Meaningful Thanksgiving Traditions Plus Tablescape Inspiration

How to Make Thanksgiving Memorable for Your Family


It’s so tempting to skip over Thanksgiving and get right in the Christmas spirit. But like the Pilgrims, who stopped to remember all that God had done for them, we also should take time to celebrate our blessings, which includes spending time with our families. In this post you’ll find easy yet meaningful family traditions and activities you can start this year. But, first, you’ll be inspired by the swoon-worthy Thanksgiving tablescape from a recent “Modern-Day Lady Pilgrims” collaboration I took part in with San Antonio-based Cloche Designs.

thanksgiving tablescapesasha nicholas champagne bucket

I was so honored to be asked by Laura Nell Burton and Christin Gish of Cloche Designs to contribute hostess gift ideas for their Modern-Day Lady Pilgrims collaboration with other female entrepreneurs I deeply admire: Holly Hollon (Creative Director) and Jennifer Hunt (Founder) of Dixie Design Collective, Cynthia Nouri of Sasha Nicholas (who makes this gorgeous champagne bucket!), New York-based artist Inslee Fariss, and Jenna Kingman of JWK Style.

For the ladies’ Thanksgiving hostess gift, I chose this exquisite carved teak serving board found on DoSayGive’s Gourmet Holiday Gift Guide paired with The Gift of Today’s family recipe tea towel found on DoSayGive’s Personalized Gift Guide.

recipe tea towel

For hostess gifts for the little girls, I chose hand-painted Pilgrim and Indian peg dolls that can be enjoyed year after year. (And keep little hands occupied while waiting for the adults to finish their meal!) I also chose one of my favorite classic children’s picture books this time of year, The Thanksgiving Story.

Thanksgiving Family Traditions + Activities

  • Record this year’s blessings in a family journal. Each year read over to remember God’s faithfulness and goodness.
  • Have one of the children read George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation. *More fun if he surprises extended family and dresses up like George Washington!
  • Go on a family walk before the Thanksgiving meal. (This is especially helpful to cooks who don’t want anyone in their kitchen – ha!)
  • Have extended family members each bring multiples of one toiletry item to make boxes for local homeless shelters. Another good activity for children.
  • Invite a neighbor or friend to dinner who may not have any family nearby and make them feel loved and welcome.
  • For non-tech entertainment, have children act out the Thanksgiving Story and get creative with costumes!
  • Listen to a family audiobook on the long drive to or from grandparents’. (Little House in on the Prairie has a sweet Christmas story!)
  • Start an annual epic family game competition. It can be flag football – or board games!
  • Collect branches on a nature walk to make a Thankful Tree. (Also can be centerpiece for children’s table.) Pre-make paper turkey ornaments tracing cookie cutters and have people write down what they are most thankful for.
  • Turn on music and have a family dance party (after everyone naps, of course!)
  • Don’t forget to take a family photo. You won’t regret it years down the road!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Photos: Parrish Photography




Monogram Napkin Rings

Handwriting Champagne Bucket

Carved Teak Serving Board

Pilgrim and Indian Peg Dolls

Recipe Tea Towel

The Thanksgiving Story

Entire source list on Cloche Designs

Pin this post to remember these special traditions every year!

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