It’s officially the holiday season … I decided this as soon as Halloween was over! And because of this, I’m on a mission to create some rituals with my kids. Stuff that we do every year that they’ll remember and look forward to … and who knows, maybe they’ll pass down to their kiddos some day.
I can remember a couple from my childhood…
1. Watching Home Alone every Thanksgiving night with my family. To get us in the Christmas mood…bonus points if it happened to be snowing out!
2. Bringing up the Christmas tree and decorating the house every year.
3. Going ‘downtown’ with our cousins to the Dayton’s 8th floor (now Macy’s) to see their Christmas display, and then stopping by FAO Schwarz, and the candy store (Candyland, maybe?) before we headed home.
4. Annual family picture by the fireplace in our Christmas best.
5. Opening presents every Christmas Eve morning … Santa always came a day early since we went to Grandma and Grandpa’s farm on Christmas.
6. Speaking of Grandma and Grandpa … Christmas on the farm. Grandma’s cooking. Basketball in the upstairs of the cow barn (which my brother and I always lost to our super-star basketball playing cousins, Alyssa and Steve).
So, I’m starting early this year. Why wait until the Christmas season??? We’re starting with Thanksgiving!! (Next year, I’m determined to start with Halloween by having a pumpkin paining party just like the Bowers). I want my kids to learn to be thankful for everything they have (as do most moms … I realize this is not unique). I want them to learn not to take things for granted. I want them to truly appreciate what and who they have in their life. And, in the same process, it’s good for Matt and I, too! Matt is much better than I am at making a point to count his blessings…to write down what he’s thankful for…to make a daily, conscious effort to do so.
So, here’s the plan: we’re making a thanksgiving turkey! Yes, we’ll cook a turkey on the actual day of Thanksgiving (with me luck with that), but I’m talking about a paper turkey here. He started off naked, and then each day both boys, Matt, and I add a ‘feather’ that lists something we’re thankful for. Everyone gets their own color (feathers = circles cut with a circle punch … keepin’ things simple, here). What I’m hoping, is that we’ll be able to save the whole turkey each year, and look back on the similarities and differences, and goofy things we come up with each year.
Here’s our Thankful Turkey progress so far:
I’m hoping the whole canvas is filled with circles by the time Thanksgiving rolls around!
What are some of your favorite holiday rituals? Any good Thanksgiving specific ideas?