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How to write a Thanksgiving blessing – Part I

How to write a Thanksgiving Blessing from BlueMountain.com

November brings with it the flurry of preparation for the upcoming holidays, and in these next few weeks as menus and guest lists are planned, it’s also a good idea to start thinking about the annual tradition of the Thanksgiving prayer or blessing.

Perhaps you give the blessing each year, or maybe you’ll be invited to lead a prayer
as a guest in someone’s home. If the latter makes you tremble like Tom Turkey in the barnyard, fear not— we’ve written a two part series, including some helpful tips on how to offer warm and gracious blessings and prayers full of gratitude.

Thank you…to whom?

Many people feel pressured on the “what should I say” moment during grace. You don’t have to be Christian, or belong to any religion, to offer a prayer of thankfulness. If you are a Christian, than your prayer very likely would include God and you could thank Him for being among friends and family and for the food you’re about to share. Some tribal traditions thank the animal that sacrificed its life, others address the Universe, and many acknowledge the Earth and those who worked and labored to produce the food.  Taking time to speak gratitude out loud is a soulful gesture in itself, regardless of one’s tradition.

Think about what you’re thankful for:

Everyone has something to be thankful for, even if it’s simply being alive. Write down a list of people and things you cherish, and also think about things that have happened to you, or others that will gather with you, and speak positively about them.

Here are some thoughts to get you started:

  • Think of  the friends and family members you cherish
  • Are people traveling to see you? Think about gratitude for safe travels.
  • What about faithful pets? Give thanks for their companionship and comfort each day.
  • A warm home and food on the table is more than many have, and worthy of much gratitude.
  • Is someone ill and trying to heal? Think about offering thanks for the doctors and medical care they are receiving, or were fortunate to find.
  • Maybe someone is waiting on a new job, or perhaps someone lost a job—you could give thanks for the blessings ahead, and the courage and strength to persevere.

Help words and phrases:

For those writing a custom Thanksgiving prayer, these words and phrases can be plugged into any prayer during Thanksgiving:

  • blessing(s)
  • thankful
  • Thanksgiving
  • giving thanks
  • God’s gift of feast
  • family harvest
  • harvest gathering
  • feast of life
  • Autumn togetherness
  • unmeasured appreciation

Hopefully, your mind is swirling with ideas, and don’t forget to check back next week with our follow up post which will include poems, graces and prayers you can use for your blessing.



Thanksgiving Birthday Wishes


Thanksgiving is almost here, and for everyone who celebrates a birthday on this day of gratitude, they’re most certainly guaranteed the wishbone. But when it comes to giving these Thanksgiving babies a special card for their birthday, what do you write to make them feel special and honored in the midst of such a huge holiday?

Well, we couldn’t be more grateful that all of us here at Blue Mountain get to help you share and connect in a special way with all the people you love, and we’ve got some ideas that we think will come in handy when tackling this Thanksgiving birthday wish.

Share your personal feelings of gratitude
Letting someone know you’re grateful for them is a wonderful thing to say on every birthday, but it’s an especially perfect fit for a Thanksgiving birthday.

  • So grateful you’re in my life. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving birthday.
  • I’m so thankful for you and our friendship. Wishing you a birthday as wonderful as you.
  • I’m so blessed to have you as a: (friend/mom/dad/sister/brother/partner, etc.)
  • I’m extra thankful to not only be with you for Thanksgiving, but for your birthday, too.

 Acknowledge difficult circumstances
Birthdays and holidays can be very difficult for people who have lost loved ones, a job, or are dealing with illness, and they may want to forget them altogether. Here’s how you can be that beacon of light and remind them how special they are.

  • I know this time of year isn’t easy for you, but you deserve to be loved and celebrated.
  • Praying God gives you strength on your special Thanksgiving birthday.
  • Sending you Thanksgiving prayers and a warm birthday hug.
  • It’s a blessing to have you in this world–and two special reasons to remind you of that.

 Send lighthearted, happy thoughts
If you’d like something sweet and simple, these kind messages will leave them feeling appreciated and loved.

  • Wonderful—that’s you. Grateful—that’s me!
  • Sending you a long-distance Thanksgiving birthday hug. Did you feel it?
  • Gobble up some birthday fun as you celebrate two days in one!
  • Today, you get extra helpings of fun and wishes.

Get Silly
Make them smile for miles with these fun wishes that offer up the fun and spiritedness of having a birthday paired with such a wonderful holiday.

  • Happy Bird-Day!
  • It’s your day—gobble ‘til you wobble!
  • The wishbone is all yours! Hope all your wishes come true.
  • Who’s wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving Birthday? I YAM!

What everyone wants most is to be remembered and thought of, so you can never go wrong with speaking straight from your heart. Gratitude is a simple gift to share each and every day, but especially on someone’s Thanksgiving birthday, it will be a memorable gift they’ll cherish.




