Celebrating Thanks With My Little Ones

It’s Thanksgiving time here in the states. A time when we gather together to feast on food till our bellies ache and be thankful for Aunt Mable on our left and Uncle Clyde on our right.

This year I got to do something extra special to celebrate the occasion. Being this is the first year that both my kids are in the same school, I was able to donate my time for not one but TWO big Thanksgiving Day events.

Showing up bright and early, I immediately wished I was one of those organized moms that had made it to Starbucks before the morning kid drop-off. I really wanted to be holding one of those nice tall cups of coffee like the other moms. But anyway…

My daughter’s class had been learning all about Native Americans, so they were celebrating the day with all sorts of Native American activities! They had made outfits for the big event, each little Indian having been given a special name. My daughter was Quiet Deer. Apparently they haven’t gotten to know her that well after three months.

The volunteers were each given a duty. I was assigned mom in-charge of clay bowl making. I headed out to the play yard, past the teepee, to my fire pit of blazing tissue paper to check out what would be my new digs for the next hour.

Okay, I should point out that I was stepping out of my element here. I help my kids at home, but volunteering at school – not so much. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not because I don’t want to help. I tried with my eldest kid, but he always had some type of meltdown when he had to share me with other children.  So, my career as a volunteer was very short lived. But today I will show the kids no fear! I will not be eaten alive by five-year-olds. I’m a big girl, right?

My tribe gathered around and we dug into our slimy clay. We rolled and kneaded and rolled some more. The kids got dirt in their clay. Not really by choice, mind you. But it added a touch of authenticity. Next we were supposed to use our thumbs to shape the clay into a bowl and then carve in a unique pictograph around the outside. Now, as it turns out, the kids had made coffee can drums and were itching to become the next Buddy Rich. So being in a hurry, many bowls ended up as a lump of clay with a random hole punched in the center. And their pictograph? A quick squiggly line that was supposed to be a snake. So much for fine craftsmanship.  But hey, it was still fun.

One of the girls kept a close eye on me the whole time. She knew I was trouble from the moment I walked through the door. Smart kid.

There were many Native American tasks to be completed, so our tribes wandered about the kindergarten plains to fish, hunt buffalo, pick cranberries, mill corn for flatbread, make beaded anklets, and beat their decorated coffee can drums outside the teepee.

Eventually the children returned to the classroom for a quick story before recess. My daughter (official blog name: Monkey) was a total klingon! But a cute one. Monkey  thought by hanging on to my leg I could never go home. Her friend liked what she saw and jumped in on the action as well. Now I had two klingons, and one of them wasn’t even mine. But there’s nothing like the arrival of recess with playtime on the jungle gym to unlatch a klingon. Good information should you ever need it.

Having spent a fine morning with young Native American warriors, my mission was only partially complete as I headed over to meet my eldest (official blog name: Gamer) for his big Thanksgiving Day feast. The volunteers for this meal went all out! The MPR (multi-purpose room) was decked out beautifully. And the meal – wow, just wow!

Monkey’s class was happy getting hot dogs, but here they had served up the works. Tons of turkey, mashed potatoes, yams, corn, stuffing, rolls, green beans, you name it. And, of course, plenty of pie! Wowza!

I managed to be a good girl and didn’t gorge. My tummy is already showing me how unhappy it is with the hours I spend sitting in chairs working on my writing. I pretended not to be emotionally hurt when Gamer, the child who begged me to be there, spent most of his time laughing and joking with his friends. He hardly noticed I was there. But that’s part of growing up. And I was thrilled to see him making friends, something that hasn’t come easy for him.

At the end of his celebration I received a kiss to the cheek and big hug goodbye. I’m glad I went. It was a very special day shared with my children and a great way to remember what I’m most thankful for – my family.

Have you done anything special with someone this year to celebrate the holiday?

Will you be traveling for the holiday? Or hosting a Thanksgiving dinner? Are you stuck at this late hour on what to serve? If so, here’s a nice little gem I recently found in my travels. 🙂

Happy Holidays!

