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Thanksgiving Tips, Activities and Gift Ideas to Create a Memorable Thanksgiving Day

Updated on November 13, 2011
Cornucopia Art Print from
Cornucopia Art Print from

Creating a Memorable Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving, that special time of year when we get to spend a day feasting with our loved ones is here. While it is mostly a joyful holiday, thanksgiving can also be stressful especially for those who are hosting the annual feast at their home and those who have to travel many miles to share the day with their families. Yet even with all the stress of thanksgiving it is still possible to make the day extra special for your loved ones. This article shares thanksgiving gift ideas and tips to create a memorable thanksgiving.

Image: Thanksgiving Cornucopia Print from

Thanksgiving Gift Ideas and Tips 1: Thanksgiving Letters

One special way of showing your family members how much you love and appreciate them is by writing them a thanksgiving letter. This is a simple yet personal and sentimental gift that they will treasure forever. In the thanksgiving letter you can tell them what you love about them, thank them for the role that they play in your life, tell them what special lessons you have learnt from them and most of all you can tell them how much you love them. If you want to make the thanksgiving letter extra special you can use fancy gift stationery but what matters most is the heartfelt words in the letter. If your thanksgiving letter is brief you can also write it in a blank thanksgiving greeting card.

2: Thanksgiving Poems, Poetry Gifts and Art Gifts

For some of you writing a short thanksgiving poem may be easier than composing an entire letter. You can write a poem for each of your family members who will be present for thanksgiving dinner or you can write a poem for maybe just your parents or the kids. The poem writing can be an individual or group thanksgiving activity. For example all of the kids can get together and write a thanksgiving poem for grandma and grandpa. Or you and your siblings can create a thanksgiving poem for your parents. If you are the only poet in your family well then maybe you can write the poem and get the others to sign it. There are a range of poems that you can compose for thanksgiving, these include: thanksgiving prayer poems, thanksgiving poems for mothers and fathers, thanksgiving poems for kids, thanksgiving sister poems and funny thanksgiving poems. To turn the thanksgiving poem into a gift you can do the following:

Create a Homemade Thanksgiving Gift of a Framed Poetry Poster: You can easily create a poetry poster on your computer at home using the Microsoft Word program. You can use the File and Page Set Up options to set your margins and page layout. I suggest using the standard 8.5 x 11 inches letter size paper. Type up the poem using a fancy font like Monotype Corsiva. Enlarge the font to fit the page as necessary (this will depend on the length of your poem). Center the poem on the page. To create a border for the page, select format, then borders and shading, then page border and select a pattern. If you want to add images to the poster you can save free thanksgiving clip art from the internet on to your computer (make sure the images are public domain or licensed for whatever you intend to use them for). Then select Insert, then picture, then from file and select the picture you want to use. If after inserting the picture you want to change its size (right click on the picture, select format picture then select size). Format the font and layout until you are satisfied then print the poem on card stock paper (make sure it is the type which is safe for use on your printer and will not jam it). Alternatively, if you are artistically inclined you can just print out the text of the poem then paint a decorative border around it and some flowers, fruit or a thanksgiving image. You can then frame the poetry poster in a standard picture frame.

Create Thanksgiving Art Gifts at Zazzle: is a print on demand company where you can create a range of personalized gifts such as gift mugs, magnets, key chains, greeting cards, aprons, holiday t-shirts and posters. All that you need to create a gift at Zazzle is an image created by you (this can be a photograph, painting or drawing) or a message or poem written by you. So for example you can add a short thanksgiving poem with the word Mum to a gift mug to create a special thanksgiving mother’s gift. If you do not want your art gift to be sold or made available to the public then you can store it is a private product. If you would like to make extra money for all of those looming holiday gift purchases then you can sell the art gifts that you create at Zazzle.

