Remembering what you are thankful for…
This is an especially exciting year for us. This is our first holiday season where we are celebrating the holidays with our daughter as officially and forever ours. See, this time last year we were waiting for our kiddos adoption court date. It seemed like that’s all we ever did throughout the foster-to-adopt process. Wait… wait… and more patient, anxious waiting.
This year we have so much to be thankful for, and wanted to share our November holiday tradition. The Thankful Sign. I used some spare chalkboard signs that we had around the house.
November often gets over-looked because Halloween and Christmas take over. But Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It is a time to be thankful for family. It is a holiday where I don’t have to worry about buying anything for anybody, and my family all comes together. This is our families way of making sure the holiday and everything it represents doesn’t get overlooked and skipped by the consumer holidays.
The Thankful Sign Process…
Basically, each day of the month of November we find a spare 5 minutes each day to discuss the meaning of thankfulness and we each add one thing we are thankful for to the board.
Even at one, our little one could add what she was thankful for. I love this tradition even more this year because at two she seems to have an actual understanding what it means to be thankful. I love instilling this idea of thankfulness, and don’t want to isolate it to only the month of November, but sometimes we get caught up in our chaotic lives, and love that this tradition reminds us that we have a lot to be thankful for.
It’s fun looking back at years past…
I take pictures of EVERYTHING! I love looking back at previous years. It’s fun to compare last years to this years. Last year so many of our first additions to the sign were social workers, adoption workers, and basically anything and everything foster care. This serves as a good reminder to us of where we were in years past and adds to how much more we have to be thankful for. I don’t want us to ever lose sight of the people that were once present in our lives, but are not present on a daily (or monthly) basis a few years later.
It’s also fun to look at our daughters additions from last year to this year. Since she was only one last year, she was thankful for puppies, balls, and bubbles. But this year, at two, she seems to have a better understanding of the meaning. This year she is thankful for many family members, and those serve as some very proud mama moments.
As a parent it serves as a perfect bonding activity. Many of us have busy lives, and so this slows us down a bit and gives us that time to sit together and chat. It also lets us know what is meaningful to our children.
For parents who have foster kids in their house this can also give a little insight into their lives, especially if just getting to know them. If the foster kiddo is new to the house, I would make sharing out loud optional. This can be frightening for a new kiddo. If there is a new kiddo in the home, perhaps using one of the alternative sign ideas below would be better then the very public sign. That way they can still add to the wall or box, but it doesn’t have to be on public display or said out loud.
Alternative to the Sign
Don’t have a chalkboard sign around? This doesn’t have to cost money.
Find a spare box (even an empty cardboard box or shoe box) cut a hole in the top and write it on strips of paper and drop them in.
Maybe you have a spare white board around.
Or post-it notes, and find a central location to post up the notes daily.
Want to Make a Sign Like Mine:
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These are some of my favorite chalkboard signs:
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until next time…
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More recently, I published a post on recommended foster parenting reads, and thought it’d be really cool to start up a closed Facebook group where we would read a common book and share ideas and strategies that enlightened us. Please reach out to let me know if you’d be interested by commenting on the post or shooting me an e-mail. If I can get enough interest I would love to organize something like this.