About Debra Kristi

Debra Kristi is a mother, an author, a Pinterest addict, and sometimes DIY home decorator. Hang with her to escape the everyday stress. Be sure to leave your mind open to the fantastical.
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31 Responses to Celebrating Thanks With My Little Ones

  1. Ah, what wonderful memories! Glad you blogged about this. Cheers!

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Thank you Christine. It was a fun day and out of my norm. I haven’t helped in the classroom since Gamer’s first grade physical fitness. He’s now in fourth.

  2. Debra,

    Don’t kid yourself about Gamer. He noticed you plenty. Trust me on this one.

    And all the best from me to you and yours — warmth, friendship, family and feast — during the holiday weekend. You’re all class.

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Anthony! It is great to see you! You are probably right and he was simply playing it cool in front of his friends.

      Wishing the absolute best to you and yours the holiday season! If you are on the roads, drive safe!

  3. I second what Anthony said. Gamer noticed you were there, and was happy you were, even if he did have to act all cool.
    Happy Thanksgiving 🙂
    P.S. Please tell me those aren’t really turkey-flavored gumballs. I can see pumpkin pie and cranberry but turkey . . . 😉

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Hi Marcy! I am sure you and Anthony are right. It was just so odd going from the klingon to the cold shoulder. LOL
      And yes – those are turkey gumballs. I am afraid to try any of them, But they were so funny I had to buy them. 🙂

  4. Debra, this is fabulous! I love how the Native American activities turned out. I am so impressed with your creativity. My son’s class recently studied the Coastal Native American lives and traditions. I wish I read your post before they moved to a new social studies subject (last week) — it would be wonderful to “steal” some of your ideas 🙂

    Have a fabulous Thanksgiving. Big hugs.

    • Debra Kristi says:

      My son’s class also recently studied the Native Americans tribes! He was given a specific one to report on. We learned all about the Nisenan people. They must be on a similar schedule. Sorry I didn’t know we were going to be doing all this or I would have shared sooner. All these wonderful activities took place on Friday and I bumped my planned post for today to put this one in its place. Feel free to steal anything you see here in the future. 😀
      Have a fabulous Thanksgiving with you and yours! *Hugs*

  5. You made me smile, even when you mentioned not getting your coffee like the other moms. Funny, b/c that’s practically the caricature of moms on TV, right?? Anyway, I love your post, made me nostalgic for the crafty days when my kids were younger. *sigh*
    Happy Thanksgiving!!

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Happy Thanksgiving Coleen! The coffee thing – so is. We don’t make it in our house. I’m the only one who drinks it and the Husband can’t stand the smell. There’s a Starbucks inside our little community and I’m amaze how many people seem to have time to stop in there on their way to school in the morning. We’re always in a mad dash! But then Monkey really likes her sleep. LOL

  6. Lynn Kelley says:

    Wow, that Native American day looks like so much awesome fun! Yay for you for volunteering at the kids’ school. It really means so much to them. And it sure brought back so many wonderful memories of when I used to do arts and crafts with my kids’ classrooms and then was the storyteller and went from classroom to classroom reading picture books (even up to 8th grade for some of the funny pic books!) and encouraging the kids to read. Those were some of the best days of my life. Great post, Debra! Have a wonderful day tomorrow.

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Wow, Lynn! What you did sounds fabulous! They just added book clubs for my son’s class this year. I thought that sounded like so much fun. But by the time the sign-up sheet made it to me they had all the moms they needed. Guess I wasn’t the only one enamored with that idea. When he was younger he had a possessive issue with me being there and the teacher told him I wasn’t allowed to come anymore. That ended my helping mom career for a while.

