Each of us has so many things in our lives for which we are grateful. One of the most important is the people that we love and cherish, especially our favorite little brown girls. November 24th is Thanksgiving, and traditionally, that day has been set-aside for families to come together in feasting, reconnecting, and enjoying each other. It is also the perfect occasion for truly giving thanks for those special people that share your life, and taking appreciation beyond just the delicious turkey dinner.
To get your precious girl thinking beyond just the basics of the meal for the Thanksgiving holiday, try some of these activities which will encourage her to examine her relationships with friends and family, to find out more about a “harvest”, and to learn the true meaning of “thankfulness”:
Let her get her hands dirty! One of the hallmarks of the tradition behind the Thanksgiving holiday is that it’s a celebration of the harvest that was, in turn, shared among people of different cultures and beliefs. A great way to help your little honey to understand about a harvest is to consider volunteering at or starting your own community garden. Through this, she will not only learn about the earth and all that is needed to produce the foods that she enjoys, but she will learn about the hard work that it takes and cooperative efforts of a team of people that are instrumental in that process as well. If you have a community garden cooperative in your area, there may be opportunities for the two of you to work together to “grow” food for yourself or that you can donate to those that are needy.
Have her organize the place settings for your family’s Thanksgiving meal. Your sweetie can explore and gain greater insight into your family tree by just being involved in creating name cards for your table or holiday display. Even if you don’t want to set up “assigned” seats, it could be beneficial to include an area where everyone’s name and relationships are displayed. Little girls benefit from this exercise because they can get to see their families in terms of actual relationships and not just by each person’s involvement in their lives. For example, they may not have a lot of interaction with “Cousin Joe”, but it’s good that she understand how he is related to her and the other relatives. This could also turn into a great exercise for learning more about what each person does as a profession or your family’s historical contributions to society. She will definitely gain a greater appreciation for her family through this simple activity.
Encourage her to take a “count” of all of the good things that has happened in her life. Get her to consider everything from birthday gifts to special outings, and the things that she has learned in school that has helped her to be the best person that she can be. Your sweet girl may not always realize how much she has to be thankful for, but through this activity, she will have a real record of many of life’s wonderful blessings that she has enjoyed. Which is why it’s great for all of us to take stock every once in a while. It help us to keep things in perspective and to keep us thinking positively about what life has been and what it has to offer.
Try a new sweet tradition of giving to others for Thanksgiving. Most people usually have so many leftovers after their Thanksgiving feast that they grow tired of eating the food and much of it ends up discarded. This year, you and your precious honey can do something different with your leftovers. Give all of them away! Together, select an organization that you would like to donate your food to. Call them and coordinate to get the meals to them for their clients. Prepare plates in carryout containers, and deliver them immediately after your family has had their fill! It’s tradition to just keep eating on the meal, but for this one time, consider others and how your meal could be a real gift for them, especially during these tight economic times when non-profits are struggling to serve their populations. If you don’t want to donate from your meal, then prepare extra, just for giving away! Have your beautiful little girl decorate each carryout container for a truly personalized experience. Help her understand what your meal could mean to a homeless family or neglected child. She will feel wonderful knowing that the two of you are doing something special for someone else.
Thanksgiving can be a fantastic holiday, steeped in tradition, and plenteous in good food. But, it can also be a time of deeper reflection, altruism, compassion, and love. These are all things that any honey child can profit from and will, in life, become truly thankful for.