I always talk about Thanksgiving and how it’s my favorite holiday in theory.
What a wonderful idea, right?
A holiday dedicated to appreciation and a feeling of thankfulness for what we have. It’s a great philosophy and one that should be ringing out in amplified frequencies, built upon year-long gratitude practices.
But, then you throw in Turkey dinner, the stress of building a meal as per tradition, you throw in different stories and focuses or you try to make it about appreciation and end up wondering how to do it differently than Easter or Christmas… than solstices and nature holidays… what makes Thanksgiving stand out?
I’ve been a parent for 17 years. And for 14 of those years I’d been looking for a way to bring specialness into each holiday, how to bring spiritual awareness and emotion into each celebration, so it didn’t get overcast with stress and anticipation.
And then 3 years ago, Thanksgiving was finally created.
It happened quite by accident really. My younger daughter (who’s the party planner by nature) and I were talking and she was making decorations and activities for her and her brother. The usual What am I thankful for stuff.. as well as place mats for dinner. We were talking about how to make it different, more celebratory; especially since her older sister had commented that we never really “do” Thanksgiving. (What a thought, I was horrified… theoretically it was my favorite holiday… and we’d never “done” it.)
And then the thought flowed in.
We decided to write letters and cards to each other, telling each other what we appreciated about each other. For an hour in the afternoon my children and I filled envelopes telling each other how wonderful each other were. It was an incredible feeling space to spend time in, writing down all the wonderful aspects that make them themselves. We decorated them and made them special, letting them light up the table that night.
I wasn’t prepared for the feeling of opening my envelope that evening. I was focused on what I appreciated about each of them, but to read what they appreciated about me; well it made me cry in overwhelming joy.
In my course Spiritual Kids, building foundations for the Spiritual Aware Family, I offer an exercise in the appreciation board; a wipeboard you hang in the kitchen to leave comments on what you appreciate about other people in the house. The idea came from my friend Elizabeth over at www.appreciationboard.com and I fell in love with the idea right away.
But this little ceremony we did on Thanksgiving was a flood of the feeling of appreciation and thankfulness. A perfect new tradition for a perfect holiday.
What followed was a discussion about what we appreciated about other people we knew, other family members, friends and acquaintances. That too was an incredible experience, as we didn’t always pick the easiest names… we didn’t see the people we chose very often or we didn’t know them very well. It stretched our thankfulness muscles… which of course is what Thanksgiving should be for!
A little different than the stereotypical “what are you thankful for?” but as my husband points out, that version of Thanksgiving should happen every day.
But noticing the little things about people you know and bringing them up over a candlelit, fancy dinner while exchanging letters of appreciation with the people you love…. followed by pumpkin pie… now that is a celebration indeed.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you know how much I, and all the Family Alchemists, appreciate you and how you are intentionally creating a conscious family dynamic. I also hope you know, we are here for you. If you need anything, never hesitate to reach out. You aren’t alone.
Love and light- Christina Fletcher, Family Alchemist
Christina Fletcher is a Spiritually Aware Parent Coach and Energy Healer who specializes in helping parents become heart centered and aligned to their highest vision of their parenting and of themselves. Through her background and training in religious and self development studies, as well as spirituality and conscious parenting, Christina helps parents dive past the “shoulds” created from their upbringing and society, and release beliefs that hold them back to create authentic, connected relationships with their children, and themselves. Using mindset techniques, practical spiritual tools such as simple meditation, the law of attraction and positive focus, as well as her training and gifts as an energy healer, Christina gives space for a mom or dad to drop into the feeling of satisfaction, alignment and relief, so they can tune in to what their children truly need and work from a centered perspective. She gives practical and spiritual advice on how to tune into a child’s perspective as well as concrete tools to pass on self awareness and mindful living to children as young as 3, so authenticity, emotional awareness, communication and connection can be the foundation for the whole family. Christina is a homeschooling mom of 2 daughters, (ages 16 and 15) and a 9 year old son. She is happily married to her husband Jeff. When their girls were born 10 months apart, Christina parented as she thought she “should”. Scheduled feeds, nights of pacing the floor with crying babies, and getting mad as they got older, she knows what it’s like to feel overwhelmed and in tears through those early years. It wasn’t until her girls were 3 and 4 that she decided her happiness mattered and that she wanted to have fun again. The change transformed everything, creating a powerful relationship with her children which is stronger than ever now that they are teens. When she was pregnant with her son, she became passionate about creating a spiritually aware pregnancy, and her connection with her son prior to his birth was crucial through some family tragedy taking place at that time. This later became the topic of her first book. Christina is passionate about helping parents create deep relationships with their children, from birth until fully grown. But she also knows that deep relationships with others can only be formed from a deep relationship with yourself, so through courses, coaching and her writing, she offers tools for the entire family so they can truly become self aware and present as everything they really are.