I wanted some kind of a Thanksgiving bulletin board like we see all over Pinterest this time of year. However, I hit general thankfulness pretty thorougly in our day-to-day living right now, so I came up with something slightly different than writing down random things the kids are thankful for. The random thankfulness is, of course, a great thing as well, but the kids are doing it already in their daily gratitude journals, and I wasn't sure how helpful it was to be writing "nature," "candy," and "playing the XBox" in multiple places.
So this year, we are taking November (and probably December) to celebrate the things we already do well as a family. My personality has a distinct miss-the-forest-for-the-trees bent, and I fret about passing down this hyper-critical trait to my children. I want to remind them that there are so many ways they already make life beautiful for themselves, their parents, and others, even if "just leave me alone!" is heard so frequently in our house that even the two year old has picked up. I bought this grapevine window thingy at Joann's when all their fall stuff went on sale, and wound a goldish thread around it to give it a little more interest. I originally planned to cut out a bunch of cute little leaves (a la Pinterest), but as I was cutting out the template leaf, from which a thousand more little leaves were to be traced and cut, I said nope. Instead, I dug up my craft scissors and cut up thirty little rectangles in about a minute. Much better.
Each night or every few nights (or mid morning when I realize I can't remember when we last did it), I gather the children and we talk about the things we do well as a family, things that make weave our own lives together and that enrich the lives of others. I had to do some leading in the beginning because they kept yelling out things like, "nature," "candy," and finally, in desperation: "Jesus?"
But now they get it, and their little chests are starting to puff up as they see that, for all our individual rough edges, we really do make up a pretty awesome family.
A few past Thanksgiving posts:
7 Gifts: Good and Perfect (Last year's "thankful books" from the week of Thanksgiving. We will do this again.)
Books to Help Children Understand Hunger (a few links and lists here)
A Day of Many Blessings (not related to Thanksgiving exactly, but to my birthday, which is tomorrow! My head is full tonight of birthdays past, and last year's was certainly one to make me pause, reflect, and, yes, rejoice.)