Gratitude Tablecloth a Meaningful Family Thanksgiving Tradition

'Smiling big at the memories written on our hearts so many years ago'

By Krystal Farnell, publisher of Macaroni Kid Monroe-West Monroe, La. November 19, 2020

Every year in November, our family brings out the white tablecloth, though it's not so white anymore. 

I bought it eight years ago, when my firstborn was 2. Now this simple white tablecloth — covered in thoughts of gratitude and love — is one of our most treasured traditions. 

I wanted to share our gratitude tablecloth idea with you, so perhaps you too could start your own gratitude tablecloth with your family this Thanksgiving season.

All you need is a white cotton tablecloth, some permanent markers, and gratitude! 

We bring the tablecloth out each November and gather as a family over a special meal to think about what we are most thankful for over the past year, and then write what we're thankful for on the tablecloth, along with our names and the year.

When my three kids were younger and couldn't write just yet, I traced their little hands and would ask what they were thankful for that day. It's so much fun each year to look over the tablecloth and reminisce about what we wrote about in years past.

There's gratitude for our sweet dog, who is no longer with us. There are mentions of family, house, and friends. My husband and I really put thought into what we write and sometimes we have so many we have to cut back! We have listed job promotions, answered prayers, and good health reports. 

My heart can't help but be full when I read the ways my children are voicing their grateful hearts. We want to encourage them to take the time to be grateful for what they have and keep their eyes focused on all we have been blessed with over the years. 

I hope that even as my kids get older they will still love participating in this tradition. I imagine them coming as adults to our family Thanksgiving, bringing out this tablecloth, and smiling big at the memories written on our hearts so many years ago. 

The tablecloth only comes out once a year, but I am hopeful the gratitude and goodwill we feel even after it's folded and put away lasts a lifetime.

Krystal Farnell is the publisher of Macaroni Kid Monroe-West Monroe, La.

Looking for more ways to incorporate gratitude into the Thanksgiving holiday? Check out these fun ideas from our publishers!

Gratitude Pumpkin

Created by Shay Brase, publisher of Macaroni Kid Broomfield-Erie-Lafayette-Louisville, Co.

Thankfulness Turkey

Created by Emily Papa, publisher of Macaroni Kid South Hills of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania