Thanksgiving really pays tribute to God, Family and Gratefulness. Not ships, pilgrims and natives. Nor food or football! The next day seems to be the end of autumn and the beginning of the busy holiday season… a time often spent dreading seeing extended family again and a season of selfishness. So terrible, some wake up early for "Black Friday" to indulge themselves in it. What an example we've set??
Thank the Lord for Advent to help us refocus. Perhaps if we spend that one Thursday with many reminders of the goodness celebrated, it will thrive through the holidays?? How can we teach our kids about Thanksgiving? By example.
Our Forever Tree is about to be transformed! Thanks to inspirations from The Crafty Crow, this one came about simply! We will have a "Gratitude Tree" featuring all our blessings of the year and daily life. It has paper leaves and acorns written on and hung. Here's those inspirational ideas:
"Seeds of Gratitude" by By Sun and Candlelight
Using acorns to represent "seeds of gratitude" was rather clever. Print out this acorn at FithFath.com. Then have your family add them to the tree with their notes of gratitude.
"Gratitude Tree" by Green Jello
I like that she cut the papers out as leaves, ready to be hung. Here's a printable I found online below with some autumn variety. [Crayola.com]
Since our leaves are all dried and mulched up, I thought the idea below was a clever way to "make" leaves, which would look rather pretty on our indoor tree!
from "Paper Bag Leaves" by Creative Kismet
Easy Paper Leaves by Momichka - just use varied colors of paper, jagged edged scissors, and a gel pen.
Squirrels are a symbol of this time kids can understand, as they hustle about gathering all those acorns. But it is in preparation, and are we preparing? Since my kids are nuts about the squirrels in our yard, the kids table will probably be decorated something like this…
from "Nuts about Thanksgiving Kids' Table" by No Fuss Fabulous
Found through CatholicIcing.com, are Pondered in My Heart's virtue coloring pages. A good time to discuss VIRTUES is while they color! Courage, Perseverance, Responsibility, Work, Self-discipline, Compassion, Faith, Honesty, Loyalty, and Friendship are all good character traits we want our kids to have! It's these things that we are grateful for. Ehow.com has a simple description of the Catholic Church's Virtues and how they are not just for Catholics!
And of course the biggest Thanksgiving Celebration of all…
The Mass with the Holy Eucharist!
Daily celebration, not just once a year. The Catholic Catechist has some printables on the subject worth checking out. Consider adding a mini monstrance to your thanksgiving tree! Catholic Icing cut hers like a snowflake.
[from Life Teen]