A Thanksgiving Tradition
In our family, we are all about traditions during the holiday season. We have a number of different Christmas traditions (as I'm sure you'll all learn about right here), and we have one special Thanksgiving tradition in particular. And we started it last night . . . so let me tell you a little bit about it.
A week before Thanksgiving, I set out a basket, strips of paper, and a pen on the dining room table. When the kids see this they always squeal and ask, "Is it our thankful basket?" then hurry to be the first one to write down their thing they're thankful for on a strip of paper. All this week, we'll each write various things on the paper strips and then put them into the basket. On Thanksgiving morning--before we rush off to our first meal with extended family--we sit down and unfold each strip of paper, read the "thankfulness" item, and try and guess who wrote it. (This is usually pretty easy to do, but it's still fun and we get a good laugh out of it. After all, it's not hard to guess that "I'm thankful for softball" came from Delaney, "I'm thankful for Whoppers malted milk balls" came from Gary, "I'm thankful for long baths" came from me, and "I'm thankful for boys" came from McKenna.)
After the holiday is over, I'll collect the paper strips and do something with them--either collect them in a box that we can refer to throughout the year, or put them on a page in my scrapbook. This year, I had the idea of creating a little altered journal for us all to record our thankful items in, but when I mentioned that to Delaney she said, "You can't do that! We have to have our basket!" So, of course I had to nix that idea and go back to the "traditional" way of doing it. To believe that I even entertained the idea of changing something so special to us all!
Last night, each of the girls sat down to write a few of their first things. Delaney decided to tell Sydney how to do it, and sat her down with her at the table and asked her what she was thankful for. Sydney looked a little confused, so Delaney explained instead that she could tell her what she really "liked" or "loved." She leaned in close to Delaney, whispered in her ear, and I pretended to be interested in the chili I was cooking in the kitchen. I didn't tell Delaney that I heard Sydney say, "I like God" and "I like flowers."
I share this with you because this is a really easy tradition to implement. And it can definitely put Thanksgiving in its proper perspective--as a holiday that focuses on the simple things that make life meaningful, as an opportunity to remember how blessed we really are, and as a time to reconnect with your family. Maybe you'll want to try it yourself!
Now, since today marks the One Week Countdown to Thanksgiving, I thought I'd start today to list the things I'm thankful for. Each day, I will put on my blog the same items that I write down on my strips of paper. In a way, you will be experiencing our tradition in a "virtual" way.
The first three things I wrote down were:
1. I'm thankful for a 14-year-old who makes me proud, a 10-year-old who makes me feel loved, and a 2-year-old who keeps me young.
2. I'm thankful for football, even when we don't have the best of seasons.
3. I'm thankful for Gan Gan's dressing and gravy.
To be added to as the week goes by . . .