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Thank You Notes

Hooray! If you're reading this, give yourself a little pat on the back - you've made it to the end of November! It has certainly been a year for the history books, and we think that makes this season even more special - even if we might be celebrating a little differently. While Thanksgivings of the past have focused on feasting, family, and football, this year we're taking time to reflect on all the reasons we have for feeling thankful. Here are some ways other subscribers are reimagining Thanksgiving activities this year!

Gratitude One Liners

Add a little daily gratitude into your life by writing down one thing you appreciated on your calendar. Whether you keep a paper calendar, or a digital one, just recording a single word each day prompts your mind to look out for the good things. This is a great practice for families - invite sharing at the dinner table, or write your thanks on a shared family calendar. If you share Google calendars, you can create a new calendar just for gratitude. 

A pair of hands taking a card that says "Thanks" out of a green envelopeTraditional Thank You Notes

Many of us are celebrating the season separated from friends and family this year. Take the time apart to write a traditional, handwritten thank you to someone on Thanksgiving and mail it. Everyone loves snail mail and none of us gets enough real letters anymore!

Safe Sharing

Many non-profit support and resource centers are gearing up for a tough winter. Look up a shelter in your area and find out what they could use. Spend some time collecting items from around your house, or create care packages and drop them off (make sure you check their specific guidelines for safe social distancing).

Fresh Perspective

If you're traveling for the holiday, your journey may be longer than usual. If you're staying at home, you might have more time to yourself. Either way, there's more time for finding new perspective in a story! Here are a few that might spark your interest.

Cover art: The top of a black and white dairy cow against a blue sky with animal shaped clouds and a little bee flying near her right earButtercup's Lovely Day by Carolyn Beck

In rhyming text that winds like a creek through a farmer's field, the book takes readers on a journey through one lovely day in Buttercup's life. Whether she is ruminating on the mud beneath her feet or on the moon and the stars in the blue-black sky, she draws us deep into her rich and wonderful world, reminding us all to be grateful for life's simple pleasures.                                                

Cover art: An orange cat and many fruits and vegetables including strawberries, corn, carrots, and a family of mice

Chato's Kitchen by Gary Soto

Chato invites a family of mice to his house to share a tasty meal but to his surprise ends up eating tortillas and not them for dinner!

 

 

Cover art: A child's face with green foliage and flowers for hair with two brown braids tied with green ribbonsIsland Treasures: Growing Up in Cuba by Alma Flor Ada

The author of My Name Is Maria Isabel offers an inspiring look at her childhood in Cuba in this collection that includes Where the Flame Trees Bloom, Under the Royal Palms, five new stories, and more. These true autobiographical tales from renowned Hispanic author and educator Alma Flor Ada are filled with family love and traditions, secrets and deep friendships, and a gorgeous, moving picture of the island of Cuba, where Alma Flor grew up. Told through the eyes of a child, a whole world comes to life in these stories. Heartwarming, poignant, and often humorous, this wonderful collection encourages readers to discover the stories in their own lives-and to celebrate the joys and struggles we all share, no matter where or when we grew up.

Cover art: Black and white photo of children hanging out of train car windowsOrphan Train Rider: One Boy's True Story by Andrea Warren

Between 1854 and 1930, more than 200,000 orphaned or abandoned children were sent west on orphan trains to find new homes. Some were adopted by loving families; others were not as fortunate. In recent years, some of the riders have begun to share their stories. Andrea Warren alternates chapters about the history of the orphan trains with the story of Lee Nailling, who in 1926 rode an orphan train to Texas.

Looking for more ways to celebrate this thankful season?

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