Thanksgiving is a chance for families to gather together, to feast and to enjoy being with one another. But the day can also be a meaningful time to reflect on our blessings and remember how God has been faithful in our lives.
Family, gratitude and thankfulness are the true meaning of Thanksgiving. It is also a good time to help children understand why this holiday is important.
Heartland LIVING would like to share a few tips on how you can teach your children Thanksgiving lessons.
Begin the celebration the night before with a simple meal such as pizza that kids love. Or make a meal off everyone’s favorite appetizers.
TALK ABOUT WHY WE THANKSGIVING
Connect your celebration to the original story of the fall harvest celebration that brought together Native Americans and Pilgrims for a feast.
Talk to children about where food comes from and how it was prepared. Everyone can share what their favorite food is and why. You can also involve your children in the preparation of the food, as well as setting up the table and serving the food.
Reach out to those without family close by and invite them to share Thanksgiving with your family. A family with kids, singles, college students, widows and widowers will be thankful to have people to celebrate the holiday with.
TURN THE TELEVISION OFF DURING
Yes, there are the parades, football games and specials, but try to keep most of Thanksgiving about the importance of time spent with loved ones.
TALK ABOUT FAMILY AND TELL STORIES
If your celebration involves multiple generations or multiple families, talk about family traditions, the good “old days” and your own childhood memories. Stories teach children about life and history of their own family
Focus on the things you are thankful for; ask everyone at the table to say what they are thankful for.
Thanksgiving is a celebration of sharing and abundance. Develop a tradition of sharing with those who have less and involve children in contributing or serving food at a shelter or donating to other charities.
Sometimes children spend long hours at the kid’s table while grown-ups talk and talk. Be sure family activities and enjoying one another is a top priority on Thanksgiving. Maybe you can start a new tradition like going outside and playing a family game of football or even creating a Thanksgiving Trivia activity. And don’t forget that breaking the turkey’s wishbone is a fun part of the celebration.
Thanksgiving is definitely one of my favorite holidays of the year – but it can also be fraught with things that take the focus away from gratitude, such as sibling rivalries, and stress. Make this year a little more special by adding a new tradition to the mix. Any activity that brings your family closer together will ultimately enhance your celebration and set the tone for the holiday season.
From our family here at Heartland LIVING to yours, however you spend your day, we hope you have a blessed, healthy, and delicious Thanksgiving with family, friends and neighbors.