Every year since my kiddos could talk we’ve sat down around this time of year to reflect on what we’re most thankful for right now. Some years my kids have made books that serve as wonderful keepsakes, and when they couldn’t write or draw we helped get their ideas on feathers which they decorated.
This year we had a big second grade project and a kindergarten craft assignment the two weeks before Thanksgiving which took many evenings and weekends to pull together. I was also traveling to a conference out of town for three nights. Hence, no books. No feathers. Nothing.
But giving thanks is incredibly important in our family. It’s one way we help our children think beyond themselves, develop empathy and gain perspective. While we give thanks daily, whether at home, meal or bed time, or school, there was no way I could let this holiday come and go without a special focus on being thankful.
So this year we made a different kind of keepsake: a video. We prepared by writing down all the things that each of us was thankful for. As always, the easy ones quickly come to mind for the kids: our family, good friends, our home, food. But with a little discussion around what really matters, and what we are fortunate to have that others might not, the really good stuff comes out.
Our puppy Oliver, books, trees, the earth, our five senses, teachers, clothes and jackets to keep us warm, and God.
One thing I love best about this year’s keepsake is that we can share it with family. For two kiddos that don’t get to see their family nearly enough, they really got behind this idea. I have to admit that my son also appreciated that there was no crafting involved. He’s not a big fan of craft projects and this second grade project was enough for a while.
I know that many families have different traditions around giving thanks. I hope you’ll share yours. If you’re inspired to write about it or share pictures, please email me (ginarau(at)feedourfamilies(dot)com) something to post here and I’d be thrilled to do so!