another post. My then 10-year-old daughter made the one above, last Thanksgiving, using simple instructions from a library book on origami. She used 6x6 inch squares of paper that I had, in fall-ish patterns.
The beans and boxes are part of a tradition that we adapted from my side of the family. Every Thanksgiving, after the food has been blessed, we take turns going around the table and sharing things we are grateful for. Everyone has a few kernels of corn or beans or candy corn or lentils (depends on what we have handy, I guess!), and they drop one into their box each time they express their gratitude for something. We go around the table until everyone has used up all of their kernels. I love hearing all the different things that we have to be thankful for.
On Thanksgiving 2008, that tradition was particularly poignant. We had buried our sweet Lily just a few weeks before. Two days after Thanksgiving, Superkid would be admitted to the hospital in preparation for open heart surgery. The Cleverly's had recently returned to a new job and their home in Indiana, after an eighteen month absence in another city, only to have a sudden, unexpected job loss. By Thanksgiving, Brandon had received a job offer, but wouldn't be able to start working until after Christmas. My sister, Lisa, was under-employed at that time. It had not been an easy year for any of us.
I don't remember the specifics of the expressions of thanks that were given that year, as we went around the table, dropping kernels of corn into our boxes. What I do remember was the beautiful feeling that was present while we recognized how much we had been blessed, to see the evidences of how we had been upheld and supported through difficult times. Each of us, down to the youngest child, could sense the incredible love that our Father in Heaven has for each of us, His children.
That, right there, is why I love Thanksgiving so much. I'm so glad to have a day set aside to perform the counting of my blessings. I'm so happy to have the reminder that, despite what the measurement of the world's yardstick may be, I am wealthy.