Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!! This is my absolute favorite holiday. I love fall...the bright colors, pumpkins, leaves (I love leaves), the crisp cool air (not cold), I just absolutely love fall. I love Thanskgiving because I feel we tend to take things for granted and in general are not as thankful as we should be and Thanksgiving makes us more aware of all of our blessings. Family, I love spending time with family too. I also feel like it is the one holiday that isn't commercialized to the max.

Here are a couple of crafting ideas to start the next year off.

1) We did this for the first time this year. We had a Thanksgiving box. (A friend from my MOPS group gave us this idea last year.) We took an ordinary cardboard box (could be a shoe box or whatever you have around the house, and covered it with brown kraft paper (I love brown kraft paper) - and wrote some "thankful" scriptures on it, cut a slit in the top. Leave it sitting in an easily accessible area with 3 x 5 index cards and a pen. Each day everyone writes one thing that they are thankful for and drop it in the box and you read them on Thanksgiving day. My youngest 2 are not old enough to participate (this year I might be able to ask Anthony (3) what he is thankful for and write it down for him). My oldest 2, Lee (9) & Champ (8), did it at first, but then quit. Frank, my DH didn't do it. I did it sporadically (this was our first year - maybe it will get better). I do plan on doing it again. It makes me aware on a daily (maybe I should say 'regular') basis. You could decorate your box anyway that you want to (with wrapping paper, scrapbooking paper, butcher paper and markers, etc.).
2) Don't want to decorate a box? Get a blank book/journal (found in the stationery section of stores) and each day have each family member write what they are thankful for, date it and sign it. You could do a different journal each year and have a whole collection to look back on over the years (to see if our perspectives have changes, to see how our children have grown - handwritting and ideas, etc.).
3) I have also heard of a 'Perpetual Thanksgiving Tablecloth.' I have always wanted to do this (not sure why I haven't). Get a white, off-white or light colored table cloth (use it for Thanksgiving only). Each year have your Thanksgiving guests sign their name, date and one thing they are grateful for with a permanent fabric marker.
I may try the journal idea this year. The nice thing about the box is no one sees what you've written until Thanksgiving day when all the cards are read. (I do plan on keeping my index cards though - if I don't loose them - and we can look back in a few years on those too, I might could paste them in a journal/book). The nice thing about the journal is it is more compact and easier to store. We'll see. Just a thought, you could give each family member a journal of their own for the year (then no one would see what they wrote until it was time - there would be more books to keep up with though). You just have to try something and keep trying until you find out what works for you.
Here are some can be grateful for big things (like your health or home), little things (like your child's smile, a wave from a stranger), you can dig deep (spiritually), there are no rules except you should truly be grateful for it and not just writing something down. My personal preference is to focus on the little things (those are the one's we tend to take for granted the most). Click here to get you jump started.
Call me crazy, but I think this would be a great writing assignment for students.
Are you and/or your family already doing this? What are you doing? How long have you been doing it? If you are already doing this, I have a challenge for you. Write down all the things you struggle with or seem like a burden and find a way to be grateful for it. (Example: a few years ago we lived in an older home and we had ants all summer long every summer. I was grateful for the ants because it made me do my dishes and clean my kitchen the very minute we finished eating. I always had a clean kitchen to wake up to, if unexpected company dropped by, etc. and it became a habit that I still do today.) Let me know what you are doing and if you accept the challenge.
Here's another quote...
"Take a lesson from the grass. No matter how many times it's cut or trampled on, it rises again and continues. So get back up, my friend, get back up and rise again." -Unknown
Have a good one and be thankful for all you have.

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