Is everyone ready for a good cry along with an awesome idea for your holiday season? That’s what I thought! The holidays are usually a happy time, but I don’t know many who can get through them without shedding a tear or two!

Deb Mills of Clinton, Missouri started a yearly Thanksgiving tradition with her kids 16 years ago. 16 years! I love traditions that stick around. She tells ABC News that as a blended family, they wanted to do something special all their own during the holiday season. “Back in 2000, I got out this plain white tablecloth, and put it on the table, and my teenage kids looked at me like I was crazy when I said, ‘I want you to sign this tablecloth.’ Then a few years later, the grandchildren came along, and now we have 16 years of memories on the tablecloth.”

The tablecloth is a fun way for Deb’s family to see how everyone’s signature has changed throughout the years. “The most important thing is we have the names, the signatures of those that have been dear to us through the years that are no longer with us.” As she starts to tear up, Mills says, “Particularly, we lost a daughter three years ago, and it is very special to be able to put that tablecloth on the table each Thanksgiving and there is Mary’s name and she’s among us. As well as my mother and my husband’s father. Those three signatures are irreplaceable to us at this point, and I’m sure that tablecloth is irreplaceable to our four remaining kids and 10 grandkids and anybody else that has sat at our table.”

I don’t know about you, but I think I would have to keep the tablecloth out all year round! Deb has a very particular way to keep things in order. Each year, they use a different color. In 2015 they used royal blue to symbolize the Kansas City Royals winning the World Series. Deb then takes on the ridiculously hard task of hand embroidering everyone’s signatures during the winter months to assure no signature will get ruined.

Deb has inspired friends to take on the tradition. Not only is it a wonderful way to keep your family close, but it’s an amazing reminder of how blessed families are. “It’s just a little special tablecloth to us. It’s no big deal. But people are now planning on starting it this Thanksgiving. These are younger girls, and I’ll have them over to show them how to embroider it for years to come.”

So let us all thank Deb for sharing her family’s tradition. After reading their story, I surely hope it will persuade others to look at their families just the same. We are all so blessed and should be very very thankful.

Image Via ABC News

Katie Brady

Hi! I'm Katie Brady! I live in Omaha, Nebraska with my husband and four kids. I have a six-year-old, four-year-old, three-year-old, and a one-year-old. Three girls and a little boy! So, I'm kept busy at home with them. I've always had such a passion for writing, but since my youngest was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis it has become a form of therapy. I'm so excited to share our life with everyone!