Thanksgiving Traditions for the Whole Family

Thumb image with Thanksgiving Traditions Title

Gratitude: a big word with an even bigger meaning.  It’s so big, in fact, that we have an entire day set aside each year to celebrate our gratitude for our good fortune.  Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season with food, family, and good old-fashioned tradition. And for all of the traditions many families hold dear on Thanksgiving, every family has some of their own unique traditions to make the celebration all the more special.

Thanksgiving has long been cherished as a time to put aside petty differences and mend fences with people in our lives.  Being grateful for people who, in their own little way, make our lives better, is the umbrella under which all other gratitude falls.  Being thankful for health, wealth, and happiness comes into play only after we recognize the people who make these things possible: accepting each person for who they are, minimizing conflict, and simply smiling more create an ambiance of warmth and holiday joy.

Thanksgiving in the U.S. and Canada: Similarities and Differences
Although the United States’ version of the holiday – with turkey and stuffing and pilgrims and Native Americans – is the one that most commonly springs to mind when you hear “Thanksgiving,” it’s also celebrated in Canada, too.

While Thanksgiving in the U.S. is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, Canadian Thanksgiving is observed on the second Monday of October. Those in the French Canadian provinces refer to it as l’Action de Grace.

Despite being celebrated almost a month apart, the sentiment behind the holidays are the same. Traditionally, both were rooted in gratitude for a bountiful harvest and giving thanks for all of the blessings of the past year. While the American version commemorates the first feast of settlers in the New World, Canada’s version of Thanksgiving is a national holiday to remember the harvest and its fruits.

A Time For Bounty and Bonding
It’s not always just the Thanksgiving meal that’s a major part of the holiday. In some cases, it’s the togetherness fostered by preparing for Turkey Day that provides a foundation for the gratitude of holiday.

Arts and crafts projects, such as making placemats for each family member or creating a paper gratitude chain (with each construction paper link inscribed with something each person is thankful for) are fun ways to spend time together and decorate for Thanksgiving, too.

Having a little extra help in the kitchen – or not – can be nice, too. While some people love having company in the kitchen while preparing the feast, others prefer to fly solo when cooking the bird. However, allowing certain family members access to the kitchen may be a special treat. It just may be worth giving them a peek at the secret family recipe book to make sure traditions are handed down from generation to generation.

Thanksgiving Traditions for Families: Embracing Unique Family Traditions
Family tradition is a cornerstone of any Thanksgiving celebration.  Each family has its own playbook of traditions, passed down through the generations.  Some traditions include watching football together as a family – or eating “dinner” earlier than usual, for instance, at 2pm in the afternoon instead of after 5pm.

If sports aren’t your family’s bowl of gravy, marathoning long movies (such as the Lord of the Rings or Star Wars trilogies) or Thanksgiving-themed favorites like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles or It’s Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown are fun traditions that bond the family before or after the big meal.

Other families who want a mix of the two may have video game tournaments – taking an interactive love of Madden and fantasy to another level with just a smidge of friendly competition.

One tradition held by many families throughout America is the act of going around the family table and having each person say what they are thankful for.  Even those of us who may have had a trying year can reflect upon the good fortune in our lives.

But not everyone looks forward to that moment when it’s their turn to speak and all eyes are on them.  When it’s your turn, just speak from the heart.  Some classic examples of things to be thankful for include good health, strong relationships, and a promising future for the family as a whole.

Saying Grace: Giving a Thanksgiving Blessing
Another American family Thanksgiving tradition is to give praise to The Man Upstairs — and we’re not talking about great-uncle Albert who needed a pre-dinner nap in the guest room.

Whether the figurehead of your family gives the blessing each year or your family members take turns, saying grace doesn’t need to be feared.  Speak from the heart, or if you’re uncomfortable speaking off-the-cuff, prepare a memorized prayer beforehand.  As long as you speak with gratitude at the forefront of the blessing, the tradition of mealtime prayer will continue to be a stress-free front runner to the feast that lays ahead. There is no wrong way to show gratitude as long as you’re sincere!

Make Way for a Traditional Family Feast!
And now that brings us to the good stuff!  Before us lays a spread of the bounty of the harvest, the fruits of Mother Nature’s labor, with our guest of honor, Tom Turkey, proudly centered among his tasty counterparts.

As tradition continues, it’s usually the patriarch who carves the bird to the delight of hungry diners. Slices of this succulent superstar are passed around, followed by the customary stuffing, potatoes, and cranberries. Whether your family tradition is to stick to the classics or to add a twist with slightly unusual sides, vegetarian options for those who are more tickled by tofu than turkey, each family finds its own stride around the holiday dinner table.  Some families even find creative ways to incorporate ethnic family food favorites into the holiday mix, such as those with German heritage enjoying a side of schnitzel and Mexican-American families setting out a plate of savory tamales.

