Today, in my primary school, the kindergarten children were getting ready for the annual all-school Thanksgiving luncheon. All the classes put a lot of creative effort in this big party. Books on the first Thanksgiving are read, funny turkey books too, and table decorations also.
I spent almost an hour squished into a tiny Kindergarten chair helping a little boy cut out a construction paper turkey, and glue on the parts. After that, we worked on writing down four things that he was thankful for, on the four colored paper feathers to be glued onto the turkey. I even made these when I was a child. Memory lane. Anyway, the little boy immediately thought of four things he was thankful for and I inscribed them. The collective class list of thankful things taught me that small children seem to easily understand gratitude. Some of their list: Parents, school, food, teachers, siblings, their favorite books….etc.
Anyway, at home later in the evening, I pondered what I would have put on my own “feathers”. I love Thanksgiving. I love our history of the courageous pilgrims, the generous Native people who got them through the hard winter, the feast they shared. I love sharing with family and friends this day, and the delicious food of course. I did realize that in the rush to get this holiday set up and celebrated, my happy and grateful self really has not spent any real time thinking about thankfulness, and actually thanking those I appreciate. Thinking is not doing.
And since the first Thanksgiving was patterned intentionally by those grateful Pilgrims after the Hebrew feasts celebrating harvest, in the Bible, ultimately the real thanks goes to God, Himself. A thankful mindset, a life of gratitude….it is God’s plan for all, truly. I love it that my school is investing in teaching the children to celebrate each other and be grateful for what they have.
Outside, at the end of the school day, as I was helping get children in their parents cars, I entered into a discussion with a co-worker about the freezing little mini snow squall that attacked us in the playground, a six year old girl came up to us with her hands on her hips.
“Honestly, grownups! They sometimes don’t get it! You need to see stuff more like little kids! That snow was awesome!”
Um. I stand corrected. Some folk were thankful for that tiny blizzard.
By the way, have you started to fill out your ‘thankful feathers”?