Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Give Thanks

What do you get when you try to buy Thanksgiving decor a few days after Halloween? A clearance table of picked through, half chipped miscellaneous decor hidden behind robust Christmas trees, reindeer ornaments and red berries. Obviously I was a little late to the party but c'mon I hadn't even sifted through the Halloween candy yet.

So I got to thinking. Why are so many people quick to overlook Thanksgiving? What's the big rush to deck the halls? Don't get me wrong - I do enjoy Christmas but I personally consider Thanksgiving to be the calm before the storm, the last chance to breathe before the busy holiday season. It’s a time to celebrate our faith, family, and friends and meditate over the many rich blessings we have in our lives.

Now that Chase (my 3 year old) is old enough to 'get it' (kinda), I figured it was time to teach him to savor 'giving thanks' for Thanksgiving’s sake. So in an effort to teach him to count those blessings, I let him choose a couple people he wanted to give a gift of thanks. He picked his Preschool teacher and nanny Vira.

Together we went to The Coffee Bean - his teacher's favorite coffee spot - and bought a gift card, wrapped it with a note that reads, "Thanks for 'bean' a fantastic teacher!" For Vira, he helped me make a batch of white chocolate covered pretzels - her favorite. Attached is a note that reads, "Thanks for being so sweet to me!"

Taking the time to do this with Chase has been such a precious time for me. It taught him the act of being thankful as well as the joy of giving. And it taught me to slow down and reflect on what I am most thankful for. Too often, I get bogged down with never ending holiday to-do’s and shopping lists that I even forget to say thanks in the midst of my abundant blessings.

If this struck a cord with you, it's not too late. I encourage you to team up with your child(ren), have them pick a few people they would like to give a special thanks to and make it a fun activity. Below are a few inexpensive gift ideas to get your juices flowing:

1) Have your child hand-dip fortune cookies with chocolate and sprinkles, box them in a Chinese take-out box found at any craft store with a note attached that says, "I'm fortunate to have you as my _______!"

2) Create Thankful Jars;
Fill a mason jar with mints with a note that says, "Knowing you has 'mint' a lot. I'm so thankful for you!"

Fill a mason jar with gummy bears with a note that says, "I'm 'beary' thankful for you!"

Fill a mason jar with M&M's with a note that says, "I'm thankful for a Marvelous & Mighty Mrs. ______"

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