Kay's blog that I'm not a big fan of Thanksgiving. After I made that statement, I felt like the biggest Thanksgiving Scrooge. I went back to her blog later in the day, and lo and behold, I found her wondering why. The whys don't really bear repeating, but I did make note that I DO do things that cause me to enjoy the holiday a lot more than I used to.
One Thanksgiving tradition is my Thanksgiving Mix making with my class. The kids bring in the ingredients, we clean the room well, we wash our hands, set up an assembly line (which aligns with our 4th grade social studies curriculum), and we get to mixing. The last step in the line is to attach a label with the explanation for each item. The kids love the experience and bringing home a treat to share. (Side note, this year I have a student who is Jehovah's Witness, so we're making it a "fall mix" so he can participate. However most of the bag labels will read similar to the ingredient list below.)
We have a week off for the holiday, and with all that time to do so, a few of my students wind up making the mix to take to their family parties. I love that. Oh, and we also make enough bags to give one to each staff member, so my peers look forward to this too!
Here's what's in it and why:
Shaped like a cornucopia, a symbol of our nation's abundance
Arms folded in prayer, a freedom sought by those who celebrated the first Thanksgiving
Food was so scarce that Pilgrims survived on just a few kernels of corn a day during their first winter
Promise of future harvests to be reaped only if seeds are planted and tended with diligence
Harvest gifts from our bountiful land
M & M's
Memories of those who came before us and memories of those whom we miss on this and every day
The love of family and friends that sweetens our lives, a symbol of giving to those we know and to those who are strangers except for knowing of our kindnesses
Some added helps: the pretzels are mini twist in variety, for seeds I use sunflower kernels, raisins are the dried fruit, and I make sure I get the candy corn now (I'm shopping for this today), so it's easier to find (and on clearance). Oh and of course, we always talk about putting Bugles on our fingers like witches' nails. That's part of the tradition too!
Since this is such a hit, I am sharing it early in hopes someone will come along the recipe and think it's as sweetly touching as I do!