Let's face it, my kids are lucky. They wake up every day in cozy beds in their own room in a home with plenty of space in a safe neighborhood. They get to pick out clothes to wear from a closet full of choices to attend quality schools. They never question if there will be breakfast on the table or wonder where their next meal will come from. They have stable parents who own a reliable car and get to experience plenty of "extras" like dance class, outings to the theater, concerts, art studios, and professional sports games. Outside of the stuff, they have parents who are genuinely in love who spend lots of quality time with them reading, playing, and volunteering at their school. They have a large extended family who spoils them with visits, outings, and presents. These kids have it good! But in all that luck, it's easy to lose sight of our blessings and forget gratitude.
A few months ago, I started a gratitude practice with my kids. Every morning in the car on the way to school, we all say one thing we are thankful for. Just one thing. Some days it's as simple as the amount of caffeine in my to-go iced tea, other days it's as abstract as the health of my family. My five year old daughter will choose friendships one day and her cute band-aid the next. My three year old son almost always says he's thankful for his lovey. Truth is, their answers don't matter as much as the practice.
As we approach the holiday season and start building wish lists and are surrounded by the commercialism surrounding the season, I was searching for a way to help my kids strengthen their gratitude practice. I was excited to see a friend's gratitude tree that she picked up from the Target Dollar Spot, but they were long sold out. When another friend shared photos of her Turkey on the Table, I rushed to pick up our own.
What it is:
A stuffed turkey with photo clips attached for you to attach cardboard feathers decorated with messages of gratitude, written by your family. It comes with all the supplies you need, plus a book teaching your family how to use the book (similar to the book that accompanies Elf on the Shelf). You are supposed to start on November 1st, but we got a late start. After all, it's never too late to say thanks! We made up for it by each filling out two gratitude feathers to catch up. Our turkey is looking mighty cute and I'm excited to watch his feathers grow.
This is a Thanksgiving tradition your family can enjoy year after year (refill feathers available), it's a wonderful way to start the holiday season with a mindset of gratitude and service - each Turkey on the Table purchase provides 10 meals for Feeding America. Even more to be thankful for!