Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I would bet my bottom dollar that you are freaking out about the family coming together and the food you need to cook. As grown-ups, we have gotten so caught up with having the “right place setting” or the “right crowd” around the Thanksgiving table that we must ask: have we completely forgotten the true meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday? If you are dreading Thanksgiving this year, or if you are feeling completely overwhelmed about it, perhaps you should explore what kids can teach us about Thanksgiving. After all, kids have this wonderful gift of truly knowing how to simply live in the moment without scrutinizing everything. Maybe by looking to the little ones, we will be inspired and reminded of the things that truly matter when it comes to this beautiful holiday.
Thanksgiving: A day for giving thanks
Yes, this one is quite obvious but as grownups we tend to forget that Thanksgiving is about giving thanks and not piling on more food and waiting for black Friday sales. Kids, on the other hand, fully understand the meaning behind this holiday. Kids are so dependent on everyone to fulfill their basic needs that sometimes they have a special view on what it means to be thankful, even if it’s just for the trivial things in life such as having a roof over their heads. Being thankful and showing it may be the single most important thing we do on Thanksgiving day!
Thanksgiving meals are memorable
“Mashed potatoes and gravy anyone?” Kids love the Thanksgiving meal, and, really, who can blame them! Most grown-ups have a childhood memory of the mashed potatoes grandma used to make or of how mom use to cook the Thanksgiving meal filling the house with yummy aromas. Thanksgiving is your opportunity to create a meal that will be remembered for generations to come! Don’t stress over the menu, just cook with simplicity and love. Remember, more than cooking a massive meal, you are creating a memory.
Thanksgiving family gatherings are fun (maybe)
This one is a bit difficult to accept. Yes, you may be dreading your mother-in-law’s visit but, remember the feeling of family gatherings when you were a kid? Oh! The joy of getting together with cousins, aunts and uncles, and running around the house building forts made out of pillows! OK, so, maybe you are not exactly going to be building pillow forts with your mother-in-law, but perhaps you can remind your heart of that feeling of honesty and acceptance that you once displayed towards your family when you were a kid. Live and enjoy the blessing of having family around you and be open to the possibility of being silly and having the childlike attitude of cheer. Who knows, the family gathering may actually turn fun!
Thanksgiving is all about simplicity
Kids love Thanksgiving for the simple things this holiday brings: the yummy pumpkin pie, the turkey coloring sheets, and the family gathering around the table. As grown-ups, we get stuck with creating the right menu, having the house spotless, and making sure the bar is well stocked to put up with family. Perhaps we should learn from kids and realize that Thanksgiving should be about the simple things in life: having a warm and cozy home, food on the table and people to share it with.
Don’t over analyze Thanksgiving
Kids have this incredible capacity to act without over analyzing every little detail. While sometimes it gets them in trouble, sometimes acting without over analyzing allows them to experience life to the fullest. This Thanksgiving, don’t over analyze your life, your feelings, the menu, or your family. Simply enjoy the holiday for what it is: a time to eat, give thanks, and be merry!