Featured Essays on Gratitude & Thanksgiving

Three Ways To Make Your Thanksgiving Extra Special

We hope these might spark ideas for your own family - so you can build memories to last a lifetime.

Remember When Boxes

A Life-Long Tradition You Won't Regret

This is a tradition that will bless your life so long as you live. Remember when boxes are small treasure chest that can fit on the shelf. Inside them are little pieces of paper with memories that are jotted down. During a Thanksgiving get together, present this box to your guests in a place anyone can access. Set next to it a pile of small papers and pants. As ideas come to them throughout the holiday, encourage them to write them down and put them in this box. Then, at a time everyone has agreed to, have everyone sit in a circle and begin passing the box along so everyone can pick a piece of paper out and read it to the group. You will find a great deal of love, laughter, and quite possibly tears. You will also discover that as you share memories as a group, new memories will come to the surface. Write those down, too.

If Mitchell's journey has taught us anything, it is that time is temporary and memories are fleeting. Resist the 10 temptation to think that your memories will always be with you. Billions of people who have lived on this earth can all attest that memory fades over time. Something that just happened within recent memory may seem like a strong and robust recollection of events. You will be surprised, how quickly that memory may fade into nothing, all but forgotten.

As you share memories with your family, you will be giving each other a gift within a gift.  And as you share your memories, you will find the spirit of Thanksgiving grow within your heart stronger than you have ever imagined. Remember when… Such simple words that can conjure up some of the most tender feelings in human experience.

To this day, we look at Mitchell's tender writing as he made contributions to our memory box with a overwhelming sense of gratitude - both for his memories, but that he was part of our family.

Tips On Selecting a Box

If you have run out of time, for your first year, a shoe-box will do. Eventually, we recommend you find a box that matches your personality and family.  Be picky.  Search stores and look for the miniature treasure box that is perfectly you.

You will also want to keep this box accessible year-round. And attractive box can be a beautiful decoration on a big show, but a tool for the family to catch it it's memories as they come.

You can find affordable treasure boxes at many boutiques and craft stores.

The images below are our family's Remember When box.  We searched and searched for the perfect box, and we finally found it!

Housed inside this little treasure-chest are memories and stories that are worth more to us than all the gold in Egypt.  

Occasionally, we will pull the box out during the year and reminisce... which ironically stirs up new memories  Keep the box visible because you never know when a memory might come back and this will be the place to put it.

Involving Kids

Everyone Will Thank Each Other For It.  Eventually.

Sometimes when we're anxious to put on a great meal for guests or family, we can be tempted to think our children get in the way of preparing the food, serving it, and cleaning up. Sometimes we think it's easier for us to just get it done and invite them to leave the kitchen.

When we do this, we miss out on a very special opportunity to create memories with our children.

Whether you have children at home, or grandchildren, or even great-grandchildren, think of ways to include them in the preparation of the meal, decorating for the holiday, making a special dessert for everyone to enjoy.

Give your child a voice and experience and they will think you for the rest of their lives as they look back on those moments as treasured memories.

Mitch loved to participate in the preparation of food, decorations and helping in any way he could.  It gave him a sense of pride and belonging and that made feel special and important.  We believe this is true of almost any child, if properly invited, coached and involved.  Doing this takes more time and energy - but the things of greatest value in life never come easy - but the price is worth it.


Rediscovering The Art of Play

You know. Analog Fun. Without Electronics. :)

As fun and immersive as technology can be, take special time to set aside those digital distractions to play a board game at the kitchen table, or build Legos on the living room floor, or perhaps just go outside and throw a football or Frisbee.

Some of our sweetest memories don't come from a theme park or elaborate vacation ... instead, they come time spent at the kitchen table playing games and having fun.

Some Games Mitch Loved


Mitchell loved playing UNO with family.  He often won and had a perfect Poker face.


Blockus was one of Mitchell's favorite games as well.  He enjoyed boxing people in and winning.  Mitch always found a way to win.  A fierce competitor, he was. ;)

Rummikub was another one of Mitchell's favorites.  A family classic that is filled with fun and laughter.  If you've never played it, we highly recommend it.

Our Sweetest Memories

I wouldn't trade all the vacations in the world for this moment in time.  


Do you have a tradition you'd like to share?

Do you have a family tradition you'd like to share? We'll gather everyone's responses and post them for others to gain inspiration from you and your family.


A Note on Video Games

There is nothing wrong with them! In fact, if you incorporate them into your family time, it can be a source of great memories.  

Here are some great social games that involve everyone in the room.


This is a mobile game that is incredibly fun to play with others. 

And there's always Mitchie's Favorite ...


If your kids play Minecraft, jump into their world and have them show you the places they've built, the supplies they've hunted, harvested or mined.  You will be amazed how brilliant your children are.  Think of Minecraft like digital Legos - only much more sophisticated.