And after the bones are picked clean and the leftovers are packed away for Mom’s famous day-after turkey sandwiches, it all comes down to the wishbone tradition.  Two lucky guests are selected to do the honors, each taking an end to snap. The person who gets the bigger piece of the wishbone, as per tradition, receives their wish. However, the wish of peace, love, and continued family tradition is always a favorite choice for everyone.

While every family’s traditions are unique in their own way, it’s comforting to know so many of these customs are rooted in common ground. While the familiar Norman Rockwell-style Thanksgiving with a turkey and all its trimmings is common, it’s more about what are the meaningful dishes to you and your family. Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!



Printable & Frameable Quote – Perfect for Thanksgiving!


Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away, and it’s the perfect time to focus on gratitude and the small, simple gifts that we can give each day. Gifts like kindness and love don’t cost anything, but have such a powerful impact. We came across this quote from L.O. Baird and we felt it perfectly summed up what this time of year is truly about. Click here to download, print, and maybe even frame this lovely quote. Hang it in your office or home, or even better, give it to a friend or loved one.



5 Ways to be Kinder

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”
_ Henry James

Kindness matters. It’s a simple and true fact. Being kind causes a ripple effect through the world, making a beautiful difference. And not only does kindness effect the world, but it always positively affects the person who is being kind. But how kind are we (or aren’t we) on a daily basis? Being kind comes easier to some people than it does to others, and we thought we’d share some helpful ideas for all of us to keep in mind as we practice the art of kindness in our daily lives.


  1. Be grateful for what you have. It’s easy for all of us to take the people and things we have for granted. Avoid that by taking a few minutes each day to reflect on what you can be grateful for.  Even better, write down 5 things you’re grateful for each day in a gratitude journal.  If you’re more aware of all the nice things that happen to you, you’ll feel like doing nice things for others.
  1. Be present. Everyone wants to be heard and validated. One of the most important things you can do is be fully attentive and actively listen when someone is talking to you. No cell phones, emails, or texts—take the time to connect with people face-to-face, or with an uninterrupted phone call. The greatest gift of kindness to another is to be in the moment in their presence.
  1. Minimize judgment. Set aside your judgment of other people and practice being positive and compassionate. Remember Plato’s saying, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” It’s easy to focus on ourselves and forget that others around us have their own struggles, too.  So instead of being critical, try giving people the benefit of the doubt and make positive observations about them.
  1. Smile more. Buddy the Elf said it best, “Smiling’s my favorite!” Don’t ever underestimate the power of a smile, because yours might be the only one a person receives that day. Even if it doesn’t come naturally to you, practice by simply smiling at strangers as you pass by, or holding open a door for them. It will not only add a pleasant spark to their day, but it will actually trick your mind into feeling happier, too.
  1. Be kind to yourself. When you’re kind to others, you have the tendency to be kinder towards yourself, but don’t get caught up in meeting everyone else’s needs before your own. That’s why it’s important to take time for yourself and rejuvenate in ways that make you feel good. This is also a good time to stop any negative thinking. When you become aware of your own needs and limits, you’ll reach out to people with more strength and compassion.

Please share our image above with friends and family as a gentle reminder of ways to be kind each day.



November 2015 Desktop Background & Letter from our Editor


We’re coming up on Thanksgiving when many of us feel that tingle of excitement at seeing friends and loved ones gathered round.  We may also be feeling the tug of nostalgia for Thanksgivings gone by and people we may not be seeing this year.  But we press on.  Maybe this is the year we think outside the turkey and gift someone else with a Happy Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a perfect time to express our appreciation for all that we have, for the people we love, the friends who are always there for us, and for the hope and spiritual resolve we need to carry us through difficult times.  You can reach out to family and friends this holiday with our new Blue Mountain Thanksgiving cards.  Simple Gifts captures the joy and magic of a woodland celebration and features the charming Shaker hymn that it is named for.  You can send a smile with our new talking cards, Happy Collie Days and Let’s Talk Turkey.  And for a big laugh, you can share our diva turkey, Gloria, who will sing her hilarious parody of “I Will Survive.”

So let us be grateful for the trials we’ve survived, the blessings we enjoy today, and the joys and challenges yet to come.  Whatever your plans for the holiday, we here at Blue Mountain want you to know we are ever grateful for your kind attention and wish you a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving.

We also have a brand new, beautifully Thanksgiving-inspired desktop background for your computer, phone, and even your Facebook cover image.

November Background:
2560 x 1440 / 1680 x 1050 / 1440 x 900 / 1280 x 800Facebook Cover Photo / Phone
For help on how to install, click here.

CarolineCaroline Martlew, Senior Editor



Halloween Playlist!

