Here at Momentous Institute, we are all excited about Thanksgiving! We love the opportunity to show gratitude for the wonderful things in our lives.

We reached out to everyone on the Momentous Institute staff and asked what everyone does in their own families to show gratitude on Thanksgiving. Here are some of the responses. Maybe these will inspire you to start your own annual (or nightly!) gratitude tradition.

“My family goes around the table and everyone says one thing that they are thankful for this year.” – Taylor

“We are starting a new tradition this year at my house. I asked all our family members and friends to write down 5 wonderful things that happened to them during the year. They will write them on little paper turkey feathers and stick them in pinecone turkeys (or a bowl if I don’t get around to making the turkeys :/). Sometime after dinner when we’re all still gathered around, we will randomly pull them out and read them out loud.” – Anne

“My family has followed the same traditions my grandfather taught us. My family is very religious. God is always the main focus when we celebrate Thanksgiving. My mom is one of nine siblings so usually every family brings something over to my house. We have a buffet style dinner and we all pray before we eat. Anyone is allowed to say what's in their heart. Usually tears are part of this of course! :) We thank God for everything and especially for the family we have and for allowing us to get together. My grandfather taught us how important family is and with his prayers we all still try to get together and pass this connection on to our nieces and nephews. Now the eldest in the family guides the prayer and it is still feels like my grandfather is in the room.” - Rosanna

“My family has a gratitude jar that we add to each night. We go around the table and share one thing we are grateful for. After the kids share, I write it down and add it to the jar. It’s a simple and practical way to talk about gratitude with young kiddos. Eventually, I would like for my kids to be the ones to draw/write their own gratitude and add it to the jar. We of course extend the conversation out into the real world when we notice things that we need to stop and be grateful for.” – Kathlyn

“We always have dishes that were always made by my mother and by her mother. We also pause to acknowledge those who are present and those who are absent...recognizing that in acknowledging their absence, they have a presence.” – Neil

“Each year, we all (and this is extended family) contribute to a list of “X Reasons Why We Love You”. The X stands for their age. When it was first started, it was a lot of work, but now we just add to the lists each year. The lists are full of serious, funny, weird, random memories and qualities. This has become a very meaningful process for all of us. My mother talks about how she would often catch my father just sitting alone in his room reading the list over and over. We ended up using this list at his funeral and I am forever grateful that he got to hear these things before he died and know how much we all loved him.” – Laura


If you need any convincing on the value of gratitude, check out these videos:

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