This time of year brings out traditions in families, but it’s never too late to start a new tradition. As long as you honor gratitude, togetherness and celebration, any annual Thanksgiving Day activity can become a lasting time-honored tradition in your family.

Find a new place to celebrate

Most families relax around the house after dinner, watching football or movies. Get up and out. And take the whole family to a bowling alley, skating, laser tag, or anything fun. It may not be the norm, but this Thanksgiving tradition can become a defining event in that family.

Start a Grio conversation

Sit down with your family and reminisce about your childhood celebrations (let the eldest member of the family lead the conversation). You’d be amazing at how this storytelling tradition can be passed down between generations and allow your family’s legacy to live on.

Make a small booklet or mini scrapbook album

Write “five things I love about my family and friends” and keep it out on the table during your Thanksgiving celebration. Each guest can come and record thoughts and insights. Other great themes to try are “five things I’m thankful for” or “five wishes for my family and friends.” An even simpler approach would be to put one sheet of cardstock out for each year — and combine them together over the years in a Thanksgiving Gratitude Scrapbook.

Make a gratitude circle

Before the Thanksgiving meal, everyone stands and holds hands in a circle. Guests each take a turn sharing what they are grateful for. Or — if your guests are on the shy side — ask everyone to write down their blessings on a piece of paper, which you can read before or after dinner.

Show your gratitude to an unsung hero

Get together with your family and decide on a person or a group in your community who could use an extra pat on the back — firefighters, soldiers, police officers all fit the bill. Put together a special plate of goodies and deliver it (or pack it up for shipping) as a family.

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