Saturday, November 23, 2019

Thanksgiving Tradition - Thankful Hand Prints

Thanksgiving is just a few days away and it provides a wonderful opportunity to engage your family in traditions you have observed throughout the years and to start new traditions as well. I wrote a few days about about my family's tradition of writing/ drawing something for which we are thankful on our Thanksgiving Table Cloth

Today I want to share with you another idea you could use to help your family think about being thankful for one another - all year long. For this project you will need . . .
  • Paper - one half sheet per person
  • Pencils
  • Crayons/markers
  • Scissors
Take time to talk about how you are so very thankful for the people God gifted to your family and how God knew what He was doing when He both created each of you and when He put you all in the same family. Go around and share something for which you are thankful about each person in your family. Give time for others to do the same if they wish.

Hand out the paper to everyone and ask each person to trace their hand - or have someone help trace their hand on their paper - fingers together like a praying hand. Then hand out the crayons/ markers and ask everyone to draw a self-portrait on the palm of the hand - doesn't have to be a work of art, just a basic head shape, hair, eyes, etc. (Have parents/grandparents/older siblings help younger children if necessary, but encourage them to do as much as they are able - it doesn't have to be perfect, so whatever they are able to do is wonderful!) Ask everyone to draw/write things on the fingers which show who they are - favorite color, favorite activity (playing a musical instrument, art, climbing, biking, cooking, etc.) and then write their name on it wherever they like. Have them turn it over and write a prayer request on the back of their hand - school, friends, health concerns, job, etc.

Once everyone finishes personalizing their hand, give them time to show and explain their drawings then cut them out and put them in a large bag/bowl. Go around - beginning with the youngest and have each person close their eyes and draw out one hand print. If they draw their own, hold on to it and draw another then return their hand print to the bag/bowl.

Tell your family you would like them to put the hand print they chose where they will see it each day - on the wall by their bed, on their dresser, on the bathroom mirror - somewhere they will see it. When they do, thank God for the amazing way He created their family member and pray for them. Ask them to do this each day for the coming year and to bring their hand print with them to next year's Thanksgiving celebration where they will all be able to share how this went for them and do it all over again. Save all the "old" hand prints from previous years in a special container.

This simple Thanksgiving Tradition is something new I want to try with my family this year. I think it has the potential to be a fun way to help the family connect and encourage one another. What do you think?

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