What does "home" mean to you? Is it four walls, or is it more? To me, home is built on those 101 tiny exchanges that tell us we care for each other no matter what. Think about the things we do: a hug on the way to work or school in the morning; a vote of confidence, particularly when there's a big test that day; the simple words, "I love you, Daddy."
The Thanksgiving season can help us bring into focus these gestures we often take for granted. It offers an opportunity to express thanks not only for food and shelter but also for the little things family members do for each other day after day.Here's a simple and meaningful way to express your "thanks," family style: Make a "What I'm Thankful For" box.
Cut a 3-inch slot down the middle of a shoebox lid. Place the lid on an empty shoebox and tape it shut. Decorate the lid and box with colorful paper, leaves and autumn decorations your children have brought home from school. Or glue a paper turkey at one end and a pumpkin at the other! Finally, tape a pencil on a string and a notepad to the top of the box.
From now until Thanksgiving Day, place the box on your kitchen table and encourage all family members and friends who stop by to jot down personal thoughts on the theme "What I'm Thankful For." Older siblings or adults may help the younger ones with the writing, or a child may draw a picture expressing his or her feelings.
On Thanksgiving, open the box and take turns reading all the notes that have accumulated. You'll see that it is indeed the "little things" that count "big" around your Thanksgiving table.