This year, help your kids turn their gratitude into action by giving thanks (literally) to the people your family is thankful for with these printable Thanksgiving gift tags!
There are many messages in the world that teach our kids to chase after more, more, more and focus on “What’s in it for me?”
I want to counter this message with my own: that we are already living in abundance and that when we look for ways to give to others, the world as whole becomes a little better and brighter.
Thanksgiving time is the perfect opportunity to focus on this kind of selflessness, so each year I try to make the spirit of Thanksgiving last all November long.
We’ve also done this Random Acts of Kindess BINGO…a family favorite!
Turning words into action
This year, as I’ve pondered how to make Thanksgiving simple, fun, and meaningful for my family, I got thinking about the word itself: Thanksgiving. Or, if you break it apart and switch it around: GIVING THANKS.
And I started to wonder:
How could we do a better job of not just feeling gratitude, but actually giving something back to those around us who have blessed our lives?
Perhaps, like me, you are looking for a simple way to help your family focus a little more on the “giving” than the “receiving” during this holiday season.
Here’s a simple idea to help all of us make “Thanksgiving” an action verb, rather than just a day where we eat way too many slices of pie (which I fully intend to do, too).
A simple family service activity for Thanksgiving
Step 1: Brainstorm WHO you will serve.
Have a family meeting (it can be as simple as a quick discussion around the dinner table…or even in the car) where you make a list of some of the people you are grateful for.
To get your kids thinking, try having them trace their hand on a piece of paper, and have them try to think of a different person (outside your immediate family) to write on each finger. You can help younger kids who can’t yet write on their own.
Your list might include family members, friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, health care workers, emergency responders, etc. Encourage your kids to think outside the box and try to come up with some unsung heroes that bless your family (like the garbage truck driver or the mail carrier).
Choose one (or more) of these people to give a small gift as a token of your thanks.
Step 2: Put together some simple gifts to share.
Gifts don’t need to be complicated or expensive. Really. Because if you’re like me, big plans get left undone…and then the project sits on my counter and never gets delivered.
Keep it simple. And let your kids help! It will be more meaningful to them, and then you don’t have to use your precious alone time to get things together. Here are are few ideas:
Neighbors: Whip up a batch of these pumpkin chocolate chip muffins or grab a yummy treat from the store. You have to buy groceries anyway, right?
Kids’ friends: Who wouldn’t love a container of this divine-smelling pumpkin spice play dough? If you’re feeling fancy, pair it with a cute pumpkin or leaf-shaped cookie cutter.
Grandparents: Mail a recent picture of the kids, or just have the kids make cards. Grandparents tend to be easy to please. They’ll just love to know you thought of them!
Teachers: With all the germs in a school, a yummy smelling hand sanitizer or a box of soft tissues is sure to be welcome. A five dollar gift card is another good option.
Above all, remember that it’s the thought that counts. Don’t stress about doing something big. The goal is to give our kids the opportunity to be involved in service and brighten someone’s day. Let’s not overcomplicate it. (I’m totally pointing at myself here.)
Step 3: Attach “Grateful for you” printable Thanksgiving gift tags.
Does anyone else feel like a cute gift tag really dresses up an otherwise simple gift? To make things super easy for you, I’ve designed some free printable Thanksgiving gift tags for you. Just download, print, cut, and attach!
There are 3 different designs, and 6 total tags per page. I even designed them so you only have to cut straight lines…no fiddly curves (I hate cutting circles). It’s the little things, you know? Simple enough that your kids can probably do the cutting for you.
Step 4: Deliver your gratitude gifts!
Now is the best part. Head out with the family, and spread some love!
Want more service ideas for the month of November to GIVE THANKS? Check out this Random Acts of Kindness BINGO challenge!
And while we’re on the topic, I’m thankful for YOU, dear readers. I hope that the things I create and share in this space bring a little more joy to your family.