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Winnie the Pooh’s Thanksgiving

Dearest Elena...

The holiday we’re celebrating this month is Thanksgiving. You’ll notice that Thanksgiving has the word thanks in it because this holiday is all about celebrating things we are thankful for. Winnie the Pooh’s Thanksgiving by Bruce Talkington is one of my all-time favorites.

Our story begins as Pooh’s friends are looking for him. He requests that they gather together. “Why the meeting?” they ask. Pooh explains that today he suddenly became very aware of how special breakfast could be, like so many things —sunsets and birthdays, surprises and nap times, hugs and extra dessert. He explains that breakfast is more than just today. It is an always-there-when-a-bear-needs-it sort of thing. Piglet responds, “You mean you were grateful, Pooh?” “Yes, exactly! he replies. It is such a wonderful thank-you-very-much feeling and so very,very large. I knew I had to share this with those I’m most grateful for.

Owl asks, “Who are those you speak of?” Pooh says, “Well, all of you of course, my very best and dearest friends. Then each of his friends expresses what they are most grateful for.

Now, Elena, gratefulness is connected to Thanksgiving because being grateful is another way of expressing thanks. How can I explain what it means to be grateful? You are grateful for things for simply being what they are and bringing something to you, something that has made you happy, or that you really needed. By being grateful, you honor that thing and give thanks for it.

Thanksgiving is the day we celebrate those things for which we give thanks, and we have a great feast with our friends and family. This holiday is a part of American history that began when earliest settlers came to America long ago. These were the Pilgrims who came from England. Having survived their first winter, they celebrated by making an enormous feast to thank the Indians who were here before them and helped them enormously. They taught them how to grow crops, to hunt and build places of shelter. Without the Indians, the Pilgrims couldn’t have survived. On our Thanksgiving table we will eat some of the same foods eaten so long ago – turkey; sweet and mashed potatoes; cranberry sauce and stuffing.

Elena, can you guess what I am most thankful for on Thanksgiving? Yep! I am most thankful for you, and especially thankful that I met Daddy and, with God’s grace, we brought you into this world. You have brought a joy that is so profound no words could ever express the depth of our gratitude. We love you exactly as you are. You don’t have to do a single thing, but be you. Your essence is beautiful.

Thanksgiving was the first holiday we celebrated together. You were born the week before, our little miracle. Every day I tell Daddy I’m overwhelmed with the love you inspire. It makes my heart swell.

Like Pooh, Mommy is most grateful for the special people in her life, namely you and Daddy. So, everyday feels like Thanksgiving to me!

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