Thursday is Thanksgiving and of course the December holidays will follow when we return.
As I saw people posting pictures of their kids eating their school’s traditional Thanksgiving meals, I felt a moment of, “Oh no, we didn’t do that.”
The moment quickly passed as I realized that we don’t do things just because others are doing it and because we didn’t make it a priority because of all of the other worthy things that required our attention in November. (see prior post)
I was also reminded of when I worked in traditional schools and the days that those types of meals were served on. Kindergarteners wearing Pilgrim hats and feathers would make me think about how we continuously pass on inaccurate representations of what Thanksgiving was. Or when teachers would allow themselves to lighten up a bit and have some fun around the holidays.
I also read an article this weekend that took a look into the idea of kids in schools acting charitably around this time of year. The question arose, do people change behaviors around the holidays?
I’m not saying that Kindergarteners need to know the brutal details of how we claimed this country or that if you’re overworked all year that a time of year to refocus on joy and giving is wrong. But perhaps if our kids heard more accurate and age appropriate information and we all focused on a giving and empathetic world view all of the time, then perhaps we would build more empathy in our kids and draw more joy to ourselves all year long.
So while we didn’t make time to prepare turkey and stuffing for our families, we felt even better knowing that our kids are immersed in the themes of the season all year long.
They are learning about real historical events. We have monthly family meals throughout the entire year. We read books about what it means to have a positive mindset. We start EVERY day recording in our morning journals things that we’re grateful for. We talk about kindness, compassion, and empathy all year long. They make gifts for the homeless, support foster kids, and the elderly any time an opportunity arises.
Being a giver, being grateful, and being able to live a happy life no matter the circumstances are BIG ideas. They take effort, empathy, awareness, a commitment to a positive mindset, grace, compassion, and an understanding of what to make a priority.
So this year-less turkey and a continuation of instilling the big ideas in our kids.