Halloween is over. The costumes put away, the candy pillaged from our neighbors and, in my house anyway, soon to be gone as well. This morning my five-year-old sleepily wandered downstairs while I was making lunches and said, “Mom, Halloween is over. When’s Christmas?” I sighed and reminded him that there was a very special holiday in between that he was forgetting, but the lack of “what’s in it for me” associated with Thanksgiving for a child who doesn’t like turkey or football made him roll his eyes and fall back on the couch.
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday – it brought together my family each year and has a warm, fuzzy feeling of togetherness for me that no other holiday does. I remember the fall as a time to think about how lucky I am – my mother made sure I was aware of that growing up. I cherish the Thanksgiving memories of my childhood and each year struggle with how to inject that same fondness and importance for my son. This morning, after having that interaction with my son, I sat down to check my facebook (remember – I’m addicted!) and I stumbled across the perfect way to make Thanksgiving interactive and important for him and maybe start a new family tradition at the same time!
My friend Stan (also a fantastic blogger for the UWGT!) had posted that he would start today, November 1st, as he had for the last three years his “30 days of Thanksgiving” where he posts each morning what he’s thankful for. It’s simple and thoughtful, and it got me thinking of ways to incorporate it in my family this year. I have to add my creative flair to everything, so I quickly came up with a way to use Stan’s “30 days” that will start tonight as my family sits down for dinner and last the whole month through. Each year we create construction paper links to countdown to Christmas – and while that’s fun, it’s basically wishing your life away. This year, we’ll use those links in a different way – each night, the three of us will get a link to write on what we’re thankful for and we’ll attach them – growing our chain longer and longer every day. We’ll bring it to Thanksgiving with my family in Connecticut and ask them to participate too and come November 30th, we’ll have a long chain of thanks that we can look upon and feel really good about, and memories of conversations surrounding it as well.
I’m really excited about this and because it’s creative, I know my son will get on board as well. Hopefully he’ll learn a lesson from it, but most importantly for me this year, he’ll add memories that make Thanksgiving important to him, as well as warm and fuzzy, that he’ll share with the next generation.