Repost: The Thanksgiving Journal

This is a repost of a past blog entry, you know, back when I had about 12 followers. I though it would be worth sharing again!

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Do you go all out? Do you host dinner in your home? Are you the wonderful cook?

I can’t even make myself reach into a store-bought chicken to pull out the extra parts let alone be trusted with a turkey. But I can make a mean bowl of mashed potatoes or take on the crafty side of Thanksgiving, like decorating or making and sharing the holiday journal.

For many years we have shared Thanksgiving at my sister-in-law’s home in beautiful Napa, California. But the one year we did host Thanksgiving, I presented the family with this book. Words of Thanksgiving.
In lieu of going around the table and saying what we’re thankful for, (no one really wants to say the deep stuff out loud), this book gets passed around all day. Not everyone chooses to write in it and that’s ok. But the thankful entries of those who do, give history to the happenings in the lives of our family over many years of gatherings.

There’s a page of scribbles from Bennett at age 20 months. But my favorite page is the one that has an entry from each of my children:

“I im Thake for familys
This being Sarah’s first Thanksgiving with us since her mom, my sister, passed away and we adopted her.

“turkeys are what Iim I thankfol for

“I am thankfoul for frends and famley.
The book is a simple store-bought journal that I added a printed gold paper label to. You can get as elaborate or simple as you like, just be sure it’s not so overly decorated that it becomes too cumbersome to write in. Make a few extra for friends and neighbors. As with ours, yours can become a meaningful journal of the blessings in the life of your family.

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35 Responses to Repost: The Thanksgiving Journal

  1. #1 - My name is PJ. says:

    This is such a great idea!! Why can't I ever think of such things?! I know why! Because I'm not a Rock Star!

    I set the table, Chef Stu cooks and my sister and sisters-in-law clean up. It can't get much better than that!

  2. #2 - Loddelina says:

    Thank you for sharing this again, it is such a beautiful idea!
    Since we don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Europe I will turn it into a Christmas thoughts and wishes journal…

  3. #3 - Kitty says:

    what a great idea! i think i'll put one of these books together to keep everyone occupied and out of my kitchen this year!

  4. #4 - Cammie says:

    We have a family Thanksgiving journal that we pass around, it is a fabulous idea. We now have people in the family that have passed away and so every year when we pass it around we can read what they were thankful for while they were here and sometimes reminds us of how special family really is and how special they were.

  5. #5 - Deb says:

    Oh, I love this idea! A few years ago I cut leaf shapes and had everyone write something they were thankful for on them and we scattered them down the center of the tables. This year I wanted to do something similar, and I LOVE the idea of a journal. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. #6 - Carmen says:

    This is a beautiful idea. How wonderful to see the things the children are thankful for change (or not) as the children grow too.

  7. #7 - Jennifer says:

    What a wonderful way to capture memories. =)

  8. #8 - Linda K. says:

    Cathe, Could you come to the Phoenix area and do a seminar on 'Family'? What a super idea! And it can be used for Christmas too. It is a keepsake for memorable family get togethers. Thanks for sharing again.


  9. #9 - Collette says:

    This is such a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing your book with us. Are you supposed to make me cry first thing in the morning? 😉

  10. #10 - Mommy, I'm Home says:

    What a great idea! I'm actually hosting an early Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. I might try this.

  11. #11 - Tonje says:

    We don't really celebrate Thanksgiving in Norway, and I think that is too bad! Your book is so beautiful, and I had a big smile on my face reading what the children had written! What a great idea!

  12. #12 - Virginia Burnett says:

    What an excellent idea! If I can manage to keep my list from getting lost, I might even manage to make a few of these this year! I think I might even have a couple moleskines laying around that would be perfect.

  13. #13 - Debbie's Garden says:

    Wonderful idea! I think a birthday one for kids to start when they're small would be cute too. Each year they could say what they think "being 6" (or whatever age) will be like.

  14. #14 - Simply Stated ~ Rebecca says:

    What a wonderfully touching idea! Thank you for sharing.

  15. #15 - Leslie says:

    I love the idea of having one journal to use every year! For the past 3 (this year will be #4) I've made some sort of mini-book for my guests to write what they're thankful for. These books are already a treasure to me.

  16. #16 - Michelle says:

    How sweet!

  17. #17 - Sophie says:

    It's a very warming post. My family is the kind of old fashion way's people which means don't like to expressed their feeling to others.
    I love this idea so much, but I don't think they would write anything to it.
    Then again, If I make it, should I be making 3 book ?!
    my parent, parent-in-law and mine. ^-^

  18. #18 - CitricSugar says:

    Yeah, I welled up a little bit. This is a great and truly beautiful idea, Cathe. Thank you for sharing.

  19. #19 - Marni's Organized Mess says:

    I LOVE your blog. I follow all of your work and I am amazed every time.

    I went to post this on my FB though and saw that it came up with a bio that you live seriously right by me! Okay, well I am in Windsor… but close enough! 😉

    Keep up the good work so I can copy all of your wonderful ideas and pass them on!

  20. #20 - Mod Podge Amy says:

    That put a HUGE smile on my face! How cute. Love.

  21. #21 - sinnlighet says:

    I've just found your blog. It is a true gem in the cyber world. I leave a small Swedish footprints behind me. I will be back!

    Greetings from Sweden & Agneta

  22. #22 - Centsational Girl says:

    Oh, I love this. I'm starting one this week just for our family. Love it love it love it.

    Your kids' notes are priceless.


  23. #23 - {Bellamere Cottage} says:

    Oh my goodness….I soooo wish we'd started that years ago. I'm going to buzz to Marshall's or TJ's…they always have a great selection of nice journals and start that tradition this year. Thanks so much for sharing…how precious.

    Warm blessings,

  24. #24 - whyte says:

    This is just such a heartwarming idea that I must adopt. We've been hit pretty hard by this economy so the last two years having turned me in to a creative, frugal inventor. But amazingly, others in my family have expressed that this time of year has turned into a stress pit for them, even tho the finances are not tight under their roofs. So we've been talking all year how to turn Thanksgiving and Christmas back to the reason for the season and unload the stress. This will work in perfectly!!

  25. #25 - Laurel C. says:

    This is a beautiful idea. Thank you so much for sharing it. I am planning on trying it at my family gathering this year. A book is so much more lasting than the forced-march "I'm grateful for…" thing around the table.

    I love your blog and all your ideas! You are so talented! Thanks for sharing it all with us.

  26. #26 - flyingbeader says:

    What a great & heartfelt piece of memory. Love the idea.

  27. #27 - marie says:

    Such a wonderful idea and so much safer for those who can't quite say the words.

    Thank you for sharing.

  28. #28 - Pattie Cordova says:

    I love this!

  29. #29 - Evi says:

    Thanks for this great idea – I have so many pretty journals that sit empty in my house – now I can put one of them to good use. My daughter is only 13 months old but I'm starting it now so she can grow up with it and have something to look back on. What a great gift idea too – I always make my own gifts each year and this may be the holiday favorite this year.

  30. #30 - Cougar Tales says:

    I love th Thanksgiving journal. I am going to steal this idea.

  31. #31 - Nora Laughlin says:

    This is such a beautiful idea. Thank you for sharing. I will link to this post sometime today at

    🙂 Nora

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  33. LOVE this idea!!!! What precious memories!! I will definitely be looking into this for this year… 🙂 thanks!!!

  34. This is amazing! I love it! The spelling is adorable and such a sweet memory. I’m going to do this when I have kids of my own. Hands down.

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