Welcome to the November 2012 Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Gratitude and Traditions
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by Authentic Parenting and Living Peacefully with Children. This month our participants have written about gratitude and traditions by sharing what they are grateful for, how they share gratitude with their children, or about traditions they have with their families. The Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival will be taking a break in December, but we hope you will join us for the great line up of themes we have for 2013!
Winter abounds with holidays – days to cheer us up during the dark and gloomy days of shortened daylight and colder temperatures and less available food. For our family, the holiday season has us going inside, not just physically to avoid the color but also mentally, or you could say spiritually, as we examine where we are in our lives and where we want to be.
For us Halcyon, a time of quiet reflection and resolution, encompasses the holiday season. With the advent of cold weather and dark days, we find ourselves not only looking forward to brighter, warmer days, but also finding appreciation for what we have – food, shelter, warmth, and family (whether by blood or by choice).
We have eschewed the rushing about seen by so many in our culture for a simpler, more introspective celebration. Certainly, we give gifts to one another, but we tend to put much thought into giving authentic gifts – ones which not only fall within our values but which will also be appreciated by the recipient. Most of our gifts are handmade and planned for well in advance. We help our children make gifts for their siblings, which not only helps them to think about something which would be greatly appreciated but gives them, and us, the gift of our time together.
We drink hot apple cider and hot chocolate while playing board games or snuggling under blankets while watching a movie together. We spend time at home, appreciating one another and the chance to slow done after a busy year. We spend time thinking about how the current year has been going and what changes would be beneficial for us as individuals and as a family. We look toward the upcoming year, a blank slate of opportunities and possibilities for growth and enjoyment.
Slowing down allows us to better appreciate our lives, whether that means the opportunities and necessities afforded us or the people we embrace. Heading inside, while giving us time for introspection, reminds us who the most important people are. Spending time as a family rather than running around to programs and get togethers allows us to spend peaceful time together.
Visit Living Peacefully with Children and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in next year’s Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon November 30 with all the carnival links.)
- Counting My Blessings — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama expresses the importance of reflecting daily on all of her blessings, a ritual she shares with her daughter. Jennifer also shares a few things that she is most grateful for. .
- Thanksgiving — It really is true that what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. Vicky at Single Mother Ahoy had no choice but to be thankful for all the things that had a good go at finishing her off this year!
- My little gratitude list — Stone Age Parent provides a summary list of all that she is grateful for in her life, including her son, her family, her home, her friends and her country.
- Baking Bread and Nurturing Wonder— Amy W. at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work shares her way of keeping family traditions alive and nurturing a sense of wonder and thankfulness for food through preparing homemade bread during the Holidays.
- Going Inside for the Winter Holidays — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children reflects that going inside, both physically and figuratively, allows her family to enjoy the winter season in peace and reflection with plenty of time for appreciation of the most important people in her life.
- Traditions — Sustainable Mum discusses the difficulty of establishing traditions that were important in her own childhood for her own children.
- Giving thanks for parenthood — Can we truly give thanks for both the darkness and the light on our parenting journey? Shonnie from Heart-Led Parenting shares her perspective on how gratitude for all that life offers is possible and essential.
- A Tree for the Birds— Alisha at Cinnamon and Sassafras shares her family’s new tradition of skipping a traditional Christmas tree in favor of one in the yard.
- Cultivating Gratitude In Children — Lindy at Poppy Soap Co. shares her unique plan for helping her son understand just how blessed they are as a family.
- Are You Truly Grateful — Laura at Authentic Parenting ponders about the ramifications of gratitude as a characteristic.
- Maintaining Traditions Through Family Changes — Jenn from Monkey Butt Junction talks about how changes in her family have led to changing traditions.
Yes!! I think from this year onward, my family will do a no artificial lights, no electronics after sundown for advent, which will be a great opportunity to reconnect. Sadly in these parts of the world, the weather does not foster connection… I still have to adapt to warm christmases.
ooooh, I might try this…not sure I can get DH on board, but it would be wonderful.
We are not Christmas celebrators in the traditional sense as mhy husband is Muslim. While I grew up celebrating in the traditional way, I find it very peaceful to start new traditions based in coming together as a fmaily and enjoy the simplicity of winter. Thanks for some inspiration!
Mandy, I resonate with your appreciation of the slower more connected ways of being, especially at a time when much of the world around us in frantically spinning in busyness. As my daughter grows, I would like to further embrace holy days like the winter solstice as reminders of the bigger gifts (sunlight, an abundant planet, etc.) we get every day.
I love your reflection on this season as a time to move inward, reflect, and snuggle. We are totally there.
Thanks for your post, sharing your traditions in the holiday festive season, Halycon. I like the way you all slow down, going inwards retreating into your home as well as yourselves. This is so important, this slowing down and introspection, yet so many of us need to remember and practice this, especially as our lives get busier and busier in the west during the festive season.
Please have a look at my contribution to the blog carnival, My Little Gratitude list;
I’m in your commenting group.
Thanks a lot.