Yes, Virginia, Thanksgiving is a special day, a special weekend, a special time, but your learning does not need to stop over this long weekend.

It seems this year the weather prediction in Southern Arizona is for rain. Then use the mud in your driveway to write “thanks,” with your fingers, your toes, a popsicle stick or a twig. You can even continue to write the names of all the people you want to thank, or all the people who are making your Thanksgiving dinner while you play in the rain and mud.

If it does not rain, find your old sidewalk chalk to write “thanks” on your driveway and draw pictures of all the things you are thankful for. Writing and drawing are good for our brains and our bodies.

If you must stay inside, you can do the same thing on your iPad or smartphone. Share what you put on your digital with your brothers and sisters, mom and dad, grandpa and grandma, even your pesky cousins. See if they think of things and people you have forgotten.

Think of other things to be thankful for. I bet you can think of 10, but can you think of 20, 30 or even 100? Have a contest with the other kids with whom you are sharing the day or make it a weekend activity in order to get to 100 things to be grateful for. Adult family members can add to your list by sharing what they are grateful for. Their reward can be special time spent with you.

As the sun shines, enjoy a picnic in the park after you have walked or run the trails. Don’t forget to stop and be thankful for the changing leaves and lingering flowers you may find. Use these special hours to thank the adults who brought you to the park to be with you, to protect you and for sharing their time to be with you.

We need to pause a moment to thank for ourselves, who we are, and how we have arms, legs, eyes and ears to enjoy our world. We did not create ourselves and we did not get here by accident. We were made to love who we are and where we are.

Thanksgiving is a time to really think of what we have, how we are blessed if we even have one good friend to listen and love us. We don’t need all the friends we have on Facebook if we have a really good friend.

We all have so much that we sometimes think we deserve all that we have, and we have too much. It blinds us to be grateful for even one thing. What could be even one thing we have that helps us best to know how blessed we are this Thanksgiving time?

Gratitude opens you up to the abundance that is out there and lets you recognize the goodness in your life. — Dr. Jeffrey Froh

Enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!

Southern Arizona resident Bette Mroz is a former teacher, reading specialist and principal. As a mother and grandmother, she continues to help her family learn. She can be contacted at

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