Hi! My name is Julie and I am the glittery mess over at The Happy Home Fairy. My mission is to provide Mommies (like you!!) with magical ideas to help you build Happy Homes!
Since I became a wife and then a mommy to my now 16-month-old, I learned very quickly that Happy Homes don’t just happen – they take a lot of time, energy, and creativity! It’s hard, though, to have those three things all at once! Sheesh – some days I’m just so grateful if I can get out of my pajamas!
The Happy Home Fairy is stocked with magical craft, activity, family tradition, and recipe ideas to bless your Happy Buddies, as well as Date Your Mate Magic to make a Happy Hubby!
BIG thanks to Mariel for the privilege of Guest Posting on this site that is clearly building Happy Homes all the time!
Today I want to present an idea that I think would be the perfect way to enjoy the Thanksgiving season with your families…
Have a Thankful Family Night!
Before the big Turkey Day with all the dishes to prepare and all the relatives to entertain, invite your Happy Buddies and Happy Hubby to an evening of being thankful. I promise you’ll have so much fun, you’ll want to have one every year!
First thing to do to prepare for Thankful Family Night… Schedule the whole family to be there. It needs to be a night when everyone can be together.
Second thing to do… On the night of your Thankful Family Night, place a cute basket by your front door to collect all forms of media (that’s right, no cell phones, I-pods, Blackberries, etc.).
Third thing to do… Serve something absolutely delicious but super simple to make. Right now I am OBSESSED with my slow-cooker. It produces all manner of tasty goodness without a ton of labor. You can find a great menu for your Thankful Family Night HERE!
Fourth thing to do… Dim the lights as you sit down to dinner. Put tea lights at each family member’s place setting. Discuss the meaning of being thankful. Look up the definition in the dictionary or share a Bible verse about thanksgiving (my favorite is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). While you are enjoying your delicious-but-super-simple-to-make-meal, go around the table and have each person share what they are grateful for. Have them light their candle after their turn (or if your Happy Buddies are teeny like mine, light it for them and then place it 3,489 feet away. ).
Fifth thing to do… After everyone has Happy Tummies and the room is warmly glowing with gratitude, do an activity as a family that focuses on being grateful.
Make Thank You cards for the people in your family’s world that you interact with regularly but don’t necessarily know, like the grocery store cashier, the bank teller (my little Happy Buddy and I LOVE sending treasures through those containers at the bank drive-thru. What a surprise!), the coffee shop employee, etc. Put all the cards in a special bag that you can take with you when your family runs an errand. Let your kids hand them out.
Ding Dong Ditch a bag of Thanksgiving groceries to a family you know that is in need. I can’t think of anything more magical than that!
Messages of Thanks. Have each member in the family decorate large envelopes with Thanksgiving-themed stickers (I always find the cutest stickers in the card aisles at local stores like Wal-Mart of Target), colorful hand-print turkeys, and their name written front and center. I wrote “Gobbling Up Gratitude For…” on ours!) That night each person jots down one thing that they are thankful for about their parent/sibling/hubby/wife and slips it into the appropriate envelopes. Then hang the envelopes where everyone can see them. Over the next several days leading up to Thanksgiving, encourage your family to jot notes of thanks to one another and drop them in the corresponding envelopes. Open your envelopes on Thanksgiving morning and read all the grateful nuggets your family members have said about you!
Call someone as a family – just to tell them you are grateful for them. Guess it’s okay to bring out the cell phone for that!
Don’t forget to share a Thankful Family Hug at the end of your magical night!
I’d LOVE to hear about your Thankful Family Night! Please drop me a comment to tell me about your family and the little things you do to make a Happy Home!
Happy Thankful Family Night-ing!