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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

November 26, 2019 - 1:25pm --

In November, we often think of the ideal family Thanksgiving meal with everyone sitting around saying what they are thankful for, just like in the movies.  Most people probably have everyone saying the same things (family, friends, etc.), copying each other, or they say nothing at all.  How about a new twist on this lovely old tradition?

Starting now, prior to the busy day, get your thinking caps on and begin to reflect on some fond memories.  Notify everyone that they will be asked, so they have time to think as well.  The memories you choose can be from earlier this year, or from anytime in the past. 

Some ideas might include:

  • What is the funniest thing you remember doing as a family?  Or as a child?  Why?
  • What is your favorite memory and why?
  • When were you the happiest and why? 
  • When did you feel the most special and why?
  • What do you love the most about your family and why?
  • What do you love the most about the holidays and why?

Once you have your ideas, you and the children can make a leaf rubbing craft to keep the memories forever.  Gather crisp leaves from outside, plain paper and crayons.  The beautiful fall colors of red, orange and yellow crayons will put you in the spirit!  Place the leaves under the paper and rub/trace over them with crayons.  Then write/draw your answers on the paper.  Either writing along the edges or using a sharpie is the easiest.  On Thanksgiving Day, the family can take turns showing or telling about his/her memory.  Use the family’s artwork as table or wall decorations for the big day!

To learn about Thanksgiving traditions from around the world, visit

Nina Solomon, Development of Living Skills Instructor, Ohio State University Extension, Butler County