Sunday, November 18, 2007

An Attitude of Gratitude

I have prepared my children for giving thanks. My mother in law has claimed this holiday (my parents got Easter in Minnesota when we divvied up the holidays between families) and she hosts over 20 people in her smallish house located in the middle of cornfields in rural Iowa. She loves to have us hold hands at 4:10 when we're all starving and antsy and go around the room saying what we're thankful for.

In the past people have announced pregnancies and engagements.

Mostly the children squirm and mumble "my mom and dad" or act foolish in the spotlight of attention. The men are irate because a football game has been temporarily turned off for this tradition.

The entire fiasco annoys the hell out of me and I despise how trite has Thanksgiving become.

Especially when I'm presented a meal of brown food to go with it. (Poppy Buxom, your folks have got NOTHING on these Iowa women--turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, Stovetop Stuffing, heat and serve buns--white, none of that whole grain business--scalloped corn, green bean casserole made with green beans so processed they look like grey worms smothered in french fried onions, and pumpkin pie straight from a bakery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Add salt and good china and damn it, we got ourselves a feast!)

This year I've stirred the pot. I emailed my the 3 sisters-in-law and told them that my children are drawing gratitude pictures. They will bring them to grandma's and when we go around the room, my children will describe what they drew, in essence, what they are thankful for with a visual aide.

The bachelors and I discussed what we're thankful for over the weekend and then they drew their pictures with a new set of colored pencils. I helped them design frames and you know what? I think this year when we talk about what we're thankful for, they might begin to get it.

Bachelor # 1 is thankful for baseball. (Note the adorable baseballs adorning the frame)

Bachelor #2 is thankful for our new swimming pool. He drew the water brown because the liner isn't installed yet so it looks all dirty. The dark lines behind the pool is the woods.

Bachelor #3 is thankful for his school and his friends: Truett, Anabelle, Miss Tonia, Miss Pam, and Miss Susie.

I am thankful that 2 of my sisters-in-law agreed to go along with this idea and 9 of 12 grandchildren won't bore the rest of us to tears or choke under pressure this Thursday.


  1. This is such a terrific idea! And can I take it that sister-in-law #3 isn't cooperating?

  2. Naturally. But she's blood so I guess she doesn't have to:)

  3. Loved the pictures that the boys did--the frames were a wonderful idea--plus it took them more time to finish the project. The Thanksgiving dinner sounds like we must do the same every year..make it easy--just be glad you are invited..Sarah's inlaws don't invite them!!! enjoy the spa!!!


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