Thankfulness and Kindness: Creating New Holiday Traditions


I feel like I just got through an endless series of Halloween parties and now Thanksgiving is around the corner and Christmas will be here before I have time to change into my fancy yoga pants.

This year, my twin girls are four and a half, which is a magical age for the holidays.  Yes, there is the occasional sugar-fueled meltdown, but it is happening with much less frequency than last year (three almost killed me) This year I am thankful that I am done having kids and will therefore never have to deal with threenagers again! And they are so excited about everything!!!!!

It really does make me giddy to experience all the sights and sounds of the holidays through their eyes.  I am also realizing that this is probably the first Thanksgiving and Christmas they are going to remember, so I’d better start figuring out our family’s holiday traditions. 

Recently I came across a couple of new ones that I had never heard of before that I thought I would share with you.  This year, my family will be adding our feathers to the Turkey on the Table, and getting ready for Christmas with the Kindness Elves.

Turkey on the Table

Thankfulness Turkey
This year is especially cute since they are just learning to write!

Turkey on the Table is an adorable little book that comes with a stuffed turkey and some cardboard feathers.  The idea is that you have each member of the family write down something they are thankful for on one of the feathers each day leading up to Thanksgiving and then at the Thanksgiving meal, you read them out loud. 

I love this for a couple of reasons. First of all, I want my girls to remember to practice gratitude in their everyday lives.  Truth be told, this silly little turkey is turning into an awesome way for me and the kids to have an intentional pause in our crazy days to think about all the blessings we have.  Plus the purchase of each one provides a donation to Feeding America, so you are doing good while introducing a fun holiday activity for your family.  I bought mine at Swoozies- that store is my happy place- but you can also get one at online.

Kindness Elves

Cute... not creepy!
Cute… not creepy!

The second new tradition that we are starting this year is that of the Kindness Elves.  I’ll be honest here — these came from my flat-out refusal to buy an Elf on the Shelf.  I got away with it last year, but kids in their class are already talking about their Elves and I don’t want to be Grinch Mommy. 

I get the idea behind Elf on The Shelf, but I’m just not down with a creepy-looking doll that I tell my kids is spying on them and then coming to life when they are asleep and reporting back to the man in the big red suit.  I’m not judging your Elf. I just don’t want any toys in my home that also haunt my dreams.

The Kindess Elves are a cute alternative so your kids can still have an Elf, but with a different intention behind it.  Instead of reporting back to Santa if kids are naughty, these elves will come to our house to encourage kindness and generosity. 

In the morning, they leave notes for the kids with suggestions of acts of kindness that they can do throughout the day or words of praise for the kind things they have observed them doing.  Do I still have to set a reminder on my phone to move them every night? Yes, but if it helps teach them to look for ways to show love and kindness, then I think it’s worth it.

Thankfulness and Kindness.  If my kids remember nothing of their holidays but those two things, I’ll be a happy mommy!


Do you have any unique traditions you’re doing in your home this holiday season? 


  1. I love both ideas and the intentions behind them. What wonderful traditions from which my two favorite grand nieces will learn while having fun. Smart Mommy! Lucky daughters!


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