Thanksgiving Tablecloth Tradition


I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.

Henry David Thoreau

Across America, people will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week.

Some people will be watching one of the NFL football games televised throughout the day.  Others will watch a Thanksgiving parade.  Many Americans will be gathering with family and friends to eat a traditional Thanksgiving feast.  A few of you may lace up your running shoes or your football cleats for a Thanksgiving 5K or a community Turkey Bowl game.

These are all great traditions.  I know I’m looking forward to spending time with my family and eating the delicious Thanksgiving feast.

Thanksgiving is more than family, food, and football.  Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful.  While we should be thankful all year, Thanksgiving gives us all the opportunity to more intentional in our gratitude.

For the past 15 years, our family has celebrated Thanksgiving with our Thanksgiving Tablecloth Tradition.

Here’s how it works:

We have a white tablecloth for our Thanksgiving table.  We purchased fabric markers.  Each guest at our Thanksgiving feast traces their hand print on the tablecloth using one of the fabric markers (make sure you put a piece of cardboard under the tablecloth while you are doing this part).  They write their name and the year in the palm of the hand print.  Then each guest writes five things for which they are thankful (one in each finger).  You may want to put a piece of clear plastic over the tablecloth after everyone has finished their hand print.

Each year we pull out the tablecloth, and we read over the hand prints from previous years.  It’s amazing to see God’s provision in our lives over the years.

We are on our 2nd tablecloth.  The tablecloths include names of family members who are no longer with us.  They include the colorful and sloppy handwriting of our youngest family members, and they include the beautiful hand prints from friends who joined us for the Thanksgiving meal.

Over the next week, I’ll be sharing the five things I’ll be writing on my hand print this year.

Start a new tradition this year – The Thanksgiving Tablecloth Tradition.  Go pickup a tablecloth and some fabric markers.  It’s good to give thanks.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.  Psalm 100:4

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?  Why are you thankful this year?  Share your thoughts in the comments.