Thanksgiving! One of my favorite holidays. I love the food and the family gathering round the table. Taking stock of our blessings. Eating in the afternoon and then having a leisurely evening to go for a hike and just hang out.
I want to share with you a Thanksgiving story and verse from my family to yours, plus an activity for expressing gratitude.
Our family likes to write what we’re grateful for on paper leaves and then hang the leaves on a branch or make them into a garland. A wonderful Thanksgiving activity and beautiful decoration. We have even put the paper leaves in a bowl as a centerpiece.
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The story of Molly’s Pilgrim is a family favorite for the middle years. It’s the story of a young immigrant whose idea of Thanksgiving adds yet another dimension to our concept of pilgrims.
And here’s a fun infographic on the history of Thanksgiving, then and now, that’s suitable for teens and adults.
Here is a story for you to share with your children this week amidst all the preparations: the story of The First Thanksgiving from Stories of the Pilgrims by Margaret Pumphrey. The chapter ends with the poem below. Enjoy!
(This story comes from the Baldwin Project, a great resource for free stories online. The Baldwin Project is a collection of “yesterday’s classics” from about 1890-1920.)
“Have you cut the wheat in the blowing fields,
The barley, the oats, and the rye,
The golden corn and the pearly rice?
For the winter days are nigh.”
“We have reaped them all from shore to shore,
And the grain is safe on the threshing floor.”
“Have you gathered the berries from the vine,
And the fruit from the orchard trees?
The dew and the scent from the roses and thyme,
In the hive of the honeybees?”
“The peach and the plum and the apple are ours,
And the honeycomb from the scented flowers.”
“The wealth of the snowy cotton field
And the gift of the sugar cane,
The savory herb and the nourishing root—
There has nothing been given in vain.”
“We have gathered the harvest from shore to shore,
And the measure is full and brimming o’er.”
“Then lift up the head with a song!
And lift up the hand with a gift!
To the ancient Giver of all
The spirit in gratitude lift!
For the joy and the promise of spring,
For the hay and the clover sweet,
The barley, the rye, and the oats,
The rice, and the corn, and the wheat,
The cotton, and sugar, and fruit,
The flowers and the fine honeycomb,
The country so fair and so free,
The blessings and glory of home.”
– AMELIA E. BARR
And here are some more stories to share during Thanksgiving week.