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Count your blessings

November 12, 2007

by Jenni Sebora

They say that for every one negative thing that occurs in our lives, there are 20 plus positive things, or blessings. And sometimes we just forget to count them. I know I sure do.

It is worth the time to note all of the blessings do have, and to reflect on them.

It is almost human nature that we focus on a pitfall when it is “falling” and then to not take the time to focus on our blessings; so actually counting our blessings is really a worthy task.

In fact,. keeping a gratitude journal to note those blessings in is a wonderful activity, and doing this with our children is even better.

Teaching our children how to have thankful spirits is a lifelong gift. Being examples of gracious beings is probably the best way to teach our children to be thankful. Let us:

• Focus on what we have and not what we don’t have.

• Think about people we have known or met that have positively influenced our lives.

• Think about the places that make us smile.

The first Thanksgiving in America was celebrated after the Plymouth colonists settled in the New World.

The corn harvest initiated celebration. Governor William Bradford decreed that a three-day feast take place.

Thus, Thanksgiving is a day set aside in the United States and Canada for giving thanks with feasting and prayer for the many blessings received.

The first Thanksgivings were harvest festivals for thanking God for the bountiful crops.

In 1863 Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as the National Thanksgiving holiday. It was celebrated on this date for 75 years until President Roosevelt set the day one week earlier in 1939.

Congress ruled in 1941 that the fourth Thursday in November would be the legal Thanksgiving Day. (Source: www.apples4theteacher.com)

So it is, that Thanksgiving is set aside to do just that – give thanks. Here are some things we can do with our children to focus on our blessings:

• Create a thankful chain. Cut up some strips of paper and on these links write or draw pictures of things you are thankful for. Link it together with a glue stick, tape or a stapler and display it.

• Www.amazingmoms.com suggests playing the “Thankerchief” game. Sit in a circle and pass around the “thankerchief” (a handkerchief) and recite this poem:

“Thankerchief, thankerchief, around you go, where you stop, nobody knows. But when you do, someone must say, What they are thankful for this day.”

And, of course, whoever is holding the “thankerchief” when the poem ends can announce something they are thankful for. Continue until each person has had a turn. What a clever idea!

Spending time with your children is certainly a way to show your children how thankful you are for them.

Baking some special Thanksgiving recipes with your children is a wonderful way to spend some time with them and is a way to allow them to be a part of the Thanksgiving preparations. Kids love to prepare things in the kitchen, too.

Make some pumpkin dip using: 1 package cream cheese, softened; 2 cups confectioners’ sugar; 1 can solid pack pumpkin (15 oz.); 1 T ground cinnamon; 1 T pumpkin pie spice; 1 tsp. frozen orange juice concentrate (use the rest to make a festive punch).

In a bowl, blend cream cheese and the sugar until smooth. Gradually mix in the pumpkin. Stir pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and orange juice until blended and a smooth consistency. Chill until serving. (makes 4 cups)

Serve this dip with apple slices, corn bread, pumpkin bread, etc.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.