Be Grateful Together

What an exciting time of year!  One of the biggest American holidays is celebrated this month, Thanksgiving!  It sets the tone for family, being thankful and holiday spirit.  It is a great time to reconnect with far away relatives and to have more family time.  For some of us, this is the best time of the year.  For others, it is a hard time, maybe full of family conflict or longing for people or simpler times.  Use the ideas here to help keep your family connected and find some stress free activities to help throughout the month.


With the colder weather coming, a nice trip to your local library is a great way to spend an afternoon or Saturday morning.  All libraries do seasonal displays.  Pick up some books about other cultures and traditions and learn something new together. Help build your child’s empathy by giving him exposure to other cultures and experiences.   For example, what countries celebrate All Saints Day or what country celebrates Armistice Day?  Learn more about why America celebrates Thanksgiving and talk about how the pilgrims might have felt when they arrived in America.  When children are exposed to a variety of feelings and experiences via books, their social skills are improved.  Children with strong social skills who are empathetic (can think of how others feel) are more resilient!  And resilient children are better prepared to be successful in the future.


Ready for some seasonal activities?  Check out Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens  for a variety of activities and the beginning of their ever popular Dominion GardenFest of Lights in Living Color.  Maymont is providing holiday tours at the Mansion.   You can go watch the Ashland Olde Time Holiday Parade also this month.  Laughter is one of the best stress relievers so if your family starts to feel overwhelmed, try staging a joke contest.  Put some knock knock jokes in your children’s lunch box.  For some joke ideas, check out Ducksters.  Make sure your family has lots of down time and play together.  As always, getting down on the floor and playing legos, blocks, dolls and cars are always great ways to stay connected.  Let your children direct the play and be prepared to be amazed by their imaginations.


This is the season of giving. Teaching your child to help others builds character, empathy, and responsibility plus an understanding of other people’s needs. There are so many ways to help others, from helping an older family member rake leaves to collecting aluminum cans for a cause. Volunteering is a rewarding way to spend quality time as a family as well make a difference in your community. For volunteering and donation opportunities for the holiday season, visit The Giving Heart’s Community Thanksgiving Feast will be Thursday, November 23.  Put it on your calendar now!

For more ideas, check out and

Happy November!



Enjoy the month and your time together!  Remember to stay healthy together, to share together and to play and learn together.
Families that can do those things are definitely magic!



Updated November 2017