Thanks and Giving

Thanksgiving week has arrived. Last year, this time, I wrote about my experiences with teaching my young kids to be thankful in a materialistic world. (See archives, November 22, 2015) This year, my now young adult children are showing me the life-sustaining fruits of teaching thankfulness to children.

Many people are experiencing life-altering threats since the election two weeks ago. Some are verbal threats. A teacher friend reported on a middle school student who was told she was going to be sent back where she came from (never mind that she were born right here in the United States). Others have been physically attacked for wearing a veil or for the color of their skin. Many, many more face the uncertainty of whether they will be able to continue living in this country.

Teaching Thanks Through Giving

In last year’s blog, I suggested the idea of combatting materialistic entitlement by creating activities for your children that involve giving – making presents and delivering them to orphanages or shelters, making homemade holiday greeting cards or baking cookies for family and friends.

This year, my children are choosing, without any prompting from me, their own ways of giving. One daughter is signing up to volunteer at an immigration organization; another is using her skills as a lawyer to help those in need of free (otherwise known as pro bono) legal assistance; my third daughter is planning to join a march to protect women’s rights.

This week, communities of families and friends across the country will break bread together. It is an opportunity to voice thanks for what we have and to share ways of giving to others who are in need. Let’s make the most of it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Share your stories of thanks and giving.

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