Welcome to the November 2012 Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Gratitude and Traditions
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by Authentic Parenting and Living Peacefully with Children. This month our participants have written about gratitude and traditions by sharing what they are grateful for, how they share gratitude with their children, or about traditions they have with their families. The Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival will be taking a break in December, but we hope you will join us for the great line up of themes we have for 2013!
Since I have married, had children, and moved away from my family and the place where I grew up, family traditions have gone from happily predictable, love-rich festivities to . . . barely existent.
I wrote last year about feeling conflicted about being away from my traditions during the holiday season. In New England, there is TONS to do during the summer, but in the winter months, with small children, it gets a little stir crazy, and I start wishing that Grandma and Grandpa were closer. We had such rich family traditions growing up that it’s hard for me to begin new ones with our little clan – though I know that I will, in my own way, as I can.
There is one family tradition that never gets old or fades away is that of family recipes and a love for the origin of foods that are put on our table. I don’t shy away as much as possible from prepared foods and eating out just because of the nutritional detriment of those consumerist habits. . . I also want to teach my children where food comes from and how it gets from field to kitchen to table.
My grandmother passed down an awesome dinner roll recipe to my mom and she taught me the recipe from a very early age – by modeling and including me in the preparations when I was old enough. When I moved away from Texas to Maine as a result of my husband’s military service, I swore I would try to make “overnight buns” every Thanksgiving, just the way that my mom and I had for all the years that I was growing up.
And I have.
There’s something vital about knowing how things are made. There’s something even more special about being a part of making them.
I’m glad that my children don’t think that chicken comes from the supermarket (or the fast food chain!), de-boned and breaded and ready to eat. I’m thankful that I have been able to show them that meals come from food that is grown and pastured in nature, harvested by farmers, transported to our local market, and has to be prepared using a recipe and the work of human hands in our kitchen before it hits their table and their tummies. Bread doesn’t just come from a plastic bag in our house. We know that bread is made with work, patience, and heart and soul, and I’m thrilled to share that with my children as my mother shared with me, and her mother, with her.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon November 30 with all the carnival links.)
- Counting My Blessings — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama expresses the importance of reflecting daily on all of her blessings, a ritual she shares with her daughter. Jennifer also shares a few things that she is most grateful for. .
- Thanksgiving — It really is true that what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. Vicky at Single Mother Ahoy had no choice but to be thankful for all the things that had a good go at finishing her off this year!
- My little gratitude list — Stone Age Parent provides a summary list of all that she is grateful for in her life, including her son, her family, her home, her friends and her country.
- Baking Bread and Nurturing Wonder— Amy W. at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work shares her way of keeping family traditions alive and nurturing a sense of wonder and thankfulness for food through preparing homemade bread during the Holidays.
- Going Inside for the Winter Holidays — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children reflects that going inside, both physically and figuratively, allows her family to enjoy the winter season in peace and reflection with plenty of time for appreciation of the most important people in her life.
- Traditions — Sustainable Mum discusses the difficulty of establishing traditions that were important in her own childhood for her own children.
- Giving thanks for parenthood — Can we truly give thanks for both the darkness and the light on our parenting journey? Shonnie from Heart-Led Parenting shares her perspective on how gratitude for all that life offers is possible and essential.
- A Tree for the Birds— Alisha at Cinnamon and Sassafras shares her family’s new tradition of skipping a traditional Christmas tree in favor of one in the yard.
- Cultivating Gratitude In Children — Lindy at Poppy Soap Co. shares her unique plan for helping her son understand just how blessed they are as a family.
- Are You Truly Grateful — Laura at Authentic Parenting ponders about the ramifications of gratitude as a characteristic.
- Maintaining Traditions Through Family Changes — Jenn from Monkey Butt Junction talks about how changes in her family have led to changing traditions.