Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and I’m getting ready for my Thanksgiving feast! But for me, Thanksgiving is about more than food. It’s about being thankful, of course, but also about celebrating friends and family. After all, friends and family are great reasons to be thankful. They’re with you to celebrate good times and comfort you in the bad times.

I think it’s important to incorporate Thanksgiving traditions that put the focus on relationships and being thankful. But these traditions shouldn’t cost a lot, because you want traditions that you can keep up in good financial years and bad. The following traditions do just that. I don’t practice all of them, but they are traditions I’ve stuck in my memory bank from the years I was establishing my own family traditions.

Thanksgiving Journal

I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this before, as it’s my personal Thanksgiving tradition. My family has a journal that comes out every year on Thanksgiving day. At some point during the day, everyone who spends Thanksgiving with us writes an entry in the journal, stating what they are thankful for. Each person signs and dates his journal entry, and the journal is put away until the next year.

It’s fun to read back through past journal entries and remember each Thanksgiving. And my hope is that this tradition will be passed down to our children and grandchildren someday.

Thanksgiving Tablecloth

Similar to the Thanksgiving journal, the Thanksgiving tablecloth keeps a record of Thanksgiving guests. Just buy a simple white tablecloth, and pass a permanent marker around the table. Have each of your guests sign the tablecloth. Each year, pull out the same tablecloth and add the signatures of your new guests! Add the year next to the signature or use different colors for different years.

Thanksgiving Tree

Making a Thanksgiving tree is a fun craft for kids. In addition to being fun, it really gets kids thinking about what they’re Thankful for.

A Thanksgiving tree can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. Basically, you just need to cut a tree trunk out of construction paper and glue it to a background. Then cut out colorful leaves, and have the children write what they are thankful for on the leaves and glue them to the tree.

Whatever you do to celebrate Thanksgiving, make sure you take time to remember what you are thankful for and take time to show your appreciation for those who have blessed your life. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!