Is it the day before Thanksgiving or the day before “Black Friday” eve – I am a little confused. The title of today’s post is not a typo – its intentional. If you have been reading this blog or even if you are a new visitor – you’ll notice a common theme: We parents, specifically us dads, need to do better – in all respects. And for me, the Thanksgiving holiday provides a great opportunity to be better.
This is the time of year for soup kitchen volunteering and turkey giveaways televised by the local news – and this new trend on Facebook where people post what they are thankful for during each day of the month. That is all well and good and I applaud the sentiment. But it seems like to me, in combining the words Thanks and Giving, we have also symbolically cheapened the notion of what these words even mean – for evidence, just look at the ensuing chaos that will begin just over 48 hours from now.
I am not the first to feel this way and certainly not the first to express that the notion of Thanksgiving should not be limited to just a Thursday and Friday. But rather, Thanks and Giving should be a staple of our every day lives, regardless of the time of year. This country treats holidays as mass marketing campaigns but it is up to us to “take back” these holidays – and why not start with Thanksgiving.
Dads, we affirm for our children that Thanksgiving is a time where we give thanks, volunteer or give to the needy but we also need to show our children that Thanksgiving should be a way of life. We need to show our children how thankful we are for the freedoms we have in this country. On several occasions when out and about with my daughter, if I saw someone in a military uniform, I would approach and thank them for their service to this country. This may be a simple act but, I am trying to instill that sense of thankfulness. Opportunities to volunteer in community activities are abundant, giving at your place of worship or even just helping a neighbor – the point is, our children need practical examples of what it means to be Thankful and Giving, throughout the entire year.
So as we prepare to be blessed with family and food – or however you plan on spending this holiday time, remember that our children should be looking to us to help them understand Thanksgiving – and that begins with helping them understand Thanks and Giving.