Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We are Thankful!

When Noah turned two, I started thinking about how I wanted to teach him about Thanksgiving.  Being squeezed in between Halloween and Christmas, it's so easy for children to miss the point.  It's so easy for all of us to miss the point.

My husband and I have really tried to raise children who are thankful for what they have, who can walk through life with a sense of gratitude for all that they've been given.  And what better time to do that than just before the craziness of Christmas?

So about 3 years ago, we started the tradition of our Thankful Chain.  No it's not fancy.  It's not something you'll see in Martha Stewart or Better Homes and Gardens.  But it's frugal, thoughtful, and it gets the point across.

We sit down every night at dinner and write what we are thankful for on a strip of paper.  Sometimes it's a toy, sometimes dinner, a smile from a friend, or a phone call from Grandma.  We try to model for the kids things that they can be thankful for that they wouldn't otherwise realize.  Like clean water.

As we put them on the chain, I also have a book that I write them in.  It's fun to pull that notebook out every year and remember, "Oh, yeah.  I remember when that happened."  It's really helped all of us concretely realize what we have to be thankful for.

This is about halfway through the month last year.  After Thanksgiving was over, we continued to add to our chain till New Year's last year.  The kids were so into it.

This is one of the things I'm most thankful for this year: children who are growing up thankful.  And I think that's one of the best gifts we can give our kids.

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