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Thanksgiving for Dummies


Coming to you from the back of our overpacked car, heading home after a great holiday weekend in NYC.

As a young family there can be a lot of pressure (or maybe it’s just me?) to figure out and establish what your own family traditions will be. You want something meaningful, fun, and, of course, unique, original, camera-ready, and pinterest-worthy!

So the little container in my picture above may not be all those things, but one virtue it certainly has: this was easy, dear reader.

Throughout the year, as good things happened or one of us thought of something we’re grateful for, we would write it on a slip of paper and put it in the canister. (No peeking at the other papers!)

On Thanksgiving, we opened the little treasure trove and read through what we’d written, and remembered blessings large and small.

At a time when I feel stretched thin, talking through what a year it’s been brought a nice sense of renewal. We’re grateful for a daughter’s health and growth, two new in laws, lots of interesting travel, and so many material blessings (including nice cheese from Whole Foods). A running theme: we’re grateful for family who sacrificed time, money, frequent flyer miles, sleep … to visit us and watch Mary Tobin. Seriously there were grandparents/abuelos and/or tias/uncles here at least once a month. They helped us move, allowed us to go to a wedding, go on vacation, meet work obligations. They celebrated MT’s birth, baptism, and birthday. Unbelievable generosity.

The gratitude jar could work for any personality—write a slip dutifully every week, or forget about it for months, remember, then write a bunch. (Can you guess which style we are??) And though the purpose is to intentionally pause and thank God for what He’s done, I imagine the hilarity could shoot through the roof as kids grow and participate. (Laugh lines this year had to do with being grateful for our own Ortega family language, and Al Jazeera.)

Israel heard this idea from a friend last year, so now we share it with you. 2013 Thanksgiving prep: donesky. Except the turkey, food, travel, etc.

P.S. I finished this post at home. Road blogging did not work out.

Can you tell in the photo that the princesa is eating a pack of stationery? We love paper products!


4 thoughts on “Thanksgiving for Dummies

  1. Pingback: Merry Autumn Days | tell me a story

  2. Pingback: This and that. | tell me a story

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