Thanksgiving is here and it’s time to eat turkey leftovers and get fat. Kids often struggle to understand the meaning of this special holiday, though. Whilst we can’t re-enact the practice of going out and slaughtering our own meat (legally), there are still a number of traditions you can pass on.
Traditions differ from family to family, though. You can make traditions as and when you see fit. This isn’t like Christmas where everyone must do exactly the same thing. You decide what’s special and make sure you do it each year. It will make the holiday that much more special!
Here are the main Thanksgiving traditions you should pass onto your children.
Carving the Turkey
This is one for the son. If he understands the holiday and the importance of carving the turkey, let him play an active role in it. Show him how to use the knife and where the best pieces are. Demonstrate who gets the best pieces. For example, his mother gets the best piece.
It’s perhaps the most ceremonial part of Thanksgiving. It’s where the man of the house takes control. It’s a practice he will want to pass onto his family one day.
Delivering a Meal
Thanksgiving is about sharing with others, especially those who’re less fortunate than you. The most popular option for delivering a meal is to go into a soup kitchen and feed the homeless. This doesn’t have the same effect as visiting a family or a neighbor who has fallen on hard times.
Visiting their homes brings home the reality of how other people live. Kids often believe they live in a vacuum. If they have an iPhone, they assume everyone else has an iPhone. It’s a humbling experience, and one which can leave a positive lasting impression on a child.
Saying grace before your meal is the chance to demonstrate what you’re thankful for as a family. It doesn’t have to be a religious ceremony. It’s simply showing everyone else what you’re thankful for. The way your family does this depends on personal preference.
Some families keep it short and sweet with one person saying grace. Others go around the table and each person reveals something they’re thankful for. It’s a way of kids acknowledging how hard their mothers worked, for example.
Try to get them to say something, even if what they say is quite insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
Football has always figured on Thanksgiving. Whether you have the shiny faced presenters carving a turkey on live TV, or a group of fathers and sons playing catch in the street, football is America’s favorite past-time.
Indulge in a football tradition on Thanksgiving. This could be an annual game of catch, a game where all the cousins, uncles, and grandpas get involved. Or it could be just sitting down to watch the big game and waiting for grandpa to dose off in his seat.