3: Thanksgiving Cards, Place Cards and Place Card Holders

If you have some time on your hands you can create handmade thanksgiving cards. This is a great thanksgiving activity which you can do with your kids and many people prefer receiving handmade cards versus store bought ones. To make the cards even more special you can add thanksgiving poems written by you. If you are short on time or would like to sell your cards consider creating them at a print on demand company like Zazzle. You can also create your own handmade thanksgiving place cards. Consider adding a short sentimental message or thanksgiving poem to the inside of the place card (if it is a folded layout) or to the back of the place card (if it is a business card layout). You can also get your children to decorate the place cards with thanksgiving art. If you want more formal looking place cards then you can download printable thanksgiving place cards from the internet. Then all you have to do is print them out and write in the names of your guests. This website has thanksgiving arts and crafts activities for kids including how to make place card holders. Thanksgiving place cards and place card holders add a personal and decorative touch to your thanksgiving table, and your family members can keep them as a memento after the feast is over.

4. Thanksgiving Decorations, Centerpieces and Flowers

This thanksgiving gift idea is for those of you who have hosts that love flowers. Your host will have spent many days and hours preparing for thanksgiving and it would be nice to give her a token of appreciation versus just coming over to gobble up her food. If your host loves flowers the way my mother does then she will really appreciate this gift. Personally I like flowers that last versus fresh flowers (I guess that is the sentimental pack rat part of me). You can get your host a traditional arrangement of thanksgiving flowers like a fresh flower cornucopia. If your host is like me and likes to keep things for a long, long time then you may want to consider a thanksgiving plant, a silk flower arrangement or dried thanksgiving flowers. The following tip is for both the host and those of you considering thanksgiving flower gifts. You can create your own natural thanksgiving centerpieces using plants and seeds from your garden. Creating decorations and crafts are some of the fun thanksgiving activities that you can do with your kids. Some of the plants and seeds in your garden that are great for thanksgiving decorations include:

Pinecones: You can spray paint these in a variety of colors and put them in a glass bowl. Pinecones are also a great Christmas Decoration.

Wheat Stalks: You can place wheat stalks in a tall slender glass vase. Thanksgiving is a harvest festival therefore wheat is particularly relevant to this holiday.

Acorns: You can also use acorns to create thanksgiving crafts and decorations. You can find great ideas for acorn crafts here including information on how to make acorn napkin rings.

Pumpkins: Pumpkins are a bright cheerful orange color and are identified with the fall and harvest season. If you are not bored of pumpkins from the Halloween Season you can use them to decorate your thanksgiving table.

5. Creating Your Own Thanksgiving Books and Photo Books

This is a slightly more ambitious thanksgiving gift activity but it can be simplified by getting different family members to pitch in. You can create the following types of thanksgiving books: a thanksgiving story book with an illustrated thanksgiving story or a collection of stories; a thanksgiving poetry book with thanksgiving poems and prayers; a thanksgiving photo book with family pictures and thanksgiving messages; or a handmade book with art or photographs that are relevant to thanksgiving. Some of these thanksgiving books are for children (e.g. the story books) while the others are books that you can give to any of your family members as a thanksgiving gift. If you have the time and energy you can write the poems or stories by yourself. However, I recommend working with other family members in line with the spirit of the season and also to make your work simpler.

Creating Books At Home Using Microsoft Word: For the illustrated thanksgiving story book you can create a thanksgiving story with your children and get them to do some illustrations for the book. You can then type up the story in Microsoft word and take digital photographs of your children’s illustrations. When you photograph the art make sure you zoom in on the image so that you have a close up of it. To insert the photographs of your children's art into the word document simply save the digital photographs on your computer then in Microsoft Word select the Insert option, then Picture then From File and select the desired picture. Alternatively you can use public domain thanksgiving clip art for the illustrations. Make sure you create a cover page for your book and number the pages. Then print out the book on a color printer. You can then have the printed pages bound into a book by most copy shops (you can select a simple spiral book binding option).

