A spirit of thanks

I was reading in my Google Reader this morning and came upon this blog post by Kimba. [url=http://asoftplacetoland-kimba.blogspot.com/2009/11/broken-sugar-bowl.html]A Soft Place to Land[/url] about her broken sugar bowl and the lessons it teaches.

An excerpt: "I have a broken sugar bowl. My caffeine-deprived fingers fumbled its lid one morning as I was getting my coffee. My oldest son was nearby and said, "Don't worry mommy. You can get a new one." Simple words that were meant to comfort me. Instead, they broke my heart."

As I read the rest of her post it made me think that I often feel this way in my own home.

Last October we took an 8 day trip to a resort in Mexico, but one day we left our safe haven and we went to "town". My dd was almost 7 and said "Why are those people building those forts like that"

Their homes in her mind were forts. The roof over their head is what we play with for an afternoon and then recycle.

We had a quiet and hopefully meaningful conversation about it later as we walked along the beach. But as we all know, time distances us from harsh reality, particularly when it is a distant reality.

I have never been one to really focus on the spirit of Thanksgiving. I have always sort of glossed over it in a hurry to get to Christmas. Giving I am good at! Pausing to be grateful is another thing.

So I'm wondering what do you do to instill a spirit of thanks in your own lives and in the lives of your children?

How do you focus on this important part of the holiday season?

Please share your ideas and thoughts, I would love to begin some new traditions in my home, not only for Thanksgiving, but it's a good place to start.


Marlene said...

I like the sharing what you are thankful for before you eat! But we all know how popular THAT was! lol We need to be thankful EVERY day for our blessings not just this time of year.

Marlene said...

Ok, I know I have already commented, but I have been thinking of this alot. We end up being more greedy than greatful when we don't recognize and acknowledge what we have and why. Maybe if we said one thing each day that we are thankful for and WHY - and not let kids slide with 'clothes' 'food' etc but blessings that can't be bought or blessings that have come from actions or deeds - feelings, things like that.... or family, friends - a specific friend and why? - even we adults slip into that 'easy answer' mode. WHAT are you thankful for and WHY.... maybe that help. Or maybe write a note to someone you are thankful for or to.... and WHY. Just some rambling ideas I have had over the week.......

Marissa said...

How to acknowledge the gratefulness in life is a hard task. BUT one I try to do each day. When I wake up I am grateful for the new day. I go through my personal list of 'good' in my life. Healthy children, loving husband, warm home, purring cat, coffee brewing (the timer still works), flushing toilets, running water.
My list may seem trivial, but it makes me feel better knowing that I have so much, and am thankful for all of it.
Money may be in short supply, but the love I have is in abundance.

Jillian said...

Heidi - this is good stuff. Do you mind if I share it on my facebook? I understand if not. Maybe if you don't want a direct link I can paste into a note.

You inspire me!

Katie said...

I've been thinking about this too. It is hard to teach and we are all too greedy. We all want new shiny things and we teach our kids the same.

Secretly I was hoping someone would post with some super good ideas, a new inspiring thought.

I'm going to keep thinking about it and if I come up with something amazing I'll let you know.

Heidi said...

Ah, thanks Jillian. You can post it anywhere you like. That made me feel good!

Marissa, I think the small things are what is important. I like your ideas mom, about specifics. WHY are we grateful. I am grateful for my family, my kids, my warm home, my pets. But the why is the hard part to express, to share. To KNOW. Feelings into words is difficult for even adults.

Katie, someone on my board suggested using a chalkboard in her kitchen. All through the month of November she has her family write down things on the board. Big things, small things. And then they take the time to talk about what is on the board each evening.

I keep meaning to bring my whiteboard upstairs to try this and I keep forgetting. Going to go do it before I forget again!

Jenna said...

When I was growing up we had a tradition each Thanksgiving for giving Thanks! We made a Turkey out of paper over a kleenex box. Then we would write down each thing we were thankful for that year and in general and put them into the Turkey. On Thanksgiving we would take turns reading what we were thankful for and why! It was a great way to learn to be thankful for what you have and to share those things with the people you love most.

MaryMary86 said...

This post resonated with me because I lived in Europe for a long time and I know how good we have it here. I think what you did in letting your kids see how others live does more to teach them thankfulness than lecturing. I was shocked when I lived overseas how few people actually had things I take for granted such as a refrigerator. It changed me in a fundamental way.