Lots of Moms have a love/hate relationship with Thanksgiving. We know there is something really wonderful and special in being able to have our family around us. We take pride in preparing a great meal to be shared by those we care about. We love the warmth the day brings to our hearts. What don’t we like? The shopping, the hours of chopping, cooking, traveling, and just being so incredibly busy right up to when the dinner is on the table. And it all goes by so fast!
Our tweens watch us as we make our preparations, and they even help. This year my 7-year old decided she wanted to contribute to the family meal with her special dessert-a vanilla pudding pie. As I watched her stirring the pudding pot, we talked about Thanksgiving and what it means to us. She gave me her ‘historical’ perspective. She told me about the Indians and the Pilgrims and what they ate on the day of thanks. She told me that Thanksgiving wasn’t an official holiday until President Lincoln declared it so. And she told me she was grateful for so many things in her life. She said that she wrote a short prayer to share at our Thanksgiving table. Her little monologue underscored for me what I am most thankful for.
It made me think about little girls who are not as fortunate as my daughter, and I started to talk to her about the lives of girls around the world and what their lives might be like on our Thanksgiving Day. The more we talked about it, we came to a decision. We want to do something for those girls. And so on the eve of Thanksgiving Day, we decided that we were going to look for charities that make a difference in girls’ lives. My daughter agreed that over the next four weeks she would donate some of the money she has saved to four different charities that help girls around the world. My assignment is to find those charities for her to read about. No matter how busy I get this holiday season, I am looking forward to this assignment and the conversations my daughter and I will have on this subject. Tween philanthropy gives to those who give as well as those who receive.
The first group I am going to present to her is Girls’ Learn International. Perhaps you and your tween want to visit http://www.girlslearn.org to learn how you can make a difference in girls’ lives around the world. Help her to understand that her donation can bring hope and joy to another girl’s life. Thank you.