  7. What a fun day! When my kids were in grade school, I helped out with all kinds of stuff (can we say they saw me coming and quickly slapped a sucker sticker on my forehead?). I never got to do fun stuff like working with clay though. 🙂

    And Anthony is right…Gamer knew you were there. That’s the way cool kids treat parents when they are growing up. Ignore as much as possible when you’re with friends, but appreciate that you’re there to ignore.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Debra! 🙂

    • Debra Kristi says:

      There are lots of moms in our community that practically live at the school. I am not one of them. If I did that I would never get a single word written.

      You guys are right about Gamer. It just took me by surprise. Such a 180 from the last time I was there for him. But that’s good!

  8. What a great day, Debra! I remember how fun it was to volunteer to help in my boys’ classrooms. Since I worked outside of the home full time, it wasn’t something I did often but every time I did, it was a blast.

    I’m up in Canada, so our Thanksgiving was in October. I just want to wish you a lovely holiday with your family! 🙂

  9. Precious story, Debra! You’re such a great mom… 🙂 Eager to spend time with my in-laws at dinner & a Santa parade. Fab new tradition! Wishing you & yours a happy holiday. Grateful to call you friend!

  10. Julie says:

    I think you should be entered into the Mom Hall of Fame!

  11. I want to be five again and go to that school!!! Fun post, Debra. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

    • Debra Kristi says:

      I hear that Pat! I don’t recall my kindergarten ever doing anything like that. The kids had a fabulous time from start to finish of the day. I popped back in after Gamer’s feast to see their animated film on telling the truth. The film was also done with a Native American theme and it was so fun to watch. They were all glued to the screen with the mouths hanging open. So cute.

  12. artistlynne says:

    Sounds like you just had the meal today we are having tomorrow!! Hope you’re still in the mood. All in all, it sounded like a fabulous celebration day at school with my two favorite grandkids. Can’t wait to see you all tomorrow. xoxo

  13. Elisa says:

    I absolutely love this! I might use some of these ideas with my little ones today.

    Have a great Thanksgiving :0)

  14. Aww, this post makes me cry! Not because you weren’t hilarious ~ you absolutely are! By the way, those coffee runs before volunteering are overrated. Just try wrangling 5 hyper kids with a venti in your hand. Yeah, not so much fun. You lucked out on that one.

    It made me cry because I love love love loved volunteering for my kids! Now they’re all grown up and don’t need me. : (

    Those clay pots looked like fun. You’re a natural at this! I can’t believe how crazy your kids’ school goes for the feast. That’s kind of awesome. Thanks for sharing your special day with your kids. Brings back great memories.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Debra Kristi says:

      I know you’re right about the coffee run being overrated. I’d rather have the extra 20 or 30 minutes of sleep! Plus the coffee would have gone cold from neglect once I got the school anyway.

      I’m sorry your kids have grown past this stage. But look on the bright stage – they will be hitting the next stage all the more sooner than mine. The one when you get to help them pick out their first place, plan their wedding and become a grandma! Not that I’m rushing ANY of that stuff by any means! You’re watching them discover their independence.

      The feast was insane! It’s something only the fourth grade does. It was really cool to be there for that. Not a much sugar as the ice cream parties we’ve had in the park.

      Hope you enjoyed a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving Tameri! Glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂

  15. I was so lucky when my kids were little I stayed home all the time with them and went to all the school functions. what fun. this year, we took my granddaughter to an open house at the same school’! my 3 children went to the same school from kindergarten to grade 9 and now this little girl is going to the same place.

    what a trip!

  16. Debra Kristi says:

    That’s really cool Louise! At our school they attempt to put siblings with the same teachers. I wonder if they will do that with your granddaughter – assuming the teachers are still there.

    Great memories are created when you can be involved like that. Kudos to you. 🙂

  17. I’m only a mom to furry and feathered ‘kids’ but reading your story was very touching. You made it sound fun, funny and endearing all together. I have grandkids through marriage, and I’m finding I have to learn how to be around kids, something I haven’t been very good at in the past. It’s wonderful to read stories like yours and get some helpful hints.

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