When I was growing up, Thanksgiving was my very favorite holiday. That’s an odd holiday for a child to have as a favorite, but my mom always made it so special, and it began weeks before Thanksgiving Day.
She hung a picture of a cornucopia on the refrigerator door and every day we got to write something we were thankful for. What a joy it was to get up in the morning and write on that cornucopia! The first several days I would sneak in more than one thing, because there was just so much!
After the usual same-every-year mentions of Family, God, the name of our pet, etc., that reined at the top of the list, came the creativity and heart of the thanksgiving project. The part that really stretched my heart into other areas of my God-given life and made me reach into areas that would have gone unnoticed had I not been led there to discover things I was grateful for.
Thanksgiving Day came and it was the warmest, least hectic, beautiful day of the year, beginning with the early morning smells wafting through the house of mom’s turkey and pies baking, taking comfort in hearing her movement in the kitchen, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and family beginning to arrive.
The day was spent watching the parade with all of its colorful bands and creative floats, football, playing games, ice skating, laughter, and eating food that had never tasted as good as it did on Thanksgiving Day because we weren’t just eating food, we were sharing a meal with special people.
As I became a mom with children of my own, we continued going to my parent’s house for mom’s special Thanksgiving. In my own home, however, I continued the pre-Thanksgiving magic of the cornucopia on the refrigerator door, my own children just as excited as I was to be able to write what they were Thankful for.
Now that my children are grown, I’ve carried the tradition of the giving thanks attitude of gratitude to my workplace, a place that often rains down with negativity. Every year I make a colorful, fun poster to hang by my desk and send the “It’s time to be thankful” office-wide email. I place the basket of markers alongside the poster and the fun begins. People from all three floors participate in writing on the poster, and the things people are grateful for continue to amaze me every year.
The young and the old”er” of the office have found joy and wonder in that piece of cardboard called the Thankful Poster, and we’ve had some very creative things we’re thankful for, such as indoor plumbing. Who thinks of indoor plumbing as something for which to be grateful if not for the encouragement of the poster? 🙂
My mom, one person, by creating a thankful atmosphere in my home as a child, created a ripple effect of gratefulness to hundreds of people. And that is something to be truly grateful for. All is takes is one. That one can make an an unlimited difference.
All is Grace.