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Print this holiday placement for your children to color as a reminder to pray for the loved ones who, because of distance or death, are not present to celebrate.

Our free printable Thanksgiving placemat is an updated version of the one inspired by an idea we received from a reader ten years ago.

Reader and Catholic school teacher Pat kindly shared the idea for a placemat to help her students remember and pray for those not physically present at a meal, either due to death or distance. Pat shared the following:

I teach middle school religion and science at Good Shepherd Catholic School in Santa Cruz, California. Many of our kids are from divorced homes and several have experienced the death of a loved one, even a parent, in the past year. I told my students about a group of friends of mine who met for dinner every two months or so, until one of them died from cancer. The next time we met, we asked the waiter to leave a place setting for our friend who passed away as a reminder to us that she is with us always. So, in trying to make connections between the comfort of All Saints Day and a potentially painful Thanksgiving I recently came up with this place mat to use for Thanksgiving dinner. My students and I had a great discussion about the many reasons that people may not be at our table, from death, distance or estrangement, and how it affects the other people in the family. My family intends to use it at every family gathering this year.

Download the placemat


children coloring

Copyright 2021 Barb Szyszkiewicz
Image: Canva Pro