Today’s post is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time now but never have.
Back when I taught school there were several years where I wrote each of my students an individual letter telling them why I was thankful to have them in my class.
It was always a good experience for me even though it was time consuming. (I taught junior high full time and had more than just one classroom full of students)
I don’t like insincerity. At all. Not one little bit. So when I wrote those letters I had to think very hard sometimes to come up with an honest and sincere reason why I was truly thankful to have certain students in my class. But I always could. After all, there is good in everyone…sometimes it’s just hard to spot…
Anyways, it was a good experience for me to write those letters and I think it was a good experience for the students to receive them. I had them waiting on their desks when they came into class the day before Thanksgiving break. I loved watching them open their letters and how they reacted as they read them. It was important for me to make sure that each one of my students knew that they were people that I found to be of worth and value and were very much wanted in my classroom.
I’ve always thought that doing something similar at Thanksgiving dinner would be a really great idea as well. But I want everyone at dinner to be able to share in that experience of looking for the good in others….we should all do that more often…especially with our family members.
So I came up with these, “I’m thankful for you because….” books.
Here’s the idea:
At each place setting there is a book with the person’s name on the cover.
Inside on the first page is the date.
Then on the next page I’ve written a short note explaining why I am thankful that they are in my family.
Next to their book is a pen.
And each guest will be invited to write in every or anyone else’s book that they choose and tell that person why they are thankful to have them in their life.
I think it would be a great activity as people arrive and are mingling and the last of the food is being prepared and set out.
The books could even be left out after dinner so they could be written in during clean up, visiting, football games, etc.
To make these books all you need are mini composition books.
(You can buy them at the store 3 for $1)
Some paper to cover the front with and some glue.
It would be easy and inexpensive…and I think maybe a really wonderful experience.
Sweetbug Studio says
What an amazing woman you are to have done that for your students. And having been in the field of teaching I can imagine how tough it would be at times to come up with something. In another blog I read (Hands Free Mama) she opens her post with a story of a particular student. A colleague tells her to remember “that is someone’s child” and the post goes from there. (Amazing blog and writer–should definately check Rachaels work out–it is like no other.) So noticing the good, and being thankful, and finding that in the difficult there may be a blessing that that person provides to others, is a wonderful gift to acknowledge. Wonderful idea!
what a great idea! every night after we say grace we go around the table and ask each person what their favorite thing or part of the day. i always say that i wish i kept record of some of them and this would be a great way. thanks, your a great mom!
Simple Simon and Company says
I’m going to go and check out it right now….when you are in your classroom it does help to remember that each of your students is someone else’s child.
Simple Simon and Company says
We do that with our kids to! That would be awesome to write them down….it would make for such sweet memories!
I bought one of those little Composition notebooks and titled it “My Man.” (This notebook is the subject of an upcoming Kelley Highway blogpost.). It rests on my nightstand and I fill it with recordings of acts of love for which I give my sweet husband a “gold star.” For example, “He’s breathing,” and “He carries my bags,” and “He calls me beautiful,” etc. We take the everyday gifts so for granted.
Someone once pondered, “What if we had tomorrow only that for which we were truly thankful today?” We take people (and many other blessings!) for granted, especially those closest to us.
I love your sweet idea! Happy Thanksgiving!
Falafel and the Bee says
Oh I love this! Years ago, I commuted to the city (Seattle) in my pre-kid days. On this long journey back and forth by foot then boat then foot then car, I decided to make up a little game to play with myself to pass the time in a productive way, instead of plugging myself into music, or staring at the ground while walking rapidly.
Every person I saw, I had to name one thing I liked about them.
It could be what they were doing or simply a scarf they were wearing. Anything at all.
It made me see the world much differently, and made my commute a happy one.
I love this! One of my favorite things to do is tell random people when I like something about them… and this is an even prettier way to do just that. =)