Last year, I read the delightful book, The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule. This is an inspiring, motivating book full of wonderful ideas for developing creativity as a family. In it, Amanda describes a lovely, meaningful holiday gift called the Joy Jar.
Kids can decorate a ball jar with ribbons, fancy paper, and fabrics for a specific person. A child or adult writes the name of the person who the gift is for on the jar. Then the children think of why they love that person, and they either write it themselves on small pieces of paper, or an adult writes it for them. The goal is to fill the jar with reasons the person is loved, and present this as a meaningful gift that can be opened, explored, and read again and again. Talk about from the heart!
The same idea can be extended to Thanksgiving, but with a different twist. Go outside with your kid sand collect pinecones, special small rocks, and beautiful leaves. Bring them inside. Select a beautiful ceramic bowl, and place it in the center of the table. Have the children trace their leaves on colorful paper, and cut them out. Ask them to make several leaves in different shapes and colors. Then ask them what they are thankful for. Have every family member fill out leaves with what they are thankful for and place them in the bowl, along with other treasures from nature.
In the end, you will have a lovely centerpiece for your family’s meal. Before you eat everyone can take turns reading what they are thankful for. What a delightful way to begin this traditional meal!
Have a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving, Perspectives readers. I’m happy to have had the opportunity to guest post this week.