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Preserving Thanksgiving Memories for Scrapbooking

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 thankful for.

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 place cards.

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 and mom of four. For scrapbooking, card making, gift-giving ideas, and more family memory-making activities, visit

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