It's Thanksgiving time once again! What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? Do you make gratitude lists or keep a blessings journal? One of our favorites is turning our fireplace into a giant tree for our Giving Tree. Ours has fun little twists to help us really live in thanksgiving daily. This year go beyond the typical blessings and transform your family history into a Thanksgiving tradition.
Head to FamilySearch.org to set up your profile. Then start getting to know your ancestors! Pick one ancestor for every day there is until Thanksgiving. As you gather names, check out the memories part for each person. The neat thing about FamilySearch.org is people can add photos and other memories to each ancestor. If you are blessed to have Memories already in your line, start reading and print out photos if you can. After you've gathered enough people, put one ancestor's name on each leaf and a little story prompt or photo. Are you only able to find the date and place of birth? That's okay, you can still talk about the name as well as some facts about what went on in that area around that time frame. You can also set some goals to find out more about those individuals. Try using Relative Finder as well to easily find ancestors with stories to tell.
Each day, take the time at dinner or during bedtime stories to highlight one ancestor then tape the leaf on the tree. By the time Thanksgiving comes, you'll have made a real family tree and have gotten to know a lot more ancestors. THEN on Thanksgiving Day, give everyone in your family a leaf too. Have each person write down a little thing that they want people to remember about them or what they hope their legacy is.
Are you ready to make your family history come alive? Children love hearing about where they came from. It helps them feel connected and not so alone. They can draw on the strength of their ancestors as they go through difficulties. Don't have time to do an ancestor everyday? Pick one a week, or do it only the week of Thanksgiving. Remember to print out some of our other Thanksgiving printables for your dinner plans too. You'll find everything from table games to napkin rings.
Your Turn- What do you admire about your ancestors? What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?