Thanksgiving Family Traditions

By Kate Riley November 19, 2009

This time of year, we look to our family traditions as a way of remembering our past, celebrating the present, and bringing our families closer together.  Today, I have some marvelous fall traditions, brought to you by some additional participants in Guest Blogger Week. 

Candi writes:

“First of all, let me say that I am filled with GRATITUDE to Kate for featuring my “Gratitude Tree” idea on her amazing site. I sometimes look at her ideas and wonder when the girl must sleep – how does she do it all ?   Today, I’d like to tell you about our “Gratitude Tree.” Our family started a tradition a few years ago.  We sit down together during November and write down some of the things we’re grateful for.  In the past, we would simply write our ideas down on leaves and put them on our kitchen wall.  This year, I took branches from outside, placed them into floral foam in a pot.  With some tags, I began a new family tradition. “

Candi’s Gratitude Tree

grat tree

Supplies to make this decorative sign:  Chipboard; scissors; scrapbook paper; ribbon (two pieces – at least 40” each); hot glue; hole punch; Modge Podge or adhesive; letters (I used vinyl letters – again, use whatever you prefer; optional – one office tag (measures 2-5/8” wide x 5-1/4” tall)


grat sign

For the full step by step on creating this sweet and simple tree, visit Candi’s blog right here


Alexis’ Felted Acorns

Alexis and her family start their autumn day with baskets and go on a long nature hike.  On their walk, they search for acorn tops to make a simple craft when they return home. 

alexis fall walk

They gather bits of wool and roll them into balls.

alexis wool felt

With warm soapy water, they dip the balls of wool into the water and roll it in their hands.   They allow the little balls of wool to dry over night, and then take a glue gun and glue on the little acorn tops!

alexis acorns

A unique and beautifully crafted acorn is born, perfect for adorning a table, mantle or even add a piece of string to make Christmas tree ornaments.

alexis acorns with felt

Thanks Alexis for sharing !  You can visit Alexis cute blog right here

Thank you to both Candi and Alexis for participating in the Guest Blogger lineup. 




Two other traditions I am smitten with are these by some other blog friends.

I am a huge fan of this Thankful Journal, created by my friend Cathe over at Just Something I Made.


I also admire this Leaves of Gratitude tree featured by my friend Jen at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

 mainpic Thanksgiving Tradition   Leaves of Gratitude


I admire anyone who creates a meaningful tradition for their family.  What are your family’s fall traditions  ?


  1. We have a Pilgrim “manners” dinner every year complete with long napkins to our knees, no forks at the table, eldest male seated while the rest of us stand, and kids only speaking when spoken to. The kids recite Psalm 100 a passage many of the Pilgrims memorized. We take communion as a family at this dinner and Thanksgiving.

  2. Hi my friend – thanks for the shout out….I love that a “natural” tree with twigs was shared. I was going to attempt to get one of those made for my leaves of thanks tree to show people options but ran out of time. :)

  3. I love the gratitude tree! So beautiful, and such a wonderful way to celebrate the meaning of the season. Props girl!

  4. These days, we really don’t have any. You sometimes have to adapt as your children get older and leave home (or the state as one of mine did). Our holiday traditions have all gone out the window. Thanksgiving will just be the 2 of us this year…I can’t decide how I feel about that. Sad? Excited to stay in my pjs and watch the parade? This will be my third Christmas spent in a hotel room. We now spend 2 weeks away for Christmas as my daughter has to work (Disney). So, we have a little $10 tree and spend the day at the pool while she’s at work. It is odd, but warm and fun. It also is spent without my son, who has to be at work here in Illinois. Things aren’t how they were for me growing up. They aren’t how I thought they would be when my kids were in their 20’s. They are however filled with love and family, so, we are adjusting.

  5. Oh, Kate. Thank you so much for featuring our family journal.

    I am completely GRATEFUL to know you in the “real person” over coffee in town now and then. I look SO forward to our dates together with MamaCow. Grateful to be a part of a whole new friendship experience. You inspire me to no end, especially in the family sense, you speak so highly and kindly of the ones you love. Wonderful post today, as usual: )

  6. I love these ideas! I have to be sure to gather some acorns and branches the next possible time I can! Er, and purchase wool for felting.

  7. I love the gratitude tree idea!!! Thank you so much for giving me a new family tradition!!! I will add you to my blog list and I am a happy new follower. I have a blog that started with the planning of my baby’s second birthday and I have added a couple of other things, please stop by my blog and tell me what you think, I would love to have input from you!

    My blog: Sweetly Sweet

  8. Hi, it’s me again :). I made some tags to hang from the Gratitude Tree for my family this year and I published them as a freebie on my blog. I thought it would be nice to share them with you. You can find the tags here.

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