Judi Holland: The meaning of Thanksgiving
How many of us begin Thanksgiving with a story about the pilgrims? Children love stories and they love being read to. Sharing the story of the first Thanksgiving is a great way to teach children the meaning of the holiday. Read a book together or watch a video that tells the story of the pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving. It is a great way for families to come together and begin to understand the meaning of this holiday.
Another idea is to create a family tradition for sharing what we are thankful for. Not everyone has a family to share the holiday with. Find something you and your children can do that represents the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Bake some goodies and deliver them to seniors in a nursing home or patients in a hospital; make it an annual family tradition. Invite people to your dinner table who do not have family nearby. This Thanksgiving, have everyone in your family share what they are thankful for; write it down and keep the list on your refrigerator door for easy reference. Add ideas often. Or even better, record everyone at your dinner table explaining why they are thankful.
I always questioned why we only celebrate being thankful once a year. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every day we acknowledged out loud all the things we are thankful for?
“Studies have shown that being thankful improves our physical and emotional health. Holding on to feelings of thankfulness boosts our immune system and increases blood supply to our heart. Daily guided exercises or the habit of keeping a weekly gratitude journal can increase our alertness, enthusiasm, and energy, and improve our sleep. People who describe themselves as feeling grateful tend to suffer less stress and depression than the rest of the population,” states an article on cbn.com.
So when you are preparing that big Thanksgiving feast or sitting down at the table with more food than anyone can consume in one sitting, close your eyes and count your blessings. And have a very happy Thanksgiving holiday.
Judi Holland is the program director for Early Childhood Education at CNCC. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-824-1154.Judi Holland is the program director for Early Childhood Education at CNCC. Reach her at email@example.com or 970-824-1154. Judi Holland is the program director for Early Childhood Education at CNCC. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-824-1154.
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