Thanksgiving Traditions: Thanks Jar & Free Thankful Printables

Since Thanksgiving is suddenly upon us (how did that happen?) we thought we’d add a new tradition along with reviving one from last year. First let’s talk about the one from last year, which is a small thrift store jar that we got for 99 cents…

… and then etched with $6 etching cream from Michael’s…

… using a homemade tape stencil to create a Thanks jar (more DIY details here).

As for how it worked, we each filled out and dropped in a little homemade card with something we were thankful for each day for the entire month of November. And we weren’t allowed to peek inside to see what each other had written until the end of the month when we cracked it open and read them all.

It was nearly as fun as Christmas morning (more on that here), and is definitely something we’re looking forward to doing at the end of this month again (we saved all the original cards with a ribbon around that stack with the year written on it, and plan to save each following years’ stack as well to look back on). So we’re filling up our thanks jar again this year… along with another Thanksgiving tradition.

We thought since a few of our long-distance relatives can’t travel to see us that we could let them know that they’re in our thoughts by sending them a quick little card to tell them why we’re thankful for them. So John whipped this little homemade “thankful card” in Photoshop that says “I’m thankful for you and here’s why“:

He designed an easy to print page with two of those thankful cards on it along with this little instruction card that reads:

Since they’re all on one page, we won’t have much waste when we print them out on cardstock at home. Then we’ll just slip one filled out “thankful card” and a blank one for them to forward on to a friend or relative of their choice along with an instruction card. We hope it’ll create a nice little ripple effect with people reaching out to other folks to tell them how thankful they are to have them in their lives.

Oh and speaking of being thankful, you guys are like family to us and we’re so thankful that you drop in on us on this wacky little house diary of sorts. So as a token of our love and affection (picture me pinching your cheek like a grandma as I say that) we included a downloadable version of that page for you right here. Just download it, print it out on cardstock, cut each of the three cards out, and fill out one out while leaving the second one blank and sliding it into an envelope with the instruction card.

Then reward yourself with some early turkey and stuffing. Or leftover Halloween candy (are we the only ones still chowing down on ours?). Holy cow, is November really already half over? In the words of the always eloquent Bart Simpson: Ay carumba.

Psst- I’m over on BabyCenter pouring my heart out. Seriously, somebody get me a tissue. More here.


  1. Katherine says

    tear. just read the babycenter post. i just love you guys. thanks for the great thankfulness ideas and for sharing your family and home with all of us!

  2. says

    So cute! I love your old tradition and this new one is lovely as well! Thanksgiving seems to get skipped over on the rush to Christmas, so creating family traditions to give the holiday its own spotlight is such a great idea! Love it!

  3. says

    My husband and I are doing the thankful jar this year and I can’t wait to share our cards at the end of the month!

    I love your idea of sending a “thankful card” to family you won’t be seeing. I’m sure the ripple effect will be awesome too :) We may have to do this next year!

  4. Lindsey says

    Love it! I tried starting a “Let’s all say things we are thankful for” tradition at the dinner table last Thanksgiving and well… it was a total wop wop moment. Someone was thankful for toilet paper and it just devolved from there. This could definitely work better AND I get the bonus of being able to keep the cards. Way to go, y’all!

    And etching goo?! Hello, crafty addictiveness in a bottle.

    I’m thankful for you fine folks at YHL teaching me that “matchy matchy is tacky tacky.” Muah!

  5. Alyssa says

    1st comment?? No way!! Anyway I love the new idea, very “pay it forward” which is always great to do!! Happy early Thanksgiving Petersik’s!!

  6. Jaime says

    LOVE this! As a new bride who’s far away from my family this Thanksgiving (and missing fall in the Midwest to boot!) this is a great way to stay in touch and remind my family how much I love them! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *