I love Thanksgiving. I call it the “F” holiday: family, friends, food, fun, football. I love that there are no gifts, only those of being together and connecting. I love fall, another “F”. I love the smell of roasting turkey. I love having 3 football games on the same day. As a child, I loved getting together with my extended family and as an adult, I love gathering friends at my home who are missing their families. Come on, it’s a great holiday!
This year, the upcoming holiday feels a little off. Many of us are still recovering from last week’s election. Whether your candidate won or lost, it was a stressful and never-ending campaign season. And it has been a long week filled with disheartening news of attacks, protests, fear, anxiety, and uncertainty.
I have received many calls from many parents wondering how to calm their worried and confused children. As I said in a Facebook post last week, ” I hope we can all join together and do what is needed to keep our kids, all our kids, safe and secure, now and in the future.” Let’s reassure our kids that they are safe, that we are strong, and that we will do whatever is needed to take care of them, to protect them, and to love them. Listen to their concerns, answer their questions, and keep your own political conversations to a minimum while in front of your little kids. You know they are listening to everything you say.
Every year I recommend that parents use the Thanksgiving holiday to begin teaching their children about charity, about sharing with those less fortunate, about thinking of others before themselves. So please, especially this year, go grocery shopping with your kids. Let them fill the cart with canned goods and a turkey, and then drive directly to a homeless shelter or food bank. Have your children experience the joy of giving. What a valuable lesson to teach your kids – one that they can carry into adulthood.
My family joins me in wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving. As Ellen says, “be kind to each other”.