Everyone has that signature thanksgiving memory. Growing up, mine was the GINORMOUS amount of food prepared by my mom. Eaten by the ENORMOUS amount of guests she hosted. Banquet tables flowing from room to room, and kids’ tables wherever we could squeeze them. My mom was, and still is, THE hostess with the mostess. And although my holiday dinners don’t hold a candle to hers, we’ve managed to create a super special thanksgiving tradition of our own. We started this almost 15 years ago, and I think that every family should give it their own spin. It’s guaranteed to bring lots of happy memories.
THE START OF A TRADITION
Our favorite Thanksgiving tradition began back when I was living in Brookline, MA and I popped into Paper Source (my favorite stationery store at the time) to find the SWEETEST little Thanksgiving cards. In fancy script across the top they said “I Am Thankful For”. At the time, I was thankful for my new boyfriend and future in-laws that had invited me to spend Thanksgiving dinner with them . So why not facilitate a little gratitude activity? Brownie points with the may be in-laws, right? Maybe I could counterbalance what I lacked in the Thanksgiving meal prep department?
Well, as you guessed, sharing our gratitude and responses over dessert was a hit. And those “thankful for” cards continued to be purchased from Paper Source for many more years. Once the marriage and relocation happened, Paper Dolls of Saratoga became my “go-to” for my annual gratitude cards. On the years they weren’t carrying them, I had them custom printed. I was THIS serious about keeping up the tradition.
A THANKSGIVING TRADITION TRANSFORMED
You can imagine what happens when you have not one, or two, or three, but four crazy boys? The planning and custom ordering of the thankful for cards gets pushed aside. And the boys take over. I now have a million other things to cook, bake or pick up leading up to our Thanksgiving meal. All while keeping these very demanding monsters busy.
About six years ago, we mixed our thanksgiving tradition up a bit and our cards got a facelift. The boys looked SO forward to this part of our holiday meal, so I asked them, “Why don’t you sit and MAKE the cards? We’ll then give out your hand made cards at dessert for all to fill out?” Any mom knows that this was actually a selfish ploy to keep them busy during those critical turkey stuffing and table setting hours. And so the old tradition was transformed. Now, tacky stickers and index cards are picked up during the last-minute thanksgiving shopping. What our home-made cards lack in elegance, they make up in charm. We can look through years of cards, and laugh at some of the responses. We guess who was responsible for the goofy and sometimes inappropriate comment. We can see the transformation of the kids’ handwriting, and the evolution of their poop emoji attempts. Such a simple thing, that brings us all so much joy.
The best part about this tradition? That it was born from a young, single, dreamer of a girl on Beacon Street. One who never could have imagined how different her life would be in 15 years. And SURELY never could have imagined how incredibly important these little cards would be to four little boys.. and all the happy memories they would bring.