In our fast-paced techno-world it takes effort to slow down and appreciate our blessings – including the very technology we depend upon. Declare this Thanksgiving a techno-free day (after you read this article of course) and start some traditions beyond the feast.
A techno-free day means no use of television, DVDs, computers, video games, cell phones and music/video players.
Don’t take photos during the Thanksgiving dinner. Designate one photographer to take “official” photos to share with everyone the next day. Instead of a group photo, take individual photos that can be used on decorations later.
During Thanksgiving dinner each person can share which techno-tool they miss the most and why. Older family members can each talk about one old tech tool they remember, such as black and white TV, 8-track tapes or wind-up telephones. Hide a gift card for a technology store or some music downloads under one of the seats to find at the end of the meal.
Some alternative techno-free post-meal activities include board games, party games, and picnic games. If you’re having a large family reunion, turn it into an olympic games of sorts with competition according to teams or families, and multiple games in each category. Each team member participates in one game in each category. Winners get different colored construction paper turkey feathers for first, second or third place in each game. The family with the most feathers at the end of the day gets to take home the best leftovers.
If you don’t have extended family with you for Thanksgiving, you can cut and decorate construction paper turkey feathers or index cards as Christmas ornaments. Make them big enough so that people can write on the back. Mail one to each extended family member. Ask them to write their names and something they are thankful for on the back and return the ornament card or feather to you. In a couple weeks you should be able to post all of the thanks on a refrigerator, bulletin board or wall, string them across a fireplace mantle, or hang them on your Christmas tree.
Remember the families of soldiers who are deployed overseas because they are sacrificing their Thanksgiving holiday to serve your country. Make a poster to give to a local military family. Title it “We’re thankful for you and your soldier.” Decorate it with well-wishes and encouraging messages, as well as holiday colors and designs. You may want to include a photo of your family and say that you are thankful for the freedoms soldiers protect.
Make Thanksgiving or Christmas decorations as a family from recycled glass and mirror. Before Thanksgiving ask a local glass shop if they have pieces of leftover glass and mirror to recycle. They can even custom-cut large pieces for you. Thick mirror and glass can be cut into simple shapes with rounded corners and edges for ornaments. Use paint or glitter glue to decorate with symbols, characters, names or scenes. You could even write events, things or people you are thankful for.
Get ready for Christmas with simple glass decorations. Round mirror can be placed under candle jars or candlestick holders to reflect the light. You can recycle old picture frames too. Have a piece of mirror cut to size and attach it to the frame with glue. You paint the frame a holiday color and decorate the mirror first.
Most importantly, tell the people who are most important to you that you are thankful for them. On techno-free Thanksgiving, you may need to write a note. Count your blessings every day, in every way.