That being said, I do like the idea behind the holiday. It is important to appreciate what you have (the fact that we have enough food for me to get myself sick every year is a huge thing to be thankful for) and thank those around you for supporting you throughout the year. It is a time to visit with family, share memories, and solidify bonds that may have been overlooked during the hecticness of everyday life.
Christmas sales and marketing seem to be coming earlier and earlier every year helping to overlook the Thanksgiving holiday, however I believe it is important for me to take time to be thankful, share my thankfulness with the people around me, and teach my children to appreciate what they have.
To help my boys realize how lucky they are, we make a point to share things that we are thankful for starting at the beginning of the month and going to Thanksgiving. This year we are working on a little craft project to share what we are thankful for with anyone who comes to visit us.
To start, I had the boys do a little painting. They simply used watercolors on large pieces of white paper. I told them to use "leaf" colors. After the paint dried I traced a maple leaf pattern on the paper. I also added another shaped leaf where I did not have room for the maple leaf but had a large empty space.
Then I cut out the leaves.
Each day I used a black Sharpie to write what the boys told me they were thankful for on the leaves. I encouraged them to think of new things each day, although my 2 year old seems to REALLY be thankful for bananas. When we had enough time I let my 6 year old write his own leaves. This helped him practice his spelling and penmanship. (Wahoo! Bonus learning time!)
When I had a small pile of leaves I started stringing them up. I had wanted to use brown craft paper rope, or something that looked a little more organic, but I ran out of steam and ended up ransacking my craft box. So, I ended up with white thread (I know, not inspiring).
I added a small loop behind each leaf to keep them separated when I hung them up.
Here is what we have so far. You may notice that there are some construction paper leaves mixed in. That is what I started with, but I ran out of paper and I think the painted leaves look prettier.
If the boys keep doing one or two leaves each we will have a ton by Thanksgiving. I am going to stop this garland and start a new one with the next pile of leaves. I will then be able to hang the leaf banners from the light above the kitchen table.
Are you guys doing anything to give thanks this November? I know that there are a TON of ideas on Pinterest. Ah, gotta love Pinterest!