Parenting: Thanksgiving Traditions

November 15, 2010

My entire family, of about 30, comes to our home for dinner every Thanksgiving Day. My husband's family in North Jersey is equally large. We have a nice tradition of hosting his family for a big holiday dinner the Saturday before Thanksgiving. That allows all of his siblings to spend the actual holiday with at their spouses' family. It seems to work well for everyone.

But, here's the problem. How do you teach your children to be thankful? I hope the kids will learn from us the importance of family. We tell them often how grateful we are that we are fortunate enough to have a family, especially to have healthy kids. During these difficult economic times, we try and do some charity projects to share what we have with others. It's a difficult concept for kids to grasp, but I hope they someday realize how blessed they are just to have a roof over their head and an abundance of food.

My husband's sister and brother serve at a soup kitchen every Thanksgiving. I've always talked about doing that with the kids, but I truly admire those who volunteer their time in such a beautiful way. What better way to give thanks, than to help someone who wouldn't otherwise be able to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.

There are lots of opportunities to serve in the area. Cathedral Kitchen is one of them. Check out their website:

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