How to Explain Thanksgiving to a Child

As each significant holiday roles around, I contemplate how to discuss its’ significance with my children.

This year, as Thanksgiving quickly approaches, our four-year-old son cut me off at the pass.  Here’s how it all went down, while driving home from preschool pick-up:

So, Honey, have you learned anything at preschool about Thanksgiving?”

~ Long pause while driving along a Montana back country road; boy looking out window at passing tractors and tall, yellowed wheat grass.~

“Yeah.  Today we learned about Dilvrums.”

~Another long pause.  This time it’s me…trying to figure out what in the hell a Dilvrum is.  Think…think…think…oh yeah! Pilgrims!

“Ah, yes!  Dilvrums!  What did you learn about Dilvrums?”

“They’re mean, and they paste weird things on their forebrows and have pets called Robby Foxes.  They shoot people and kill people and push other people.  They’re real mean.”

~An even longer pause: Think…think…think…they paste weird things? Ah yes…the buckles on the black Pilgrim hats. Forebrows?  Foreheads + eyebrows = forebrows.  Got it!  Killing and shooting???  Hhhhmmm will have to save that for another conversation.  Robby Foxes???  No idea…~

“Tell me more about the Robby Foxes, Honey.  What exactly are those?”

“They’re pets, Mom!  Just like I told you!  They dig holes in the ground.  They’re real sneaky.  They’re actually statues…but they’re alive, so they can dig holes.  Yeah.  Yeah.  That’s what they are.  Robby Foxes.”

“And why are the Dilvrums so mean?”

“I don’t know, they just are.”

“Hhhhmmm.  Did you learn anything else about Thanksgiving?”

“When my teacher asked us what we all knew about Thanksgiving, I raised my hand and said it’s all about Jesus.  She said I was wrong.”

“Oh.  Well, were you thinking about Christmas when you answered that question?”

“Yeah!  I was!  I said Christmas was all about Jesus!  She still said I was wrong!”

~Ok.  I know these preschool teachers too well.  Especially the head teacher, whom I absolutely and positively adore.  I know she wouldn’t say that about Christmas and Jesus.  Take it in context, Kimmelin.  Take it in context.  He just told me Thanksgiving is all about “Dilvrums who shoot and kill other people…. who harbor some sort of beasts called Robby Foxes…(I can’t believe I’m admitting my son was talking about make-believe people that shoot and kill…we don’t even let our kids play guns, bows & arrows or anything else of the sort, let alone watch tv or video games with an ounce of violence…play with toys guns, etc.  Again, that’s for another conversation.)

Anyway, you get the picture.

As of now, there are two and a half days left until Thanksgiving.  Do you think I’ll be able to convince him of the real Thanksgiving story by then???



Filed under holidays, Kids, Living

2 responses to “How to Explain Thanksgiving to a Child

  1. Good luck! 😀

    And have a great Thanksgiving!

  2. Cintia

    I know it’s too late..but…later then never!!
    I think that are many ways to convince your child about the real story of Thanksgiving. I would choose a book (for his appropriate age) and explain the story. Then, how about make some art & craft…He would get so into to it and possibly understand the meaning of Thanksgiving

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