It’s amazing how the retail world wants us to just skip over Thanksgiving and move right into Christmas. Don’t get me wrong – I love Christmas and it is my favorite holiday. However, Thanksgiving holds a special place in my heart and is a holiday that prepares us for the joy of the Christmas season. It deserves its own traditions, memories, and celebrations.
In the past, my family and I have always created a thankful list during November. We have done this differently each year – a tree with “leaves” or a colorful list where we added items each day. While the sentiment is the same, I wanted to find a Thanksgiving tradition that instilled a grateful heart in both of my children. I stumbled upon Turkey on the Table through one of my friend’s Instagram posts. As soon as I looked up the website and read about the program – I was sold and knew this was what I had been searching for.
Turkey on the Table was created by two moms and I love their mission and reason for starting this company:
“Did you know that gratitude is a learned behavior? Turkey on the Table™ is a book & activity that encourages the whole family to express and display their gratitude. Our goal is to turn thankfulness into a daily routine. As parents, we want to instill values in our children that help them understand and appreciate all of life’s blessings. Cultivating a grateful heart helps create a happy child!”
“Not only will your family experience the benefits of being thankful, you will also experience the joy of giving, knowing that 10 warm meals will be provided to someone in need with each Turkey on the Table™ sold. To date, 4,102 meals have been donated through the efforts of Turkey on the Table.”
I ordered our turkey in early October. When it arrived, the kids were so excited to see what was in the box. In order to keep up the suspense and drama, I kept the turkey hidden until the week before Halloween. The week prior to November 1st, we unpacked the turkey, feathers, and book and set them on our dining room buffet. Each day, the kids counted down the days until we got to read the book and start the tradition.
On November 1st, we sat on the couch and snuggled close to read the book. The book is definitely geared towards young children and teaches them about all of the people and reasons they have to be thankful for each day. After reading the book, we discussed how blessed we are to have a wonderful home, an amazing school, lots of friends and family, and plenty of food to eat. I told the kids that by starting this tradition, our family would provide 10 meals for families who wouldn’t be able to celebrate Thanksgiving. I know this concept is a hard one for them to understand and conceive, but discussing this fact and bringing it to their attention is the first step in teaching them the blessing of giving back to others.
After our book reading and discussion, we sat down as a family and listed something we were each thankful for… mom and dad, Jack and Julianne, Abbie (our dog), grandparents, and our school. We will continue to add a new feather each morning and continue to thank God for all He has blessed us with. On Thanksgiving, we will read our feathers together as a family and then put them in the box to save them for next year. I hope that this new tradition of focusing on our blessings will bring a better perspective and meaning to our family as we enter the Christmas season.