Monday, November 3, 2008

What to do with gratitude?

In an effort to salvage that faint holiday we call Thanksgiving, I have decided to do something with my kids to make it more...memorable. When I told my daughter Thanksgiving is the next holiday, she asked, "Do we get presents?" Hmm...

My goal is to make this holiday more than "the one where we eat turkey and watch football". So...I went online to see how I could help my kids be more aware of their thankfulness for this holiday without it being a "lesson". Let's be honest--teaching a lesson is much less likely to stick than helping them understand the concept. Woops! A little bit of teacher just came out of me. Sorry!
Heather made this leaf garland for her fireplace, and I love it! I'm in love with leaves, so this was a no-brainer for me.

Okay, so I like her fireplace. She gets two pictures on here!
Something even easier is a construction paper chain that Meredith and her family use. Basically, I like the idea of the thankfullness notion being on display. My kids would be much more into that than writing it in a journal.

What's that? What about making a tree, you say? There were several of those out there, but I really liked these two.

friend2friend at Flickr

And would you look at this? The Stringers not only incorporated this idea already, but they're also using my pear place card holders! I think we're supposed to be friends or something, don't you?

So, November's theme is thankfulness, and that will hopefully negate December's theme of greed. and overindulgence. Oh! and poverty! Ok, ladies! What are your ideas? Got something better? Please share, 'cause I'm ready and willing to copy you! I'm not kidding. I really will copy you.

40 comments:

Rachel said...

I love the leaf garland. Such a great idea! I think I need to do this with my kids! Thanks for the ideas! Oh and I too love that mantle.....sigh...she's so pretty.....

ka1t_lyn said...

Wow, such great ideas. I really like the leaf garland!

Sandy Toes said...

How fun! I love these ideas! I have a tablecloth idea I will be posting soon!
-sandy toes

Barbara said...

What a great idea. It will be good for the kids and the adults. We all need to appreciate are blessings and tell about our thankfullness more often.
Here is one of my ideas. With the tv OFF! Have a very large scien of yarn wrapped in a ball. Whomever is holding the ball say's aloud what they are thankful for. Then they throw the yarn ball to the person of their choice and that person say's what they are thankfull for. This goes on until the yarn is done. It ends up looking like a spider web. Do you remember doing this Chris?
Mom

Laura said...

Well, I was reading "A Soft Place to Land" - you and Kimba are thinking along the same lines! Be sure to check out her blog if you haven't already.

Sweet Simplicity said...

These are all such great ideas! We do need to remember that Thanksgiving is a holiday and not skip right over it!

Adam & Jessica said...

Those are all such great ideas! When I was younger my parents had us serve at a homeless shelter on Thanksgiving. Boy did that help get the whole "Thanksgiving" thing into perspective for me.

Julie said...

Chris I love this idea and the leaf garland is great and boy do I love that mantle wow. I think I will also do this for my sunday school students!
thanks
julie

Jessi said...

I hope you find some more good stuff like these trees...because I plan on copying you. :)

Susie Harris said...

What great ideas!!! Thank you for sharing. I may need to try my hand at some of those myself. I too seem to skip over poor Thanksgiving. I have alot to be Thankful for!... thanks for sharing!

Mindy said...

And I will copy you after you copy them :-)

Mindy said...

I "stole" my idea from Make and Take. It's not as pretty as the leaf garland or the cute trees but my kids are 4 years and under so the turkey seemed good! Still serves the purpose and used up some of my scrap papers.

http://murray-triplets.blogspot.com/2008/11/counting-down-to-turkey-time.html

Kris said...

You must have read my mind! I love the leaf one - mine is a little more crude. But still - we had a lot of fun together doing it! Go see my blog post from tonight!

Sunny said...

I read once where a family goes around and writes on little papers things that they are thankful for. They then drop them in a jar and each goes around reading one from the jar. They do this in their living room around the fire and when they are done they put all the thankful papers in the fire and let them flow out to the world via the smoke. Don't remember where I read it. Fire is typically pretty violent but the end sentiment is a nice thought! (wink)

Pollyanna said...

I love the leaf garland. I did a search Saturday and couldn't come up with anything better than my silly little turkeys that I copied from make and takes.

