In October of 2013, We had only known each other for 5 months when on our walks after school drop-off, the conversation naturally turned to the upcoming holidays. We talked about Halloween and that it's bigger than ever, and how it goes straight from Trick-or-Treating right into the lists of gifts our kids want for the December Holidays. Then one of us said "actually, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday", and the other one quickly replied "it's mine too!". The conversation snowballed into what Thanksgiving means to us - being surrounded by out family and friends, no gifts to exchange, and a huge feast of food made with love. Did we mention no gifts to exchange? We chatted about the fact that the older we get the more meaningful thanksgiving has been to us. Soaking up the time with our loved ones, and the indescribable feelings of the intangible blessings we have been given. We understood that it is what is meaningful to us, and wanted our kids to feel the same way. We asked each other how we could bring meaning and shed a little light on this Holiday that seems to be "forgotten".
In tandem with these conversations about Thanksgiving, were also the conversations about raising kids "these days". It's a different world from which each of us grew up. We shared stories about how each of out family had to make it through some difficult times when we grew up, and in contrast how our kids are exception smartphones by the 5th grade, wanting to wear the most name-brand athletic wear (in elementary school), and are experiencing vacations and travel we didn't experience until adulthood. It's not wrong - just different.We talked about ways we could instill a sense of gratitude in our kids, so they appreciate all of the things they already have, instead of focusing on all the things they don't. How can we give them a foundation of contentment so they appreciate the simple things in life, and recognize that the "extras" are just icing on the cake.
After much research, we saw how much gratitude plays into a child's happiness; when you focus on the things you have instead of the things you don't, your whole view of the world shifts. In various research the practice of gratitude shows to improve health, grades in school, building relationships, and the way they face adversity.
Why wouldn't we want to instill this in our children?! As parents, we spend so much time correction bad habits: biting nails, picking their nose, chewing with moth open, leaving the toilet seat up, etc. It feels so much better as a parent to help instill good habits. We believe that being grateful (the inner feeling of good things received) and thankful (outwardly showing appreciation for things) is one of the very best things we can teach our children. It costs so very little to instill gratitude, and it gives them so much.
Think of all the time and money we spend on piano lessons, karate, tutors, and sports, if we could take part of that time to dedicate to children being thankful, they would see benefits with better grades, better health, less toxic emotions, and a happy heart. Isn't that what we want most for our children. We we're necessarily to start a business (we can barely take a shower and put on make-up most days), but we were looking to start teaching that habit of gratitude with to our children and help others to do so as well.
Turkey on the Table was born our of love, the desire to spread thankfulness, the hope to give back, and wanting to share that with others. The Turkey on the Table Kit, includes an adorable knit turkey, a book, markets, and Thankful Feathers. The family activity begins with a featherless turkey, and each family member writes what they are thankful for on the Thankful Feathers, which are added to the turkey daily in November. The turkey is the "fully dressed" with thanks on Thanksgiving day. Not only does it help with your family, it also communicated the importance of giving back to those less fortunate. Through our partnership with Feeding America, we donate 1- meals to families in need for each turkey kit sold.
After 26 days of Thankful Feathers (the daily log of their gratitude) the children will complete with our Turkey on the Table product, they will dig a little deeper on the things that are grateful for. It is easy to come up with one or two.. but by day 24 you will be surprised to see what they start coming up with!!
After Thanksgiving, we know that our children will not hesitate to state making thought christmas list with the newest XBOX games & hover boards, but maybe while doing so they will also be thankful for the warm bed they will sleep in that night!
We are thankful to Swoozie's for their support and for all the meals they will help us provide by carrying out product.
April & Kerry