This year we have been reading an Old Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott (of Little Women fame.) Our copy is a school library cast-off and features illustrations by Holly Johnson. The book is just long enough to be read in three parts -Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. I hope to carry on this tradition for years even if I just end up reading it to the puppy.
I know that there are people who put up their tree’s before thanksgiving. They start the music and the movies as soon as the Halloween is over. And while I am not a die-hard wait till December girl, I also think there is some magic in waiting till Thanksgiving has past before decking the halls, beginning the holly and jolly.
To me Thanksgiving – with it’s feast and it’s parade- is the great kick-off to the holiday season, and anticipating this beginning is part of the beauty and the magic of the whole season. The hard part is, that besides the menu, there are not that many traditions associated with this week or day. So I have decided to start a few simple ones around here.
The book tells the story of the Bassett family and how the seven children were able to pull off the Thanksgiving meal at the last minute after their mother had to go visit their ailing grandmother.
Reading this book has been interesting because there is a lot of language and colloquial terms my boys are not familiar with. As I am reading it aloud, there are lots of interruptions and questions of “what does that mean?” and therefore has served as a great vocabulary builder. Also the children in the story have a great attitude about working together and doing the more grown-up chores that are required of them. I love this re-enforcement of what we try to teach our boys – to be helpful with a cheerful spirit and grateful heart.
I am not a huge fan of turkey – I tend to be more of a chicken girl when it comes to poultry- so I am always looking for a small side dish for Thanksgiving that can include another sort of protein. My boys are huge fans of pork sausage, so this recipe for Baked Acorn Squash with Sausage in the back of the book looks perfect. I am hoping that I can pull it off at one of our two Thanksgiving meals this year.
Next year I hope to NOT have a broken foot, and maybe implement another new Thanksgiving week tradition or two. I would really love to find a way to give back each Thanksgiving, whether we cook a meal for another family, deliver groceries or leave surprise pies on door steps or find another way to serve altogether. I would love for our Thanksgiving week to be about more than just turkey and dressing and pie.
Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions? I would love to hear about them!