Monday, November 23, 2009

An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving

"Many years ago, up among the New Hampshire hills, lived Farmer Bassett, with a house full of sturdy sons and daughters growing up about him. They were poor in money, but rich in land and love, for the wide acres of wood, corn, and pasture land fed, warmed, and clothed the flock, while mutual patience, affection, and courage made the old farm-house a very happy home." With those words, Louisa May Alcott opens her short story, An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving.

The story takes place on the day before Thanksgiving amidst the flurry of activity necessary for the upcoming feast. All but the baby sleeping in his cradle have a part in the holiday preparations. Ms. Alcott has a wonderful way of elevating the duties of homelife to a thing of beauty--children of all ages doing what they can to help while enjoying each other's company. And then word comes that Mrs. Bassett must leave in haste to attend to her ailing mother.

In the blink of an eye, all children are helping their parents prepare for their trip. Only the baby will accompany the mother and father. The remaining 7 children are hurredly given their assignments and their mother's promise to "give them a dinner [they] won't forget in a hurry" when she returns. To find out what happens while their parents are gone, you can download the story (free) at Homeschool Freebie of the Day. While you are there, take a look at the other wonderful resources available to download throughout the week of Thanksgiving.

When you've printed off your copy, have your children illustrate parts of the story and put it in a binder or have it comb-bound so you can revisit the story each Thanksgiving. After you've read the story, you can treat your family to watching the movie. That's another tradition I look forward to starting (when I get my copy!).

Happy Thanksgiving!


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