Winter 2012 -- Enjoying the Anticipation

Dear Friends

Two years ago, my husband's 99-year-old grandmother came to live with us. We soon found out that she loved to host family parties, and the minute one celebration was over, she was eager to start planning the next one. Every party we had was more fun because of the joy she took in planning, preparing, and cleaning up afterwards.

The best holiday of all was Thanksgiving. After our Labor Day gathering was over, she wanted to know when everyone would be coming again. When she heard it was Thanksgiving, she wanted to start planning, right then and there. Normally, we don't deviate much with what we have and do for Thanksgiving, so I wouldn't have started thinking about it for months. However, if Grandma Alice thought it was fun, then I would start planning Thanksgiving with her nearly 3 months in advance. And we did. She went over the menu at least once a week with me, discussing the traditional things and suggesting new ones. She scrutinized the recipes, helped create the grocery list, and planned the decorations.

When the time came for the huge grocery shopping trip that Thanksgiving always entails, Grandma Alice wanted to be part of it. Although going to the market was one of her favorite activities, I usually included her when I only had to pick up a few things, as she was in a wheelchair and it was easy to have a basket in her lap for those items. But she was so excited about Thanksgiving that I decided I could somehow manage to push her wheelchair and the grocery cart. I'm still wondering how I managed, but from scouring the produce department to helping pay for the groceries, she loved every minute of it. By the time we returned home four hours later, she was exhausted, but too delighted to even take her nap. Instead, she wanted to chop cranberries, celery, and nuts. She wanted to make bows for decorations and fold the napkins. She enjoyed every moment of creating what turned out to be the most memorable Thanksgiving my family has ever had.

Grandma Alice passed away last summer, but having experienced last Thanksgiving with her, I realize that not only was I more engaged in the planning and preparation than in years before, but so was the rest of my family. I'm grateful for the wonderful gift of coming together and celebrating that she gave to us.

Not only do I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, I wish you opportunities to be thankful for the experience of any joy, enthusiasm, and anticipation in the planning and preparation -- and maybe even in the clean up! Sort of like having little thanksgivings within Thanksgiving.

Other Issues:
From our archives -- Offering Wisdom to New Moms

From our archives -- The Best Good Deed

From our archives -- Embracing the Wonder of Children

From our archives -- Encouraging children to live their bliss

From our archives

Holiday 2013 -- Embracing the World of Wonder

Winter 2013 -- Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving

Fall 2013 -- Finding Beauty in the Everyday Tasks

Late Summer 2013 - Taking Our Own Advice

Midsummer 2013 -- Appreciating Nature's Bounty

Early Summer 2013 -- Being Prepared

Late Spring 2013 -- Having Realistic Expectations

Spring 2013 -- Offering Mothering Wisdom

Early Spring 2013 -- Being True to Our Nature

Holiday 2012 -- Appreciate the Goodness

Early Fall 2012 -- Looking Back to Appreciate Now

Summer 2012 -- Chinaberry's History & Future

Early Summer 2012 -- My Dad

Late Spring 2012 -- My Satisfying Yet Untraditional Upbringing

Spring 2012 - The Consequences of Our Actions

Early Spring 2012 - Learning From Experience

Winter 2011 - The Small Moments

Holiday 2011 - The Good Deed

Fall 2011 - Gratitude

Late Summer 2011 - Overwhelmed? You're Not Alone.

Midsummer 2011 - Louise's Gallery

Early Summer 2011 - Flying 101: Giving Them Wings

Late Spring 2011 - Letting Them Fail

Spring 2011

Early Spring 2011 - Encouraging Your Kids to Live Their Bliss

Fall 2010 - The Chinaberry Commitment

Late Summer 2010 - In the Blink of an Eye

Midsummer 2010 - It's Her Story

Early Summer 2010 - Weathering the Storm

Gifts From My Mother

Spring 2010 - Enjoy the Ride

Early Spring 2010 - Enter the Land of Dirt and Bugs

Winter 2009 - Less Cleaning, More Meaning

Holiday 2009 - Finding Gratitude Every Day

Fall 2009 - Teaching Children Through Our Actions

Late Summer 2009 - A Spoonful of Sugar

Midsummer 2009 - Give Your Kids the Gift of Boredom this Summer

Early Summer 2009 - Who's the Kid and Who's the Parent?

Late Spring 2009 - Making Connections

Spring 2009 - Fully Engaging With Our Children

Early Spring 2009 - Building Character While Playing Characters

Winter 2008 - Never Underestimate the Value of a Good Hello

Holiday 2008

Fall 2008

Late Summer 2008

Midsummer 2008

Early Summer 2008

Late Spring 2008

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Winter 2007

Holiday 2007

Fall 2007

Late Summer 2007

Midsummer 2007

Early Summer 2007

Late Spring 2007

Spring 2007

Early Spring 2007

Winter 2006

Holiday 2006

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