Thanksgiving Meal: It is easy during the holiday season to get caught up in all of the busy planning, family visiting, and general holiday festivities. However, it is important to keep in mind the things that you really should be focusing on when you are celebrating a holiday intended to promote being grateful. If you don’t know any families that aren’t able to buy their own meal you can find charities that support families in need during the holidays. There are organizations that feed people year around that usually do special events for the holidays and there are plenty that will have lists of families that are not able to buy their own Thanksgiving Day meal. You can pick a family and deliver the meal for them directly to their house or you can deliver it to the charity that runs the programs and let them deliver it. Either way it’s a win win for everyone. Can you think of a better way to remind yourself of what all you can be grateful for?
  3. Name a Few Things you are Grateful for: It doesn’t seem that uncommon when I think about doing this as my experience is that this is all part of Thanksgiving. However, it is really amazing how many people get together with their families and forget to ever acknowledge what it is that they are truly grateful for. Next Thanksgiving when you are sitting around eating your Thanksgiving meal with your family and you find there is an awkward lull of silence in the air, bring up this idea: What/who are you thankful this year? Go around the table and share at least one thing you are thankful for or blessed by.
  4. Read a Children’s Story about the Meaning and Origin of Thanksgiving: Many of us lose sight of what Thanksgiving is all about. In order to keep the focus on what really brought the tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving around it is good to read stories or watch movies/documentaries on the holiday. Children’s books are nice because they offer a more fun playful approach to keeping focused.
  5. Participate in a Thanksgiving Day Run: What better way to start out your Thanksgiving Day (where we eat too much in the first place) than to run first thing in the morning with a bunch of other people who love to do the same thing. It will get your endorphins going, burn some calories, and give you extra energy to sustain the rest of the day.
  6. Use Thanksgiving as a Day to Start a New Tradition for the Year: Just like New Years any day can be the start of a new tradition. You don’t have to wait to until the start of a new year. Use Thanksgiving as an early New Year’s resolution and focus it around being thankful. What can you do year round that will focus your attention on what you are grateful for in life. Maybe you can make a goal to say something you are thankful for every night before you go to bed?
  7. Thanksgiving Box: This site recommends that you start a box and share what you are Thankful for once a week in the box. It talks about taking slips out before Thanksgiving and sharing them. I would like to propose that you take them all out at the same time on Thanksgiving day and read them throughout the day. This would be a really nice way to end the tradition, and of course start it again for the next year.
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