Thank You Day

Full disclosure: I have not been paid by anyone to promote anything, I just really like this idea and want to give full credit to the amazing writers who created it.

I have always loved the holiday of Thanksgiving. The meaning of Thanksgiving, appreciating what you have in life, has always been an important theme for me. This appreciation has kept me going when things were hard and brought me out of more than one depressive episode. I am SO lucky. I appreciate what I have. The family and friends getting together to share their lives and what is important to them is also amazing, not to mention the food.

 

DTiger's Thank You Day Book

There is also a book on the same subject! Links at the bottom.

But it’s always been a sort of ephemeral ‘Thanks.’ Traditionally, families join hands and pray, saying ‘Thanks’ to (Insert Favorite Diety) for their family, friends lives, shelter, and food, and maybe some of the younger members have been thankful for specific things and toys that they have been given. While I appreciate this appreciation, and I think it is something that we should do EVERY day, there seemed to be something missing.

 

 

Then I watched Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood with my two small daughters. At 2 and 4, both of my girls are obsessed with this new version of The Land of Make-Beleive from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, and I am happy to have them watch that rather than something more violent or rude or even something that isn’t teaching them anything.

 

In season 2, the writers of this excellent show chose to do an entire episode about gratitude and created ‘Thank You Day’ in Daniel’s Neighborhood. On this day, everyone gets together for a celebration, much like our Thanksgiving celebrations here in the U.S., but there is an additional element that we haven’t incorporated traditionally. Everyone in Daniel’s neighborhood makes cards to give to each other that thank that person for something specific. The cards are given to the recipient, then the cards go onto a ‘Thank You Day’ tree where everyone can look at the beauty that they made together.

 

Thank_you_tree

And Thank You Internet for providing another amazing image!    https://goo.gl/images/J38B9u

I love this adaptation. While we often say ‘Thank You’ to the ones we love every day, this practice would highlight for everyone that what they do for each other is important and to keep it up. Creating a decorated tree together would help cement that we are a community and we need to work together to make something amazing. As a person who is terrible at thank-you cards after receiving stuff, I like the idea of thank-you cards for being who you are a lot better.

 

So I think we’re going to have a new tradition, one that allows us to make amazing memories and to really appreciate everyone around us. If you want to join in with this new tradition, let me know! I’ll try to post a picture of our ‘Thank You Tree’ before the end of the month.

Link to the show on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B00BI0OB56?ref_=aiv_dp_season_select
Link to the episode guide: http://www.neighborhoodarchive.com/dtn/episodes/114b_thank_day/index.html
Link to the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Thank-You-Daniel-Tigers-Neighborhood/dp/1442498331

 

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“It’s the subtleties that draw the eye…”

Everything is Brown. Unless it’s Grey. Or black. The world has turned monochrome around us. The Autumn has burned itself out and left behind husks, ashes, and leaf piles that are quickly turning into compost every time it rains.

LudPkLight11-11-08 NOV (2)

November. Yeah, it’s kinda like that.

We’re past the flash and burn of the fall. All of the plants have dropped those leaves like a lit match to conserve their energy for fighting off the driving cold that is coming in a few weeks. The leaves and the trees say goodbye to each other in a spectacular color party, then separate to leave the tree to nurture all life on earth including a new batch of leaves next spring. But all of the raucous celebration is over now and winter’s hush is starting to settle in.

This time of year it is easy to mourn the bright days of summer, the striking colors of fall, or even to eagerly anticipate the coming snow. It’s easy to look around at the lack of color and warmth and feel the heavy blanket of short days and bitter chill suck the energy right out of you.

I used to hate this time of year. Especially after the amazing show that we get in early fall, this drab, colorless world around us right now is even more tired and promising long cold nights ahead. I used to look around and see nothing but darkness and cold. Even rainy days wouldn’t help feed my spirit and creativity, they only compared to the warm rains of July or the snow that was stubbornly refusing to make an entrance.

 

PoolFern

..But November can also be kinda like this.

I’m not sure what changed, but at a certain point, I could see the color differences between the browns and greys and black. I could appreciate the contrast between the occasional stunningly blue sky and the dark stillness below. I am still amazed when I’m looking at a completely empty meadow that suddenly bursts to life with a startled flock of brown birds.

 

This season forces the observer to look closer to find beauty everywhere, hidden in plain sight. I hope to teach my daughters that there is always more to see, that the surface isn’t going to teach you anything. Sure, Spring, Summer, and even Winter have an amazing facade that doesn’t require much delving, but this part of the autumn rewards the careful explorer more with surprise nuggets of beauty.

So just look a little closer and I’m sure you’ll find something worth looking for.