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Character Education

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Digital Learning


Our family has a reunion every year at Thanksgiving time. We are scattered all over the country (actually all over the world) now, but each year as many as possible try to meet up for a banquet cooked by professional chefs (yay!) rather than by any of us. We meet in a hotel back where I grew up and spend several days just enjoying each other and loving on our newest generation. It takes me back to my childhood, when most of the meals were home cooked, certainly at Thanksgiving, and when most of my extended family hung out together all the time. We were there for so many of the milestones in each other's lives, sometimes because they were official and came with an invitation, and sometimes because we just happened to all be there. We were all always there, either at my parents' house, or my grandparents' house, known simply as "down the house" (In Pittsburghese, "You goin' dahn the hause?" Or, "See ya later dahn the hause." We never said yinz in our family, but we sure pronounced words like dahn and hause just that way. It brings a tear. Sigh.

Our Thanksgiving celebrations through the years always included the long table for adults and the kids' table. I believe I sat at the kids' table until I graduated from college and was married with a tiny apartment table of my own. It was a good place to be, and a great place to grow up.

We hosted a brunch at our house today, and my favorite grandson (aka only grandson) asked if we could move the kids' table to the end of the adult table so that it would be just one long table and we all could sit together. What a brilliant idea! I wish I had thought to ask my grandmother the same question. Her kids' table was seriously all the way in the living room. We always felt that we were missing something over there! Brunch was so much fun today, and the furniture arrangement just might have had something to do with it!

Thoughts of Thanksgivings past and future also brought me to the thoughts of the season of excess, which seems to start earlier and earlier each year. I thought I had finished all of my holiday shopping yesterday, but thought of several items that I wanted to add today. A tiny voice in my head said, "Enough!" The voice was right. I took some time tonight to think of all the things that I have enough of. I certainly have enough clothes to last forever. Six bags are ready for donation right now. I have a precious family to love, and I know they love me, so enough love. I have probably far more friends than any one person deserves, so enough friendship. Although I've had a couple of health related scares this year, I am mostly blessed with good health. I do request that you stay away from me though if you have not had your flu shot. Learned that the hard way. Enough food? Probably too much, given my never-ending struggles with the scale.

Yes, enough. I am so sure that I have enough that I have no holiday wish list of my own. The fifty or so days ahead might just be a good time to consider with your students and children or grandchildren, nieces, and nephews - whoever is important in your life - what exactly each of you has enough of. And then, you might want to extend the conversation to ways you can reach out and share with others who might not have enough. Some examples (some that I've talked about in previous blog posts) might be:

  • Adopt a family to gather and wrap holiday gifts for.
  • Pack winter comfort bags for the homeless.
  • Visit an elderly residence and play board games or sing. 
  • Plan an act of kindness to do every day (or even once a week) for someone else.
  • Share your holiday spirit by learning more about winter holidays celebrated by others in your community and around the world.
An amazing book that I've just discovered is I am Enough by Grace Byers. It is a lovely way to remind our children that each of them is a precious gift to the world.

For resources to make your teaching life a little easier in the days ahead, and to learn about winter holidays celebrated by others, click here! Winter Holidays with Rainbow City Learning
For resources to emphasize Gratitude, click here! Celebrating Gratitude with Rainbow City Learning

In the days ahead, I wish you a seat at the table surrounded by those you love, and the most precious of gifts to open: friendship, caring, and awareness of the needs of others.

For more November thoughts and tips, be sure to check out the posts of my blogging friends.

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