Here in Canada, we celebrated our Thanksgiving a month ago, but I feel it is a great time of year to extend gratitude and creativity all the way through the entire month of November. This is the darkest time of year, and a perfect time to lift our spirits by surrounding ourselves with warmth, family, friends, and inspiration.
Some of us cook that all day, create beautiful centerpieces for the table and deck our homes out in fall colors. Others bring a drink or a dish and join someone else in the family for dinner. Either way, many of us choose to enjoy one another’s company and make the most of this holiday long weekend.
Family and food are certainly important parts of the Thanksgiving holiday. The first Thanksgiving was all about giving thanks for the bountiful harvest, and to pay heed to all the other good things that we often take for granted.
Something you may wish to try in order to place some further gratitude into your Thanksgiving, is to get your creative juices flowing and tap into your crafty self. Starting a Thanksgiving journal is a great way to get everyone thinking about the many things they have to be grateful for. Such an occasion calls for an extra special hand-decorated journal! You can make one very simply with just a few scrapbooking supplies, and if you want to get the whole family involved, you can try having your kids make their own, or you can make one journal for the entire family. Who knows, this may even become a yearly tradition!
Here is what you will need to get yourself started on your Thanksgiving journal creation journey:
* Composition journal
* Scrapbooking paper
* Glue stick
* Embellishments (ribbons, stickers, die cuts, etc.)
How to Make Your Thanksgiving Journal:
1. Use the glue stick to apply a uniform coat of glue on the front cover of the journal. Do not put any glue on the spine, but make sure to get it all the way to each edge of the cover itself.
2. Place a piece of scrapbooking paper on top of the journal, up against the spine. Press down firmly and smooth so that there are no bubbles.
3. Open the cover of the journal, and cut the scrapbooking paper even with it.
4. Do the same thing with the back cover of the journal. You could use the same paper as you used on the front, or a co-ordinating solid color.
5. Add ribbon, stickers, die cuts or any other embellishments you like to the front cover of the journal. Let glue set well before using.
Now that you have a beautiful Thanksgiving journal, it’s time to put it to good use. When your guests arrive, or after dinner, ask each one of them to write down some things that they’re thankful for. And why not encourage them to share memories of past Thanksgivings? Make sure they put their name at the top or bottom of the page. You will now have a gorgeous Thanksgiving keepsake for years to come.
I have an extra special gift for you as well, compliments of the fine folks at Sounds True. It is a free download called The Thanksgiving Reader, and it has been created by none other than the incredible Seth Godin. What I love most about this reader is that it is filled with traditional Native American prayers and gratitudes. Right up my alley! Here is a little note from Seth himself:
The best holiday of the year.
This is a holiday about gratitude, about family and about possibility. It brings people together to not only celebrate the end of the harvest, but to look one in another in the eye and share something magical.
I’m hoping that this year, you and your family will help us start a new holiday tradition.
The idea is simple: At your Thanksgiving celebration (and yes, it’s okay to use it outside the US), consider going around the table and having each person read a section aloud.
Before the meal starts, all you need to do is put one page on each person’s chair and follow the simple steps.
During the ten or fifteen minutes your family spends reading together, millions of people will all be reading the same words, thinking about the same issues, connecting with each other over the essence of what we celebrate.
After all the travel and the cooking and the hassle, for these few minutes, perhaps we can all breathe the same air and think hard about what we’re thankful for.
Thank you for being part of this, something bigger than each of us.
Please treat yourself and download this free gift here! Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Prayer of the Haudenosaunee Nation
We return thanks to our mother, the earth,
Which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams,
Which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs,
Which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and the stars,
Which have given us their light
When the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun,
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit,
In Whom is embodied all goodness,
And Who directs all things for the good of Her children.
That has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
ADAPTED FROM FIRST NATION’S PRAYER