Smarter Celebration: Being Thankful This Season, and Always
Thanksgiving might be my favorite holiday, for several reasons. The food is delicious, family always gets together to enjoy each other, and instead of needing to stress about buying and wrapping and shipping and giving gifts for everyone in your life, it's really just all about remembering what we have, being thankful for this, and appreciating and enjoying life, with our loved ones. It's a holiday with a great, historically important story behind it, a story not defined by one religion or another, but just all-inclusive. In fact, it's the only holiday I can think of with these qualities other than New Year's eve, but that just celebrates new beginnings, and endings, and not a state of being or a way of feeling or thinking, so much.
Anyway, what I like as well about Thanksgiving is that it's a great way-a cheerful, holiday way-to help teach our little ones about being thankful and appreciating what they have. I don't know about your kids, but mine is really all about "I want," "I need," and "more, more, more," these days, and it wears me down and even frustrates me, often. I'm looking forward to using this holiday coming up, and the meal we will prepare together, and the home we will decorate nicely together, and the family we will welcome and enjoy together, as great ways to re-emphasize the importance of being thankful to my child, and for pointing out to her how this feeling brings joy and peace to a person and a home, instead of frustration, anger, and a sense of loss, when someone only thinks about what they don't have, or focuses on needing or wanting more, all the time.
And, inspired by a great children's book called Thanks for Thanksgiving, by Julie Markes and Doris Barrette, I'm going to encourage my child to write down or draw five things she's thankful for this holiday season (because she just turned 5), and I'm going to frame that puppy and hang it where she can see it often, and we can revisit it and enjoy it, all the days of the year.
What are you thankful for, and how do you encourage this sentiment in your little children?