by Pam Tinsley
Each year, in early November, our daughter-in-law helps our granddaughter, Sienna, make a “Grateful Turkey” out of construction paper. This year Sienna was old enough to cut Turkey’s feathers out, make its eyes, and put socks on its feet. Sienna tells Katie what she’s grateful for, and Katie writes each item on a feather. With the addition of each feather, Sienna’s “Grateful Turkey” grows more and more grateful until it has a full complement of colorful feathers.
So, just what is 3½-year-old Sienna grateful for? “Spending time with my family; Daddy playing with me before he goes to work; Omi and G’Dad babysitting me even when I’m sick; Emma showing me how to use my inhaler; Momma and our coffee/hot cocoa dates.”
Eleven of Grateful Turkey’s twelve feathers involve other people. The lone feather that doesn’t expressly refer to others reads, “the goody bag I got on Halloween.” Yet, in some ways even that feather is expressing gratitude for others. You see, this Halloween Sienna was quite ill and spent the evening at urgent care instead of trick or treating. The thoughtfulness of others helped her have a bit of Halloween after all!
Sienna’s Grateful Turkey is more than a pretty Thanksgiving decoration. It’s a symbol of the quality time that she spends with her mom. It’s a symbol of how she thoughtfully considers and thanks God for blessings. It’s a sign of her openness to God’s love and how God is already transforming this little one.
We are all called to live lives of love, care, generosity, and gratitude. We are called to love what God loves: our neighbor, ourselves, and all of creation. In short, we are called to be God’s Grateful People, sharing our gratitude with a flourish.