'Thankful' Thanksgiving Ideas

By Malia Karlinsky

Thanksgiving is about family, food and being thankful. Here are some inexpensive and easy ideas to incorporate and encourage that feeling of gratitude in your holiday get together.

Tablecloth: We spend many meals trying NOT to get any stains in the tablecloth… but this idea involves leaving your mark on the tablecloth on purpose.

Maybe you have a white tablecloth at home that's been well worn or you can pick one up at stores like Fred Meyer for a great price this time of year. All you need is a white tablecloth and some permanent colored pens, like Sharpies.

Cover your table with a plastic tablecloth and put the white one on top. Leave the permanent markers out and encourage your guests to write what their thankful for and/or draw a picture of what they're grateful for. This is a fun way to keep the kids occupied too.

Guest of all ages will enjoy participating! Bonus: You can continue adding to this usable art every Thanksgiving. Over the years, it will be a precious keepsake.

Thankful Tree: If you're looking for a way to get guests in the spirit of the holiday, consider a Thankful Tree. Grab some branches from your backyard or find pretty faux leafy branches at the supermarket or craft store.

As guests arrive, have them jot down something they are grateful for and using a small clothespin, attach it to the tree. It makes for a meaningful display everyone will enjoy.

Picture Place Cards: This is a simple activity that will get everyone feeling that Thanksgiving love. Forgo traditional place cards and use photos of your guests instead. Use double-sided tape to attach and index card or lined paper and write, "I am thankful for… (whoever it is) on the back. Everyone takes a moment to reflect and write why they are thankful for each other. All the guests will feel special!

Mini Thankful Book: Here's a little project for the kids or something you can give guests for a takeaway.

These free mini-thankful books are great to carry around in a purse or a backpack to help you remember all the little and big things you are thankful for this holiday season. Jot your ideas down as you feel inspired-- it's sure to get you counting your blessings.

Download your free mini-book. To print pages click "Actions" then select the size "Original" then "Download the original size of this photo" and print.