21 Days of Thanks and Giving
In an effort to keep November the month for Thanksgiving (and not the month for Black Friday ads and shopping), I am focusing on 21 days of thanks and giving for our family. My children are 4 and 7, I picked activities that they could help with and hopefully understand the importance of them!
1. Donate blood Red Cross has asked for blood donations in response to Hurricane Sandy. I don’t normally donate blood because I hate the needles. While so many people are dealing with FAR worse than a little needle prick, I can handle the needles long enough to give blood!
2. Have kids go through their toys and find at least 5 things each to donate- By doing this they will be clearing their room and sharing with children who don’t have as many toys.
3. Write a thank you card and tell that person why you appreciate them- As simple as someone close in the family that you have been meaning to tell how much you appreciate them but haven't taken the time!
4. Blessings tree- The children will write their different blessings on leaves and then we will glue the leaves to a tree on construction paper. We will hang these up in the house for the month of November.
5. Assemble blessing bags- We will assemble bags of useful items that we can keep in the car to give to someone in need.
6. Rake leaves or pickup gumballs for an elderly person- We will find out from our Church who needs help cleaning up their yard.
7. Give a compliment- Nice words can change the course of someone's day in an instant! I have been at the store when I felt frustrated with my kids but then a kind woman came up and told me how well-behaved they were. In my head, I'm thinking, "Did she just not witness the same thing I did?" Even if she did she must have known I needed to hear that and her words changed my mood in an instant!
8. Pay it forward- Has someone recently helped you out? Pay it forward by helping someone else in need!
9. Give your pet some extra love- Sad to say, but our dog is usually the last one thought about in our family. I want to make this day all about the dog. We can make her special treats and take her for a walk or to the park.
10. Have kids go through books and find at least 5 to donate- Being such a big fan of literacy, it saddens me when there are children that don’t have books available in their house. There are a few local organizations that get books into homes of young children. We will be dropping off our books at one of those locations.
11. Pamper grandparents, show how much we all appreciate them- Our parents love our children very much and would do anything for them! We want to give them a day where we help with jobs around their house and cook them a special meal!
12. Craft turkey- I personally love having handmade decorations around my house versus store-bought ones AND they are cheaper!!
13. Run a turkey trot- A great way to support a good cause AND run off those turkey dinner pounds.
14. Take a Thanksgiving meal to a food pantry- Bless those in your neighborhood that are not as fortunate as you are so they may enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner too!
15. Watch the parade- As a family we will either watch the parade downtown or on TV.
16. Invite those that don’t have family around to spend Thanksgiving with our family!
17. Shop in small businesses- Instead of shopping from the large chain stores, we will be supporting our local businesses and giving our money to the families in our neighborhood.
18. Make cookies to share with neighbors- One of my fondest memories is baking cookies even before kids. Together, we can bond as a family while doing something nice for our neighbors.
19. Send a Christmas card to a soldier- For all the soldiers who are away from the families for months at a time, I feel such gratitude towards them for serving our country! The least I can do is send them a Christmas card!!
20. Pick a family in need to buy presents for- There are several families that don't have the extra money to give presents for Christmas. Last year, we picked itemys off the Church Christmas tree for stuff the children need such as; shoes and clothes. I picked two boys the same age as my own to buy gifts for. My boys enjoyed picking out items for the other children!
21. Have kids donate their change to the Salvation Army kettle.
What special activities are you involved in for Thanksgiving?