These DIY Thanksgiving Gratitude Journals are a simple crafts that you could give to family and friends this holiday season, because gratitude is something that we all can use a bit more of right?
Somehow I blinked and now my kids are nearly grown. I don’t know how it happened. People always tell you that it “goes so fast” but you don’t really get it until it happens to you. This year for Halloween our kids totally ditched us to go trick or treat with their friends… my husband and I went out to dinner to a nearly empty restaurant! (We were totally pathetic if you ask me.) This getting older thing is not for the weak of heart.
This year has marked the first year that our oldest lives full time out of state. Her room is now a “guest” room and hers when she visits. How did that happen? I mean you send the kids off to college and assume they will be back for summers and holidays, and then they get jobs or take extra classes and the next thing you know you see them for a couple of weeks in the summer and winter.
With Thanksgiving around the corner I’ve been thinking about how much our family has changed in the last 5 years. It seems that we had YEARS with little kids and all of the struggles associated with small children (having twins will do that to you.) Going shopping alone seemed to be such a luxury at one time and now it seems almost commonplace.
(Yep, those are JUST mashed potatoes on her plate.)
I’ve now got a 20 year old and two 14 year olds and with that growth comes the need to change and add to some of our family’s holiday celebrations and traditions. The Thanksgiving table used to be all about crayons, toys, mac n’ cheese and plastic cups and now we don’t even have a kids table anymore (oh, but there is still mac n’ cheese, there will always be mac n’ cheese).
This year for Thanksgiving (and all Holiday seasons) I’m going to try as much as I can to focus on gratitude. So instead of complaining that my kids are growing up, I will be grateful that I have 3 healthy kids who are growing up to be wonderful human beings. This is something that I want my kids to do, too. Social media makes their world so full of comparison that sometimes I wonder how they all cope with it. You pretty much know what everyone is doing ALL THE TIME. Your friend had a party without you? It’s on Facebook. Someone is mad at you? They tell everyone on Twitter. It’s nuts. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media, I think it can be a tremendous force for good, but like anything it can also be misused.
All of that makes it so much more important to focus on what we have and to be grateful for all of our blessings. Focusing on gratitude can change a bad day to a good one, and turn what we have into “enough.” As a part of this gratitude challenge, I’m asking myself and my kids to write down one thing every day that they are thankful for. Just ONE thing. I’ve made myself a Gratitude Journal to go along with the challenge.
I’ve been fancying up simple composition notebooks for a few years now. It’s one of my favorite DIY tricks. The notebooks are cheap and with only a few craft supplies you can make a great gift out of them. You can see some of the other notebooks that I’ve made here.
If you are hosting Thanksgiving this year this would also be a fun DIY for your Thanksgiving table. Set one at each person’s spot as a simple Thanksgiving gift to them. Want to make some? They are easy! You can make a bunch in a short amount of time.
- Small Composition Notebooks (mine are 5×7)
- Decorative Paper
- Glue Stick
- X-Acto Knife and Cutting Mat
- Gold Leather Cording
- Printable “Today I am Grateful For” template that you can download for free, just hop on over to the TEMPLATES page.
Basically, all you do is cover the entire front of the notebook (not the spine) with glue and then attach the decorative paper to the front. Then trim the paper to size. There is a VERY detailed tutorial on how to do this HERE. Or you can watch a video of the technique here.
After you’ve covered the journal (front and back) simply glue the “Today” printable to the front. I added a bit of gold leather cording as a finishing touch. I actually ended up making quite a few of these and am going to pass them out to some friends this month (If you get one, act surprised.)
My oldest comes home this weekend for the holiday and I can’t wait. I hope that someday she (and my other kids) have warm memories of these events in their childhood and hope to share them with their kids when they are grown. I know that our family will continue to change and grow (and hopefully add new members over the years) and I’m excited to see how our holidays and traditions evolve over the years.
Speaking of grown up kids….. Do you guys watch Property Brothers? I’m kinda addicted…. especially on days when they run a bunch in a row, I start watching one and just can’t seem to stop watching. Next thing I know the afternoon is gone and I’m ready to rip out my entire bathroom *wink*. I know I get sentimental about my kids growing up and Drew and Jonathan also seem to be the nostalgic, sentimental type. They grew up on a ranch and had such great memories of the experience that they decided to go back to those roots and help close family friends transform a run-down horse ranch into a dream property. What a compliment that must be to their parents!
For those of you with older kids, tell me how did you change and add to your holiday celebrations as they grew? For a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card, please leave your answer in the comments below. I’m always looking for new ideas.
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