November 20, 2010

Granny and our new Thanksgiving craft

Well, Granny arrived safely.  I really was expecting her to arrive all frail and Granny like, but I should have known that my fancy Granny who has never shown her age for a second would arrive in high style.  She appeared at the top of the escalator like a perfectly aged movie star.  Like the Granny I remember from childhood.  Always at the cutting edge of fashion, with heads turning and wondering who she is because she carries herself like someone you should know.  It was perfect!  LOL!

When I posted my Happy Thanksgiving, see ya later post, what I resisted typing was a rant about the major fit I had thrown about the kids not appreciating the toys that they have and all of my irritation on the materialism of the impending holiday season.  I resisted with all of my might, and a few hours later I was calm and ready to lead the kids through an exercise  in gratitude and appreciation.  It turned out to be very revealing, so I thought I'd share.

We used to have a tradition of mailing all of our friends and family a paper turkey feather and asking them to write what they are thankful for this year on it and mail it back to us.  We'd gather them and stick them to a giant turkey's rear end each year and take some time to look at what the loved ones who couldn't be with us might be thanking God for on that same day.  But, to be honest, what we thought was a charming tradition, was held by most of our family as a annoyance.  A few people called and said, "Didn't we send you a feather last year?"  So, this year we made our own mini turkeys so as not not irritate the family.  Haha!


But I added a twist this year.  I had the kids write what they were thankful for on the BACK of the feather.  On the front I asked them to write how they showed that they were thankful\ for that thing.  This was WAY HARD for them.  I was shocked.  When they said they were thankful for family, I asked how they showed it.  the all chorused, "Because we love our family!"

I explained how it's great to love someone, but if you don't act in a way that shows it, they may never know it.  And if you want them to feel your love, you have to show it!  Still, I was met with blank stares.  After much pulling of teeth and giving of examples, we made headway.  I said, "I am thankful that your dad goes to work every day so that I get to stay home with you guys.  One of the ways I show it is by making him a nice dinner to eat when he gets home.  You see?  I have an action that I do to express a little gratitude!" 

Hunter was thankful for food and decided that he shows it by happily eating it when I serve it to him.  He shot Hannah Jane a look when he said it, suggesting that her constant complaining at dinner time had been noticed by even the smallest members of the family!  LOL!  She promptly added an identical feather to her turkey, which was nice because that night at the table, when she began to complain, I noted her feather and asked if she was demonstrating gratitude.  She huffed, "Oh, I forgot."

Haven was thankful for peacocks, of all things!  "Because they are just so pretty and I love them so much!"  I asked how he could show he was grateful for peacocks, not having one and all.  He promptly replied that we needed to get a peacock so he could begin showing his appreciation!  Ha!

Hannah Jane did her all on her own and  listed family, food, her animals, etc.  I was proud to see her not resisting the activity and really being thoughtful.  She separated herself from the group so she could think carefully without all of the distraction.  Perfecto!

Now our plan is to hold each other accountable for showing our gratitude.  I love it!  I mean, as adults, don't we often have a list in our minds of our priorities and values, but fail to let our everyday actions and choices reflect what we say is important to us?  It's never too soon to start helping kids examine whether or not their actions are in line with their values.  I think this was a great start!

4 comments:

  1. I LOVE THIS!!!!!!! so important and yet somehow so forgotten.

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  2. I'm thankful for my friend Sky :)

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  3. HOW CUTE and what a great lesson!!! Love those turkeys! :)

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  4. I'm so glad you linked to this post as this is an AWESOME idea I cant wait to use in the future. So useful. Thanks for sharing!

    And also congrats on getting your van in order - I wouldnt want to show you a photo of mine ;-)

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