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My Children Made Thanksgiving Jars, And I Was Amazed By What They Wrote


the brothers are playing

the brothers are playing

We were on the pay line in Target one morning when a clerk walked in and tossed holiday books in the hands of my curious children. My kids are so young that I could put all three of them in a shopping cart, so they had become ducks. Two seconds later, I saw their eyes light up as they selected the doll. True, then came the song, “Mommy, can I get this? Can I have this? Mother, Mother, Mother. ”

Well, Mom feels a twinge.

During this time children are instructed to make a list of things they need to want, I wanted to find a way to show them what they already are was.

Naturally, I started on Pinterest, where I found a number of projects that would make my mom oooh and aah. With kids between the ages of 3 and 8, I always find it hard to find jobs that work for everyone. But making grateful jars was not the only thing we could do, it was also a sport my children – who have a lot – can use.

The idea is simple: Every day, your children write down what they appreciate and put the paper in a jar. You need only three things. First, the same jar. Every white cup will do. Then, pens and construction papers. The more beautiful, the better.

Finally, it is time for the children to get involved. I grabbed mine Saturday morning as soon as I finished the pancakes, when the fun was light. And when I asked them, “What do you appreciate? He replied reluctantly.

Their answers were three of the essentials: Legos, ice cream, and God.

We got up and ran out the gate! I asked the two adults to write their answers on a piece of paper, while I wrote down the answer for my three-year-old son. The following week, we added the jars of thanksgiving each day after breakfast.

On the third morning, our God-fearing son looked at me and asked, “Why are you empty? So my husband and I walked in, ready to catch up. My first paper had the word ‘family,’ but they wanted me to explain it in more detail. So I changed my name to ‘Aunt Jude in Alaska.’ ‘Nature’ was not specific enough, so I changed it into ‘a river that flows through our yard.’ The ‘pumpkin pie’ was wholeheartedly accepted. This was fun.

There were some amazing surprises over the next few days: baseball, classmates, unicorns and popcorn. Our eldest son made his bed. One day, they all wrote to their teacher, which made me smile. Finally, Mum and Dad made their own jars atha after the stickers and cheese.

One day, when I have a lot of time and energy, I can unwrap the papers and stick them in a bind so that I can sit next to their (non-existent) books here. But, meanwhile, kids love to keep jars on the kitchen window to look at, a bright reminder of everything they have, which is in a half-filled glass.

Know that, Target.


Toby Lowenfels is a writer who lives in Nashville with her husband and three children. She explains the pop culture of What’s Up Moms and contributes to Joy the Baker’s Sunday Links.

PS Family traditions, and seven tips for raising grateful children.

(Photo by Maria Manco / Stocksy.)





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