Nov 052012

Thanksgiving holiday traditions range from church events to family meals to weekends spent in the airport these days. My family decided to try something a little different a few years ago, Hiking for Holly. It was a huge success for the little kids…and the big kids.

It seems no matter where we spent the Thanksgiving holiday in the past, the tradition was to express our thankfulness to God, eat until we were about to die, give thanks again because we didn’t die and return to the table to eat again. (Don’t laugh. I’m sure you’ve done the same.) It really didn’t seem all that festive after a while and we really needed to tweak our Thanksgiving holiday a bit.

A few years ago, while our mother was in hospice care at home, my sister and I had the task of planning the holiday.  Knowing this would be our last Thanksgiving holiday with her made things extremely difficult. We were sad and stressed, but there were lots of small children to consider and we were both concerned about their well being. They could have memories of a grim, sad holiday that year or we could find a way to make the best of it and create some happy memories for them instead.

We thought of a Thanksgiving holiday tradition Mom had given us as children and decided to give it a try. Just as she had done with us so many times, we chose to go hiking for holly.

We invited our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews and their children. In other words, we invited a lot of people. Honestly, we weren’t sure how they would respond given the sadness of the situation and the fact they all had the latest technology to sit and play with. In addition to that, the age range covered three generations. We tried it anyway with a light (or kind of light) lunch around noon followed by a hike up the mountain to gather greenery.

Thanksgiving Holiday Hiking Trip…A Huge Success

Later that afternoon, we returned with our hands full of spruce and holly, pine cones, dirt and everything else that seemed interesting at the time.  Before dusk, we had decorated my parent’s log home for Christmas in a beautiful, old fashioned way.

Some long lasting, fond memories were made that day, with what turned out to be a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  We’ve gone hiking every year since.

A few things happened that you should be aware of before you try this Thanksgiving Holiday tradition at home.

  1. We laughed all the way up the mountain and all the way back down.
  2. The kids were so tired, they quietly, or somewhat quietly, watched a movie that evening.
  3. We were truly thankful.

You will find more seasonal and Thanksgiving holiday traditions posted in our Story Time blog.

Denise Mistich

Denise is an author as well as spiritual mentor to many people. She writes from her heart to help little ones find their way in life.
 November 5, 2012  Posted by at 8:21 pm Spiritual Health, Story Time, Tips for Parents and Teachers Tagged with:  Add comments