2020 has been nothing short of a mixed bag. But with Fall in the air, and a transition of seasons among us, there’s never been a better time to reflect on all of the GOOD that is still happening this year.
While this Fall season may look different than most, the holidays and all that comes with the last three months of the year are still bound to be as busy as ever.
Enter: The Thankful Pumpkin
Eight years ago, author Amy Latta found her family in this same predicament. Getting bogged down by the busy-ness of the season, and wanting to teach her son Noah, then 3, about gratitude and Thanksgiving.
She came up with the idea of using a pumpkin as a place to write down the things her family was thankful for, and simply called it, the Thankful Pumpkin. It’s a tradition every family needs in their lives as we look to close out this dumpster fire of a year by reflecting on all of the good that has happened.
“At meals, we were playing the ‘thankful game,’ where we would take turns going around the table and saying things we were grateful for, and I thought it would be fun for [Noah] — and for all of us — to physically see just how many blessings that added up to,” Latta told TODAY Parents.
They had recently visited a pumpkin patch near their home in Hampstead, Maryland, and brought home several pumpkins. Latta grabbed one and began marking down the things they were grateful for with permanent marker.
And so, the Thankful Pumpkin was born.
“It was a great visual reminder of how blessed we are, and he loved watching the pumpkin fill up as we added to it every day,” she said.
Every year for the past seven years, they’ve taken photos of their Thankful Pumpkin. And every year, they sit together as a family and flip through the photos, laughing about some of the different things that have made it onto their pumpkins.
A few years ago, Latta’s family adopted adopted an 11-year-old boy from Chengdu, China. Her new son, Nathan, got here just in time to take part in the family’s Thankful Pumpkin tradition, and it was a year they will never forget.
“When we got home from China and started our pumpkin, we explained the activity to him and he was excited to participate,” said Latta. “At the time, he spoke very little English, so he wrote the Chinese characters for mama, baba (daddy), didi (little brother), and jiating (family). It was our first bi-lingual pumpkin and it was so beautiful.
“It touched my heart so much, and all of us certainly had many extra things to be thankful for last fall as we started life as a family of four,” said Latta
Latta shared the Thankful Pumpkin on her blog, Amy Latta Creations, in an effort to help other busy parents find a simple and meaningful tradition to do with their kids during the busy holiday season.
People across the internet have adopted the tradition as their own, putting pen to pumpkin and cultivating gratitude during one of the busiest times of the year.
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