Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! (and a Thanksgiving book review)

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  I hope you all have a great time celebrating with family and friends.  Enjoy your turkey, football, parades, and whatever other traditions you share each year.  I hope that in the hustle and bustle we all remember the true reason for this holiday:  being thankful to God for His many blessings, and also remembering the first Thanksgiving feast shared by the Pilgrims and Native Americans. 

Our family has a great book that we read every year for Thanksgiving.  I've always been saddened by the fact that Thanksgiving is so overlooked.  It seems like our country goes straight from Halloween to Christmas.  It is so important for us to remember the founding of our country, and the brave men and women who came here so that they could have religious freedom.  Of course, part of the problem is that Thanksgiving isn't nearly as marketable.  There are some Thanksgiving decorations, but not nearly as many as for Christmas.  And how many of us have a cd of Thanksgiving music?

I tried to think of a way to fix this problem for several years.  Then, last year I was listening to our local Christian radio station and heard an interview with a lady who had the same concerns.  Her name was Barbara Rainey, and she had written a book about Thanksgiving that could be used by families to help remember the true meaning of the holiday.  I found a copy online for a good price, and we started using it that very year. 

The book is called:  "Thanksgiving-A Time to Remember".  After a short introduction explaining the author's reason for writing it, the book starts with the story of the Pilgrim's journey across the Atlantic on the Mayflower in 1620, to the very first Thanksgiving feast in 1621, and goes all the way to the Thanksgiving feast of 1623.  The story has sections printed in large and small type, so that those with younger children can read only the large type parts and still get the essence of the story without losing the attention of their little ones.  There are also extra articles interspersed throughout the book with more in-depth information on certain subjects. 

The last part of the book explains a Thanksgiving tradition that families can follow today.  We tried this last year and it was really fun.  At Thanksgiving dinner, everyone is given 5 kernels of Indian corn, a sheet of paper, and a pen.  Everyone writes down 5 things they are thankful for.  Then, the family passes a basket  around, and everyone puts a kernel in, one at a time, and shares what they're thankful for.  It's such a blessing to do this.  We got a kick out of our daughter's lists last year (it's really cute what a 5-year-old is thankful for:  butterflies, Jesus, friends, flowers, and food-this was my oldest girl's actual list). :)

The book even includes a cd of pretty instrumental music for Thanksgiving.  So now we can  have music for Thanksgiving.  :)

It is so important to me that my girls grow up knowing how our country was founded and why we celebrate this special holiday.  I'm so thankful that I heard about this book.  I would encourage you to try it for yourselves and start a wonderful Thanksgiving tradition in your own families!  :) 

I wish you all a wonderful day with your loved ones.   

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