It’s Thanksgiving Day and I was delighted to find this fun and engaging craft in the most recent issue of Family Fun Magazine: a “Boatload of Gratitude!”
Making this creative centerpiece is quick and easy. Constructed with a paperbag, a bamboo skewer, tape, crayons and white paper, this delightful little boat is the perfect exercise in counting our blessings! Ours included the typical things like being thankful for family, pretty daughters, my two household chefs, and our silly pets but also included bacon! And wifi! (Of course! Who would not be thankful for bacon and wifi!?) For the directions, visit www.parents.com/fun/arts-crafts/kid/gratitude_boat. The template can be found at www.parents.com/fun/printables (scroll to the November 2013 issue… registration required.)
I can think of over a thousand more things that I could put in this little boat… some of which I mentioned earlier this month. But I am struck by something I heard at this past weekend from our minister.
He told the story of a long time member who had just passed away. This man was larger than life, full of energy, positive in even the worst situations, and everything was always “great!”
Just that story would have made an excellent sermon, but our minister went on to share that his best friend was helping to plan the memorial service. Then, the day before service, the friend learned that his 29 year old son, without warning, without cause, passed away peacefully in his sleep. A perfectly healthy young man simply went to sleep and didn’t wake up…
Our ministers voice cracked. He paused. It must have been a tragic situation and very difficult, even for a minister to handle.
He went on, his voice heavy with emotion, to tell us to have gratitude for everything we see, for everyone we know, for every experience, for every leaf on a tree… to be thankful. Because, he said, you never know when it will be gone… just like that.
This is not often his message when a member of the church “transitions.” He talks of the expansion of the soul; the peace and tranquility of moving on to the next stage of our lives. I guess that sometimes even a minister cannot overcome the tragedy of a young life suddenly gone.
To round out the message, he chuckled and encouraged us to be grateful for even those family members that drive us crazy during the holidays: to put aside our annoyances and to rest our irritations for just a day… and be thankful.
Perhaps this little boat will help us remember all of the wonder and joy that we are so fortunate to experience on this day and every day.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! And the very best wishes for peace and happiness…