She’s Grateful: Thanksgiving Traditions

November 17, 2014


The very word evokes feelings of warmth, laughter, joy, and togetherness. In our household, Thanksgiving has always been an important holiday. It is the beginning of a month-long celebration of life, family, blessings, and love.

Most families have traditions carried over from year to year that make a holiday feel like a holiday. Stories get passed from generation to generation, memories are savored and new traditions start with the addition of new family members as the years progress.

We here at She’s Intentional: The Dainty Jewell’s Blog have compiled a list of our favorite family traditions that we would like to share with you. Whether you are the hostess, cook, decorator, or game-starter, there is sure to be a new tip for this year’s holiday. From secret family recipes and age-old observances, we would be honored if you would share our sacred values and implement them into your families’ holiday rituals this year.

Growing up in a Christian home gives Thanksgiving a deeper meaning of gratefulness and what it is to truly be thankful. For AshLee and the rest of our blogging team, family prayer is an integral part of the Thanksgiving holiday. Praying before dinner is a necessary tradition in our families, but immediately following the prayer in AshLee’s family, everyone is invited to share something they are thankful for in that year. She explained that normally before the first family member even finishes their thought, most guests are crying and thanking God for his blessings and faithfulness. What a unifying and uplifting experience that must be!

Image via Kim’s Kustom Kreations

Jessica’s family participates in group thankfulness as well, albeit a little differently from AshLee’s. After their meal is over, the family clears the table and places a “jar of thanks” on the table. Everyone fills out a strip of paper with words of gratitude to share with each other. When everyone has finished writing, the cards are each read out loud. Jessica says this is her favorite Thanksgiving tradition because it is such a sentimental time; it is a moment where feelings are revealed by words that speak from the heart. It creates an atmosphere of thanksgiving that brings to remembrance all that God has done in the lives of those we love and how grateful we are for family.

Either before or after connecting with one another in gratefulness, there is usually some kind of delicious food on our tables. While my family usually celebrates with many Eastern European and Italian dishes thanks to our heritage, we also indulge in the traditional Thanksgiving fare, as well. When I was a little girl and before turkey bags and friers existed, Grandma used to spend hours in the kitchen creating a perfectly golden brown turkey, basting it in those luscious juices every few minutes to ensure that it would be tender and delicious. Jennifer is a turkey-and-dressing kind of girl, too, but continues to insist that she is not the proficient one in the kitchen. What she is good at, however, is including a chocolate-themed something into her families’ Thanksgiving tradition. She shared with us her favorite recipe for peanut butter balls – a recipe that was handed down to her from her mother! (Thank you, Jennifer’s mom, for your secret recipe – my family thanks you in advance!)

Delicious Peanut Butter Balls

Peanut Butter Balls

1 16-oz. jar crunchy OR creamy peanut butter
4 cups confectioner’s powdered sugar
1 cup softened salted butter
1 package chocolate almond bark

1. Mix peanut butter, powdered sugar, and butter in a bowl.
2. Form into one-inch balls. Place balls on a cookie sheet and chill in the freezer a few minutes.
3. Melt chocolate almond bark in the microwave for two minutes; stir. If necessary, microwave in 15-second increments until chocolate is fully melted.
4. Dip each ball into melted chocolate; place on a cookie sheet until chocolate hardens. These freeze beautifully and can be eaten frozen or at room temperature.

Be on the lookout for part II of our Thanksgiving Tradition sharing over the next two weeks. More family recipes, games, and ideas come your way! And don’t forget: when you share your thankfulness on social media, be sure to tag your posts with #ShesGrateful for a chance to be featured on our Instagram page @ShesIntentional!