Last year our family tried out a new way to preserve Thanksgiving
memories, and the result was truly a treasured keepsake.
A day or two before Thanksgiving, my daughter and I used a turkey
rubber stamp to make place cards for all of our family members.
We colored the place cards with colored pencils and wrote
people's names on them with a metallic gold pen.
We then cut up strips of paper to put into a small basket to
distribute before Thanksgiving dinner. The day of Thanksgiving,
after all of the guests had arrived, we handed out the slips of
paper and asked everyone to write down something they were
Now you should have seen the looks I got! Keep in mind that
there were family members of all ages, from young teenagers to
adults. Most of them looked at me like I was crazy (because this
memory-making stuff is all new to them), but I told them they had
to do it before they could eat.
So they all sat to write down what they were thankful for. Some
came up with something very quickly, and others sat there
perplexed and worried they were going to spell something wrong.
Several didn't write anything down at all.
The end result was a wide variety of very thoughtful answers. I
put away the slips of paper, made sure to take some good family
pictures (carving the turkey, eating dinner, visiting with each
other, napping after dinner), and made sure to keep some of the
I don't always get to my scrapbook pages immediately after an
event like this. I do, however, make sure everything is in one
place so that I can assemble my pages when I'm ready.
I later went to the store to buy some pre-cut Thanksgiving and
fall images for my scrapbook pages, and then framed my pictures
with some coordinating cardstock pieces. I then laid out two
scrapbook pages with the photos, a couple of the turkey place
cards, and most of the slips of paper people had written on. I
tried to arrange a person's slip of paper near their photo.
My finished project was by no means fancy or a work of art, but
it will always be an irreplaceable treasured family keepsake.
Photos of finished project:
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer, mom, and owner of four home
and family web sites. For scrapbooking, card making, gift-giving
ideas, and more family memory-making activities, visit
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