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Make your Thanksgiving special

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  • Each guest gets guest book, everyone writes notes of appreciation
  • Write gratitude notes, send in box or velvet bag to special someone
  • Write get-to-know-you questions on cards, everyone can answer
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By Sandra Magsamen
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Oprah

(Oprah.com) -- Thanksgiving is just around the corner! This year, remember the real meaning of giving thanks for everything (and everyone) that's right in your life with these wonderful ideas to celebrate your family.

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This metal Turkey artwork will survive past the holiday.

Sandra Magsamen, author "Living Artfully," says that Thanksgiving is a day to acknowledge and express how grateful we are for all that we have. "It's a time to stop, honor, and reflect on the abundance, prosperity, people and lives we are blessed with."

Here are her ideas for how you can celebrate your loved ones this Thanksgiving.

Give a guest book

Give each guest at your holiday gathering a guest book with their name on it. Pass the books around so each guest can write at least one reason they appreciate the person whose name is on the cover. Sandra says when she did this at her holiday party some quests laughed at first. "Then, as if by magic, each small volume became filled with heartfelt messages. When the evening was over, every person left with a keepsake that recorded the many ways he or she was indeed special."

Getting to know you

For families that are scattered all over the country, getting together at Thanksgiving can be wonderful -- but reconnecting can be difficult. An artful activity that can spark conversations is the "getting to know you" game.

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Make little paper cards with serious and silly questions on them like, "Who would play you in a movie about your life," or "What is the kindest thing anyone has ever done for you?"

Throughout dinner, everyone around the table can answer the questions! "We laugh, tell stories, reveal truths and yes, even shed a tear or two," Sandra says. "It's a fun, artful and a wonderful way to share ourselves with the people we are grateful for."

Gratitude box

A gratitude box is a wonderful gift to make for someone. Sandra says all you have to do is write things you appreciate about someone on slips of paper. You can write things like, "I am grateful for your ... smile, the sound of our voice, your hugs, etc."

You can write as many "gratitudes" as you feel in your heart and place them in a little box or a velvet bag. Then, present it as a unique and heartfelt gift of appreciation and love.

Share dinner duties

Thankfully, one person does not have to be responsible for the entire Thanksgiving meal, Sandra says. Divide the menu up among friends and family! The person hosting the event can bake, grill, or deep-fry the turkey or ham, and everyone else can bring the rest.

"You'll love how easy, delicious, and stress-free the holiday can be when it is a group effort," Sandra says. "The host can actually enjoy the guests, dinner, a cup of coffee and piece of pie -- and be thankful she didn't have to do it herself!" E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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