Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. Food, friends, family, and football! Sadly, the holiday flies by in a flash, and is often taken for granted. This season, we encourage you to lengthen the celebrations over the month of November and weigh in on what you are truly thankful for.

Here are just a few ideas for how you and your family can celebrate Thanksgiving throughout the month!

Thanks

There are a lot of great ways to show your appreciation and thanks. Teach your children what being thankful looks like and lead by example. Start or end each day of November going around the table at supper sharing what you are thankful for. This is also a great family bonding activity.

Write a note in your child’s lunch every day for school telling them why you are thankful or appreciative of them. If they don’t eat sack lunches, hide it in their take-home folder or simply send them on their way in the morning with a verbal message. Thank you for helping me this morning. Thank you for packing your bag all by yourself. Thank you for listening to me.

Show thanks outside the home by doing something for educators. Find out how small gestures make big impacts.

Giving

Hold a food drive at your school or workplace. This time of year can be hard on the homeless or needy. Collecting cans and dried goods for local food drives can lessen some of their burdens and is a great way to give back to the community.

Volunteering is another excellent way to give back during the season. Call around to local soup kitchens, charities, etc. to see what their volunteer needs are. The Humane Society of the Black Hills or Northern Hills Humane Society are two great places to take the family on a weekend full of furry friends and service.

Are your kids growing out of their old toys and clothes? Have a clean-up day where everyone in the family piles up lightly used clothes that are no longer worn, toys in good condition, etc. A few local places to donate to are The Club for Boys, The Cornerstone Rescue Mission, and Western South Dakota Community Action.

Football Fun

We know one of the best things about Thanksgiving Day is the football game. This year switch it up. Instead of watching the game on TV, throw your own football game together with your neighbors or family! What a great way to get everyone involved and out of the house after the large meal. If you don’t want to miss the games, maybe host the game sometime that weekend.

WORDS BY SARAH RICHARDS