In Thanksgivings past, my family never had any type of tradition where we go around the table and state what we’re thankful for. Frankly, I think something like that is cheesy, impersonal, repetitive, and annoying, not to mention heavily stereotyped. But this year, we really felt some sort of tradition has been missing. So here’s what we decided to do. Instead of stating one thing we’re thankful for, we decided to start a time capsule of thanks. Here’s how it works: we took scraps of plastic we would normally throw out (they will last a whole lot longer than scraps of paper), and each wrote some sort of artistic representation of thanks on it, also with the date. Poems, drawings, pictures, song lyrics, anything with a little more substance than the typical “I’m thankful for _____” is fair game. I wrote a haiku, for example. After sharing what we wrote (only if desired), we rolled them up like little scrolls and wrapped them with old pieces of twist ties (again, something that would eventually get thrown out) and dropped them in a bottle that we would normally have recycled. Each year, we will contribute more thankful musings and will slowly fill the bottle. It makes a nice decorative item, and will gradually be more colorful and exciting as it gathers more and more scraps of colorful plastic scrolls. And, it’s a continual visual reminder of all the things we have to be thankful for, without the cheesiness of going around the table to state a lame one-word answer, all while putting to better use something we would have sent to a landfill.