Anyway, it's nice to bring certain memories up every once in a while, even if they don't seem important or incredibly significant.
November is National Storytelling Month, which can fit in nicely with Thanksgiving. Many family traditions consists of sitting at the dinner table, smelling the warm, freshly baked food, while each person quickly takes turns recounting what they are thankful for before diving into the turkey and fixin's.
But instead of rushing through this part of they day, why not incorporate National Storytelling Month into the mix? By recounting family memories, each family member will have the chance to also talk about what they are thankful for.
Storytelling helps children activate their thinking process, encourages communication, and creates a sense of connection and community between those who share the story. (source)
Here are some tips to help you incorporate National Storytelling Month into Thanksgiving Day.
1). Break out the albums. As everyone looks through old pictures, stories will naturally emerge. And as the stories emerge, hopefully everyone will remember to include what they are thankful for.
2). Initiate conversation. Begin bringing up stories. Funny stories are always guaranteed to get everyone talking and sharing. Encourage everyone to share. Ask them what they remember about the moment. Even the little ones might chime in, which is always (ok, usually) endearing.
3). Showcase family heirlooms. Anything that has special sentimental value to your family can be displayed on Thanksgiving. These things usually spark ideas for conversations and story telling moments.
4). Create a "Thankful Tablecloth." My mother-in-law created a tablecloth where everyone, grandchildren and children, wives and husbands, write their name, year, and what they are thankful for. This tablecloth has been around for many more years than I have been a part of their family, but the history it contains is obvious. Each year, the progress of the childrens' handwriting is evident. New children are added to the mix. Each person figures out something new to be thankful for, while remembering what they were thankful for the year before. I have seen family members begin recounting stories after taking a look at the tablecloth.
5). Choose an appropriate time to reminisce. It seems that most families want take time to reflect before eating. The food is on the table. Steam rises from the turkey and that green bean casserole smells delish. Everyone's stomach is growling. Instead of truly reflecting, most just ramble something quickly, hoping that everyone else is just as quick.
What Thanksgiving traditions does your family maintain?
Do any of them involve storytelling?