Hello, friends! It is almost time for Thanksgiving and I can’t wait for the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and of course pumpkin pie. As a young child, I couldn’t wait for the big meal, but what I remember most was the time spent with my family. We often would take turns stating what we were most thankful for from that particular year. Most of the time I probably said I was most thankful for my dog, or most thankful for a full tummy. But, the point was we always stopped to embrace the true purpose of this holiday.
Being thankful is something that can be a difficult topic for children to understand and we need to lovingly remind them of its meaning and purpose. I think I feel most thankful when I am living with a true spirit of giving. One of my new favorite children’s books to read is “Extra Yarn,” by Mac Barnett; aside from the beautiful illustrations, he truly captures the essence of having a giving spirit. In order to show love to her community, the young girl in this book used what little she had to help those around her, often those who didn’t even know they needed help. And when someone tried to use her gift for his personal gain, well I will let you read the story yourself to see how that one ends.
This holiday season, help your children learn and grow in their understanding of being thankful. Have them go through their treasures and pick something out special for someone who may need it more than they do. Maybe have your child take a hot meal to someone who recently was sick or had surgery. There are so many ways to encourage a spirit of giving in your child, and this is truly what will make a difference within our community.
For the month of December, I would love if you would participate in a “Heart of Thanks” challenge. Before December 1st, sit down with your child or children and ask them what it means to be thankful, and ask what they think they could do to help others who are in need. Come up with 31 things, whether it’s simply things you are thankful for or activities you can do to show your love to others. Find an empty container in your home, and put these 31 items (written down on paper of course) inside. Beginning December 1st, you’ll pull a piece of paper out of your jar every day and either be reminded of what to be most thankful for, or have an activity to complete that day. May you be a blessing to others this Thanksgiving season. Happy Thanksgiving, friends!
Thankfulness & Spirit of Giving Books:
With a supply of yarn that never runs out, Annabelle knits for everyone and everything in town until an evil archduke decides he wants the yarn for himself.
Grace's thank-you notes for her birthday presents appear all over town, bringing love and happiness into everyone's lives.
Explores the ways thankfulness can find expression throughout the day.
When the aroma of Omu's homemade stew fills the air, her neighbors arrive, one by one, for a taste until all is gone except for her generous spirit.
Despite their own poverty since Daddy died, Mama tells nine-year-old James Otis they need to help Sarah, whose family lost everything in a fire.