Self-Publishing Books for Free at Alternatively, you can self-publish your book for free at They will charge you to buy print copies of the book (you set the price yourself). However, you can offer electronic/pdf e-book versions of the book free of charge if you want to. Then you and your family members can print them out for yourselves. Here is an example of a free thanksgiving activity e-book from Lulu. If you are going to sell your thanksgiving book at then make sure that all of the book’s content is your own creation or that you have permission to use the words and images in the book.

Creating Handmade Books: If you are in a hurry you can use a handmade book kit to create your handmade books or you can follow step by step guides (see Creating Handmade Books and Expressive Handmade Books below). There are also some great articles with information on how to create handmade books here.

Creating Photo Books: The simplest thanksgiving book to create is a photo book. You can use a collection of family photographs from previous thanksgiving dinners and other family events. Then add funny captions for each photograph (once again you can get family members to help). You can create a thanksgiving photo book at home using photo book creators from Amazon (see photo book creators below). Or you can create photo books at

Photo Book Creators

Epson StoryTeller Photo Book Creator - 8in x 10in (20 pages)
Epson StoryTeller Photo Book Creator - 8in x 10in (20 pages)

This photo book creator kit includes easy-to-use software, a pre-bound, hard-back book with glossy cover, and glossy photo pages so you have everything you need to create your own photo book at home. Whether it's a family reunion, a graduation, an exciting trip or everyday moments, StoryTeller makes the perfect book for friends and family.


Creating Handmade Books Step by Step Guides and Book Making Kit

Thanksgiving Day Blues Giclee Poster Print by Norman Rockwell from
Thanksgiving Day Blues Giclee Poster Print by Norman Rockwell from

Have a Happy Thanksgiving Day and Don't Let the Blues Get In Your Way

As you can see from this article, there are many creative ways to make thanksgiving special for your loved ones. As you celebrate thanksgiving this year please take a moment to make thanksgiving special for someone outside of your family. This includes the less fortunate members of society who cannot afford a thanksgiving meal and those who have no family, or are unable to spend this special day with their family members. Share some of your blessings and many more will come back to you. I wish you and your family a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving Day.

Image, Thanksgiving Poster from Amazon: Thanksgiving Day Blues by Norman Rockwell


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Jillian Noltkamper - Angelique, you did an amazing job with on Lesley Held Design shoot! You rellay captured the beauty of the jewelry and enhanced it with the amazing colors from nature. GREAT JOB and kuddo's to both you and Lesley. I would love to venture up to Columbia to have you photograph either just my girls or my entire family. Your work is flawless!

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Hey Joe Runner, My family and I will be trinleavg up from Florida to Louisville for Thanksgiving. We would love to run this 5 miler Thanksgiving morning. Is there a chance you could send me a copy of the registration? Thanks!

    • Rpenafiel profile image


      7 years ago from United States

      Great ideas! Thanks for sharing them. The gift ideas you’ve shared are really creative. In addition to creative gifts, it is also great to give gifts that can be practically used in day to day life. Electronics are good examples. An easy to use cell phone like Just5 is fantastic for the grandparents for instance as this will help them stay connected with their families. In the same way, this can enhance their safety as this is also equipped with PERS features.

    • Moyra profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Hi Sameer thanks.

    • sameerk profile image


      8 years ago from India


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Very nice gift ideas !

    • Moyra profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hi 2uesday thanks for the thoughtful comment. Like many people I usually associate Thanksgiving with all of the delicious food :-) and the chance to spend time with my family (I have many family members scattered in different parts of the US and American in-laws). It was one of my favorite holidays during my extensive time in the US. Thanksgiving is mostly an American holiday and I think the Canadians also observe it in October. If you are interested you can read about the history of thanksgiving here

    • 2uesday profile image


      9 years ago

      Interesting hub as we do not have Thanksgiving Day here I am always curious about what the traditions are connected with it. The last part of the hub is a very kind and thoughtful suggestion.


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