4 ideas for adding more Thankful to Thanksgiving

1. Make a Thankful Tree

Collect colorful fall leaves and press them in books during the first weeks of Autumn. Find a bare branch, or use a little potted tree and declare it your “Thankful Tree.” Every day during the month of November, write something small that you are thankful for on a leaf. Hang each one on your thankful tree. If you don’t have big, beautiful fall leaves, cut some out of colored paper! Print these beautiful, free cut-outs from author Ann Voskamp! Be creative and make your tree come alive with thanks in a way that is meaningful to you and yours.

2. Write Thankful Notes

There are a lot of lonely people in this world. And there are a lot of people who we should thank more often. It is a shame that we don’t always take the time to do it. This year, brighten the lives of your family and friends by sitting down together as a family and writing little notes with reasons why you are thankful for them and why you are glad they are a part of your life. Use pretty paper, or decorate it with your own drawings. Send them off, and you’ll start a wave of thankfulness wherever they go.

3. Make A Thankful Playlist

Spend some time as a family creating a playlist of songs that remind you of what you are grateful for. Choose songs that won’t let you forget the many things that you have been blessed with. (One of my favorites is Blessings, by Laura Story.)  Play it on Thanksgiving Day to help you keep in mind what this day is all about.

4. Keep a Thankful Heart

It is impossible to expect to suddenly experience an overflow of thankfulness if we do not practice gratitude every day of the year.  Take some time this Thanksgiving to make plans as a family to keep thanksgiving alive in your hearts. Get a journal and make it your place of recording all the reasons big and small you have to be grateful during the year. Re-read it together on Thanksgiving Day so you don’t forget all the blessings—both big and small—that you have been given over the past year! If journals aren’t your thing, figure out what will work for you to make it a habit to keep a thankful heart all year long.

Do you have a tradition or an idea to help keep Thanksgiving thankful?

Write a post and share your tips and stories with us by linking back to this post or by leaving a comment. I’d love to read and learn from what works for you and your family to help make gratitude a bigger part of your Thanksgiving day—and every day throughout the year!

(modified from a post originally posted on BeautifulSong.com)



  1. I love all the ideas. I’m doing #2 for sure; so thankful for everyone who has blessed my life this year!
    One year, we all wrote down what we were each thankful for. I think we did on our napkins or something and then we put them all together on our buffet for reading out loud. I loved that!

  2. This was amazing. My Sunday School kiddos colored Thankful trees this week, so the idea of a real deal made me smile. 🙂

  3. And I thought my idea of a thankful tree was original…

    This is a great idea though, I love it! 🙂

    1. Hehe, I also thought it was “original”… when I wrote this a few years ago! But, since then, I have found that apparently lots of other people share the idea. 🙂 It IS a good one though. I am excited to do it. 🙂

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