Every year I have great plans for holidays, everything from New Year’s to Christmas, including birthdays, and first and last days of school. I’m going to make them more meaningful, more memorable, more fun. But inevitably things don’t work out for one reason or another – schedules, health, life circumstances. Last year Seminary threw a wrench into virtually everything (a good wrench, but a wrench, nonetheless). This year was going to be different. Alas, it was not to be. You see, I have a wee little babe in my belly at the moment, and man oh, man, does that wipe me out.
So, while I read some lovely articles on meaningful family traditions for Thanksgiving, I was instantly disappointed knowing these ideas were not going to make it into our celebrations this year. But then I had a brilliant idea in the middle of dinner one night. Maybe I wasn’t going to get a Gratitude Tree crafted from branches in my backyard, complete with hand-cut leaves for writing our many blessings on, but we could go round and round the table talking about our blessings. And a few nights later we could do an ABC list of blessings going around the table again, but only saying a blessing that begins with each letter of the alphabet in order (zippers are an often overlooked blessing).
One quiet Sunday evening, while Sean and Djeryd were gone, the littles and I cut up some scrapbooking cardstock and made Thank You cards for anyone we could think of. They wrote out cards for teachers and grandparents and cousins, the mailman and garbage man. Admittedly, after Alyx’s tenth card of nothing but scribbles, I had to put a kibosh on her use of the cards and just give her blank paper for her “writings”. But the other kids had free reign. I even decided to leave a little basket of cards and envelopes on the table for the rest of the month so they could say “thanks” whenever the mood struck.
So even though we have not done all the marvelous grateful things I wanted to for the month of November, we have managed to squeak in a few things. And that makes me happy. All of it was spontaneous because planning, at the moment, is just an exercise in frustration for me (planning is over-rated anyway). ;> I am just grateful we’ve taken a few minutes here and there to take stock of our blessings and the people who bless our lives this month. It was not what I imagined in my perfect, white-frosty-glowing imagination, but hopefully the kids will take away something from our impromptu “traditions” this year. I hope they are thankful we took a moment to say “thanks”.