Thanksgiving: The Gentle Holiday

November 14, 2007 at 2:22 am | Posted in dads, Families, Holidays, Mothers, Self Esteem, Wednesday Wisdom | Leave a comment
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Thanksgiving is what I call the gentle holiday.  All the other holidays have energized and elaborate activities.  Thanksgiving is more or less a meal.  It is a time when families and friends have time off from regular activities and get together.  Of course there is the hassle of getting to these gatherings.  But once people have arrived there is not much that is planned-no costumes and trick or treating, no major gift giving, no fireworks.  I think of it as perfect time to be able to throw in a few holiday activities that will boost your family’s self-esteem.

One of my favorites is the Thanksgiving Tree.  This is not a real tree! 

  • You trace your child on a piece of paper with legs together to form the trunk and arms out to form branches.  If you have more than one child have each child be traced on top of the other.  If you have one child trace their arms in a few different positions.   This is the leafless Thanksgiving Tree. 
  • Then cut construction paper in simple leaf shapes.  These will be the Thanksgiving leaves.  (You can attach the scraps to be leaves that have fallen on the ground.)  Your family and friends write what they are thankful for on these leaves.
  • Of course everyone is thankful for more than one thing.  Some things are serious, some are sentimental, and don’t forget the funny things that you are thankful for.  Some things are tangible-like food and shelter- some are past experiences-like swimming at the beach or going on a special trip- and some are thoughts- loving your grandmother. 
  • Each time you have a thankful idea you write it on a leaf and tape it up on the tree.  Of course the goal is to get the tree to be covered with these leaves.  This becomes a beautiful decoration and a lovely declaration that your family has lots to be thankful for. 

By declaring in such a concrete way what you are thankful for you teach your child that they as an individual and as a family come from a place of plenty.  That this plenty is not about how they compare to others, but just basic and simple things.

Being thankful for the basic and simple is a wonderful way to engage your child in learning to look inside for self approval rather than to look to the outside to be approved of by others.  When you look inside you create and enhance natural high self-esteem. 

For more information about how to use holidays to boost natural self-esteem or to learn about natural self-esteem go to feel free to contact Grace E. Mauzy at

Dont Forget:  Check out the GEM Spotlight for a week of audios and printables to inspire great parenting.


About Grace:
Grace E. Mauzy, MA works with overwhelmed, stressed parents having difficulty comfortably cope with parenting. Parents learn positive intervention utilizing strategies and tactics to develop high self-esteem in children. Grace is the founder of GEM Parenting – an online community dedicated to parenting with passion, purpose, and integrity. ( Through Grace’s professional and personal life experiences, she has a unique ability to understand and empower parents to implement new parenting styles, allowing them to challenge themselves to break free of their destructive behaviors and attitudes.  And raise their children with confidence, peace, and harmony.  To learn more about her powerful speaking, coaching, and workshops, or to receive Grace’s motivating audio course-7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats and How to Avoid Them– visit


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