Thanksgiving is right around the corner. At a time
of year that is supposed to be based in gratitude and appreciation
for all that we have, I am finding it extremely hard to focus on
what this time of year is all about.
As a parent, I feel this time of year brings with
it a lot of added stress. We are coming off the Halloween madness.
For a lot of schools it is report card time, parent teacher
conferences are coming up and some athletic seasons are ending,
while new ones begin. In addition to the regular grind of
parenting, we are faced with the impending holiday season which
brings with it portrait sessions, greeting cards, decorations,
baking, shopping, wrapping and don't even get me started on the Elf
on the Shelf pressure.
I feel like I am simultaneously being pulled back
into the past and toward the future.
Every time I pass the candy bowl I am reminded of
the past. Not only does this Halloween reminder trigger the
inevitable mental debate of whether the calories are worth it
today, it also reminds me of all the fall décor that needs to be
taken down. It also doesn't help that my children are wondering why
they cannot wear their costumes to school every day.
Also, the mere fact that I cannot open my email or
set foot into a store without seeing Christmas everywhere, is
reminding me of my every growing holiday to-do list. (which reminds
me I have to get the big bottle of vanilla at Costco this
This past/future dynamic is splitting me right down
the middle and making me want so desperately to take a breath and
enjoy what this time of year is all about: counting my
Since I kind of have a crafting problem, I decided
to make me and my family accountable through a little something I
put together. It took no time at all. I created a thank you jar
filled with pieces of driftwood. Each day we write what we are
thankful for on the driftwood and place it in the jar. Unlike the
candy bowl or the computer, when I walk past this jar, I feel a
complete sense of peace.
There are a million and one ways to put something
like this together. If you have a jar or a dish, some rocks, scrap
wood, paper leaves, or even corks (which c'mon, you're a parent, we
all know have corks in your house from all of the wine consumption)
you can put this craft together yourself.
While I will not be able to escape the candy bowl
and I cannot ignore the Christmas portrait appointment that still
needs to be made, I have decided that I am going take a minute or
two each day and remember how blessed we are, because we truly
Erin Skibinski is a mom of three living in Frankfort.
See more of Erin's stories here.
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