Here is mine
http://reclaimingpollyanna.blogspot.com/2008/11/thankful-turkeys.html

My kids are fairly young so it has to be easy.

"Hello... It's Me Again..." said...

I love the lessons you teach. Thanks for letting me read your blog!

I would like to invite you to stop by my blog when you have a moment~ I have something for you there! :)

Bobbi said...

I like the paper chain. I think I'll do that!

Betsy said...

Great iddes...my kiddos are too little but it would not hurt the hubby and I to do so.

Kendra said...

I'm doing a tree, but we are adding leaves to it EACH day in Nov. I will post about it on my blog soon! I'm all about teaching gratitude this year!

Amber said...

Those are great ideas! I love the last one with the tree brances and the leaves hanging on it. And I love the pears, they're yours? You made them?

I just came across your blog through Google Reader. So I'm sure I'll get acquainted soon.

I've also been trying to focus more on Thanksgiving and trying to teach my daughter about gratitude without getting to "teacher-ish" on her {that's what my degree is in, though I'm a stay-at-home-mama}. And my husband is a teacher. So I get ya! We had a real life lesson come up just yesterday that helped me to drive the point home. So that's always good.

Here's my project. It's a gratitude tree.I'm also doing "A Month of Thanks". Taking a picture every day of the month, blogging it, then scrapping it into a mini book later.

http://amberfilkins.blogspot.com/2008/11/month-of-thanks-november-2.html

Suzann @ Lavender and Roses said...

wonderful ideas you've shared. I don't have any ideas to add though - sorry.

Mommy said...

love it! I sent you two emails yesterday. Did you receive them?

Tina Wishart said...

Love your blog! When my boys were smaller we traced their hand prints and had them write something they were thankful for on them and then made a garland out of them. I still hang it every year. :)

ROXY said...

What a great idea! Love the lear garland!

Bugzmommy said...

I linked back to your page on my blog...I love the ideas you wrote about here!

Twice as Nice said...

Now I want to sway your vote. Bless Our Nest is having a pumpkin contest. Fern's son carved a pumpkin and it is #21...Could we count on your vote??

Erin said...

Such a great idea! I need to use that! I love the leaf garland on the fireplace. I think my kids would love it!

Michelle said...

What a great idea and your mantel is so sweet. :)

Michelle

The Momma said...

Love the leaf garland idea! I am not a fan at all of thanksgiving, but I am enjoying these ideas!

So I totally copied your idea of the hand prints in the frames. You should check them out!

Is it weird that I'm kind of nervous if you do look at them.
Nah.. it's not weird at all..... haha..

jennifer@love,laughter,and lyrics said...

I'm digging that paper garland idea. Precious.

Mimi Sue said...

Love these ideas. I'm trying to hold out and not get too involved with Christmas too early. Mimi

pam said...

Great ideas. We take time to give thanks for what we have everyday and write them down. We also one year started a gratitude journal. We try to take time to thanks those around us with a little note.

Abbi said...

way cute!! i love it!!

Kerri said...

I love the ideas everyone has. Your Mom's is a great one with the ball of yarn. Love it. I think it's so important to teach our kids gratitude and to be grateful as adults for what we have. It's so easy to get caught up with wanting. Recently, I said a prayer where I didn't ask for anything, but thanked God for all I've been blessed with, from my family, to the air that we breath. It was a humbling and fulfilling experience for me. Thanks for opening this up to us all for ideas!

photomama said...

Hi, I found your blog through a chain of several. I love your ideas. I think it is so important to let our kids know that mommy's and daddy's are thankful too. I am going to try and do one of these projects with my boys for thanksgiving.

edeenut said...

I really like the leaf garland idea. Leaves are my favorite part of autumn and so I tend to go a little crazy with them.
I have a thankful tree in my dining room I just added a few days ago, we did it as a family.

Elizabeth said...

These are all such great ideas!

Sara said...

How cute is that leaf garland?? I feel a project coming on tonight..

gina said...

Love the leaf garland! All of the ideas are cute.

Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife said...

I absolutely LOVE the leaf garland! We have a blessing pot but it just isn't visual enough..WE'll be trying this one! :)

I adore your site!

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