Wednesday, April 30, 2014

May Day, May Day!

As a kid, I remember making little May Day baskets and trying to leave them on a few of my neighbor's doorsteps without them seeing me.  I also remember the feeling of anxiety that went along with trying to do this secretly.  So even though I want to start a May Day tradition for our family, I would prefer it being something that can be done without any extra stress.

That's where this activity from comes in.  The activity is simple and also relates to one of our family values, gratitude.  It's also an activity that can work with a variety of ages and grow with your family over the years.

Here's the activity plan:
  1. Say this prayer aloud to begin: Lord, please give us a spirit of gratitude and the eyes to see the many blessings in our every-day lives. Amen.
  2. Sit down together and ask each family member to consider the nice things that someone has done for them in the last several days or weeks:
    • Help them by sharing your own ideas first, or consider encouraging them with these types of suggestions:
    1. Did someone share with you at school?
    2. If you fell or were hurt, did someone help you?
    3. Have you received a gift or surprise from a relative?
    4. How have your neighbors helped you lately?
    5. Have you received any unexpected phone calls or letters lately?
    6. Did you teacher help with a particularly difficult task at school?
    7. Have you attended a friend's birthday party or play date?
    8. When recently has Mom or Dad or a sibling done something nice for you?
  3. Give everyone a note card or piece of paper to write a thank you note to one special person. Thank them for their kindness, thoughtfulness or generosity. The littlest ones may not be able to write, but they can decorate cards and perhaps sign their name. Older children, who have mastered the skill of writing, are likely to be more focused on the message.
  4. Cards can be decorated with a spring theme, including flowers, trees, animals, symbols of Easter, and colors that convey new life.
  5. Address each card, put a stamp on it, and take it to the mailbox.
  6. Optional: Consider making this a weekly or monthly habit known as "Thank You Hour."

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