It never really occurred to me that Thanksgiving is strategically positioned before Christmas, so as to remind us of the importance of gratitude and generosity and appreciation, just before we jump into the Christmas shopping season. It’s really quite brilliant if you think about it.
It also never really occurred to me that we have just recently stepped right on into the capitalistic sweet spot when it comes to the promise of Christmas. Around the age of two-and-a-half, maybe three if you’re the first born, is when you begin to catch-on to the idea of presents and wrapping paper and the allure of getting new stuff. Plus Santa begins stalking you, or vice versa. And I assume like most new parents, we’ve kind of blindly stumbled into this phase of life, without warning or significant forethought.
I have an inspiring friend who realized this year that the commercialization of Christmas was turning her two kids into greedy/normal American children and so this year they are doing something generous for every day in December. And I thought my storybook project was ambitious! I saw her project plan on Instagram… over James’s shoulder of course. My favorite was “Give a goat,” which was not a typo.
So this year seemed like the perfect time to talk about what we were thankful for, leading-up to Thanksgiving. When I tried to strike-up the conversation with Jake, he told me he’d already done it at school and strategically changed the conversation into me telling a Baby Super Jake story “with my mouth.”
James then returned the next evening from school pick-up with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. “Hey Jakey, tell Mama what you’re thankful for.” It seems Jacob’s gratitude list, which was posted outside his class said: Mama, Grandma, Granddad, Nate, Daddy. I believe in that order. Clearly I was cool with it, but Daddy… less so. I’m just glad the importance and irreplaceability of people may be getting through to him. It could have been a much more controversial list.
I posed the question to Nate, “So Natesy, what are you thankful for?”
“Uhhhhhhhh…… (He takes his time when answering questions. His teachers call him a ‘thinker.’ Perhaps a euphemism for ‘staller’?)…….. I thank you for……………………… milk!”
Looks like we may have our work cut out for us.