Friday, November 9, 2012

Thanksgiving Traditions - Then and Now

Over the years, I have often been asked, “What are some of the fun Thanksgiving traditions at the Bennett house?” So today, I am providing two sets of answers—the first from about 10 years ago, and the second set of current traditions, after 18 years of homeschooling. J

 I hope the comparison helps you get a better perspective on what you are doing right now as you study Thanksgiving with your children. I can tell you, the best is yet to come!
 1. Then: Planning the holiday weekend with the whole family in early November - who shall we invite, which relatives will be here, what games shall we all play after dinner?
Now: We still do this, but now it is mainly via cell phone, email, and text messaging. They all bring plenty of M&Ms and friends, and the board game competitions go on for days, along with plenty of laughter and sharing of memories.

2. Then: Planning the menu so that everyone gets to choose a favorite food to be included.
Now: They are all excellent cooks, so this year, they are taking on the menu planning and cooking responsibilities—even cleanup! J

3. Then: Putting up a blessings tree, making the tree trunk from brown paper, and each family member adding daily, colorful construction paper leaves to the tree. A blessing is written on each leaf—some thing that the family member is thankful for.

Now: I am going to be pulling out some of those precious saved leaves to keep on the Thanksgiving table—so many sweet memories!

4. Then: Finding ways to bless others—sharing the blessings by packing Operation Christmas Child boxes for children and taking homemade gift baskets of goodies to neighbors and those in need.
 Now: We still make the gift baskets and find ways to bless others, both near and far.

5. Then: Bringing out the special Thanksgiving creations collected over the years—a model of the Mayflower, a special Thanksgiving unit study tablecloth, handmade pilgrims and Native Americans, pinecone turkeys, and a basket of some of our favorite holiday books.
Now: I still do these things, and it always stirs up plenty of memories and lots of conversation.
Enjoy these days, for they ARE the “good old days” for your children!
 Amanda B.

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