Giving Thanks

What makes you thankful?Thanksgiving is only a few days away now. What makes you feel thankful? Is it time off from school, or seeing somebody in your family that lives far away? Or is it all about the pie? It might make it a happier holiday if you take a few minutes to make a list. Really, that’s what Douglas Wood the author of The Secret of Saying Thanks says, “We don’t give thanks because we’re happy, We are happy because we give thanks.”

Secret of Saying Thanks     It works for me, especially if I’m feeling a bit sad. When I count up the things and people that I’m thankful for, it’s more than what I have to feel sad about. And it helps me to cultivate an attitude of gratitude and that makes me happy.

Needs some ideas to get started? Here are a few:

Bruce’s List of Books He’s Glad He Read

Feeling Thankful     Feeling Thankful / written by Shelley Rotner and Sheila Kelly; photographs by Shelley Rotner

This list is a great place to start.

Dora's Thanksgiving     Dora's Thanksgiving / by Sarah Willson; illustrated by Robert Roper
On Thanksgiving Dora remembers all the people she’s thankful for, her parents, her friends, and the reader.

The Most Thanful Thing      The Most Thankful Thing / by Lisa McCourt; illustrated by Cyd Moore.

When a girl discovers her mother sitting alone quietly one morning she asks her what she’s doing. Her mother says, “I’m giving thanks. … I’m thinking about my whole life and remembering all the wonderful things I have to be thankful for.” So the girl asks her mother what she’s most thankful for in her life. “Oh, that’s an easy one,” said Mama. “But you have to guess what it is.” So, with the aid of her mother’s scrapbook, the girl tries.

Thanks a Million      Thanks a Million: Poems / by Nikki Grimes; pictures by Cozbi A. Cabrera

Here are sixteen brightly illustrated ideas about thanks and why to say it, even when you might not feel like it.

The Circle of Days      The Circle Of Days / Reeve Lindbergh; illustrated by Cathie Felstead

This book goes back a long way to 1225. It’s based on Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of the Sun. Francis based his song on a much, much older song, the one sung by Ananias, Azarias, and Misael (better known by their Babylonian names of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) when they were feeling very thankful that they were not getting burned in King Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace!
Giving Thanks     They weren’t the only ones feeling thankful. In Charity James’s blog there are lots of great American Indian ways to say thanks, with clams and corn and rice and sugar. And there's a new look at the 1621 harvest feast celebrated by the new English immigrants and their Wampanoag neighbors. One of my favorites on her list is Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message.

Molly's Pilgrim     But, my most favorite Thanksgiving book is Molly's Pilgrim / by Barbara Cohen. Molly’s mama helped her with her Thanksgiving homework. She made her a little Pilgrim doll to take to school. But Molly is worried about what her schoolmates might say. What if it’s not the “right” kind of Pilgrim?