We’re really getting in the Halloween spirit this week! Decorations are going up, costumes are being planned, and everyone is starting to buzz with Halloween energy. And while we’ve been decorating and munching on candy corn, we’ve been listening to a lot of Halloween-inspired music. We thought we would put a few of our favorite spooky favorites in a Halloween playlist to share. Enjoy! Share some of your songs from your Halloween playlist in the comments to help get everyone in the spooky spirit.




What to Write: Halloween Birthday Wishes


Of all the days to be born, Halloween is probably the most fun! With tricks and treats and ghosts and goblins—not to mention lots of pumpkins and candy, too!—it’s clearly a day full of festive fun and lively celebrations.

If you know someone whose birthday falls on or around Halloween, this is the perfect chance to send them a Halloween birthday card. But are you at a loss for what to write inside? Frankly, the possibilities are endless. Funny and silly? Or sweet and sassy? It all depends on your recipient and the message you want to convey.

To help you get started, our card-writing experts at Blue Mountain want to share some of their most popular suggestions for Halloween birthday wishes with you! And don’t forget to check out everything we have to offer for the spooky holiday itself- from Halloween eCards to fun, printable Halloween card designs.


  • Wishing you a happy Halloween birthday that’s so fun it’s scary!
  • Have a killer Halloween birthday!
  • You may be too old to trick or treat, but you’re never too old to get a treat! Happy Halloween birthday!
  • The werewolves want to wish you a happy Howl-o-ween birthday!
  • Have a spook-tacular Halloween birthday!
  • Happy Halloween birthday from your fiend!
  • On your Halloween birthday, eat, drink, and be scary!
  • Your birthday party is gonna rock because we get to BOOOgie all night long! Happy Halloween birthday!
  • Have a frightfully spooky Halloween birthday!
  • Happy Hallo-scream birthday!


  • Have a boo-tiful Halloween birthday!
  • The sweetest thing this Halloween isn’t the candy. It’s you. Happy Halloween birthday!
  • Wishing you the best candy sugar high you can get on your Halloween birthday!
  • I’m a big fan of Halloween. But I’m a bigger fan of your birthday! Have a happy one.
  • Having fun on your Halloween birthday is just as mandatory as dressing up!
  • I hope your Halloween birthday screams with excitement!
  • Wishing you a really happy Halloween birthday—one that tickles your funny bone!
  • Have a most wonderful Halloween birthday! From your best ghoul-friend.
  • I can’t stop falling in love with brew. Happy Halloween birthday, sweetheart!
  • I witch you a happy Halloween birthday!


Sweetest Day Printable


Sweetest Day was first started when Birch Kingston wanted to bring cheer to local orphans, elderly and service people in Cleveland, OH. He acknowledged that many of these people may feel forgotten during other holidays, and because he worked for a local candy company, he started giving out special sweets to the community. To learn more about the history of Sweetest Day, click here. 

We wanted to celebrate by offering this free printable quote that’s perfect for celebrating your friends, family, or your sweetie on this fun holiday. The quote is easily printable and would be a fun framed addition to any desk or home.

Click here to print!



Halloween Decorating Inspiration

Alison OsProfilePic150x150born is an art director here at BlueMountain.com, and when she’s not creating beautiful eCards, she loves to put her crafting skills on display at home. We’ve shared some of her creativity in previous posts such as the surprise 70th birthday party she threw for her mother, as well as past craft roundups. Lucky for us, Alison especially loves decorating her home for Halloween, so we had to take a peak inside and share what we found!


All Photos Courtesy of Kelly Kutsko

1. Halloween Star
Decoupage scrapbook paper shapes on to a metal star. You can even sponge the edges of your paper shapes with paint before applying.

2. Marquee BOO Letters
Letters are from Heidi Swapp Marquee Love Collection. So easy, just paint and decoupage scrapbook paper. You can even add glitter, ribbons and more.

3. Witch Hats
Paint Paper Mache witch hat. Cut out scrapbook paper shapes to decoupage on to hat—a circle shape for the rim of the hat and paper strips to cover the cone horizontally. Dilute black acrylics to paint a wash over the hat. Add ribbon, acorns and paper cupcake flowers to decorate.

4. Trick or Treat Sign
Decoupage designer tissue paper on to canvas. White wash canvas then paint on black stripes. Letter “Trick or Treat” in black then in orange acrylic paints. Decorate with handmade fabric flowers.

5. BEWARE Banner
Glue orange, handmade fabric flowers on black canvas flags. You can also use canvas flowers or Halloween rosettes from local craft stores. Glue on glitter lettering.

6. Candy Corn Wreath
Find the entire tutorial on the House of Smiths blog.

Here are the final looks throughout Alison’s house…Bravo! For more design inspiration from Alison, check out her Instagram!