Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Teaching Thankfulness One Tradition At A Time

If there is one thing I've realized as a parent, it's that the good things must be taught.
The bad habits come easily, but the good ones?
Those take work.
Thankfulness falls in the difficult category, I believe.
It seems fairly easy this time of year to think about thankfulness, but outside of November {and the lists everybody seems to do on Facebook}, how often do I think to thank God for anything?

These were my thoughts on the eve of November when my oldest was just three years old.
What effort was I going to make to teach her that everything she received was a gift from God?
And thus, our Thanksgiving box and turkey were borne.
I had an old bulletin board idea in mind and quickly went to work.
Tracing, cutting, coloring, taping, gluing......some copy paper, markers, an old box, craft paper, and some saved calendar pages.

We started November 1st. Each of us named something every night at the supper table that we were thankful for and they were written on a feather. Into the box they went!
On Thanksgiving day, our turkey was stuck to the wall, and all the feathers were added.
What a sight for those little eyes - our beautiful, colorful turkey {at least in their eyes!} full of things they had thought to be thankful for.

Since that time I've seen many beautiful Thanksgiving trees and such, but I think we'll stick with our turkey and our box.....they have meaning for our family.
And isn't that really what good traditions are all about?


  1. Great idea, Patty! :) Love it! I've been thinking we need to start a "Thanksgiving Tree" or something similar. We probably just need to have that pad of post-it notes and a marker handy 24/7 year round and a "Wall of Thanks" or something, too. I think it would benefit me as much as the kiddos. Anyway, I was wondering if you'd mind coming over and linking up this post to my "Twenty-Two Days of Thanks" page? It would be such a blessing to a lot of people, I'm sure. Up to you. :) Love you guys, and miss you much - especially this time of year!! (Here's the link if you wan to link-up: http://fibrofitandfab.blogspot.com/p/twenty-two-days-of-thanks-on-fibro-fit.html)

  2. Very sweet idea!

    "Thanksgiving must be practiced" is what my youth director was known for saying - all year long - and it has long stuck with me. I love that he made it a goal to teach us to be thankful!