I love November. We're past the Halloween and candy craziness (mostly), and we've got a little bit of time before we find ourselves knee-deep in Santa craziness. The weather is often gorgeous. It's a good time to reflect and think about our many blessings.
We celebrate Thanksgiving all month. Families have all sorts of traditions around Thanksgiving, and I love to read about them. Here's our tradition.
Every night at dinnertime, we talk about things we're thankful for. We all contribute, even guests. Our nearly two-year-old keeps it simple. He's usually thankful for pasta or Rita the cat, things he can see right then. Our four-year-old really seems to understand the concept and, most nights, puts thought into her contributions. She's almost always thankful that "we're all a family," but she has also said she's thankful that we all listen to each other, thankful for healthy food, grandparents, dance class, and her brother. When she was first talking, every night she was thankful for "The Castle" (DisneyWorld) or "Winnie-a-Pooh." It's fun to see her Thankful Things evolve.
We write our Thankful Things down, and we put the list in our special Thankful Bowl. It's a small bowl, and by Thanksgiving, it's pretty much overflowing with blessings. Someday I may get a second Thankful Bowl, so that eventually we can pass one on to each child, for them to begin the tradition with their own families. But, for now, we cherish our one bowl full of blessings.
I recently read about a twist on this (I wish I could remember who gave me the idea, so I could give proper credit), which I'm eager to try. One of these evenings, after talking about Thankful Things, we'll turn our paper over and talk about nice things we did for others. Isn't that a great lead-in to the Christmas holidays, which inevitably take a materialistic turn?