The word itself evokes memories of pungent aromas and warm gatherings of family and friends. As with all holidays, we spend moments reflecting on past gatherings, recalling conversations, and sharing memories. If you think of holidays like a Richter Scale measurement of energies spent, this holiday is a bit different - a sort of calm before the storm of the festive Christmas season.
We love this word. It immediately stops us in our tracks. It’s a pause for time to contemplate, deliberate, muse, wonder, envision, reflect, ruminate, or imagine. Thanksgiving is a season for pondering - thinking about what has occurred in our lives that leads to thoughts of “what might be” or “what if?”
Provocative questions spur curiosity in our children and students. In the world of creativity, a simple “What If” has led to incredulous discoveries and innovations. These may be the most powerful words ever uttered. These two simple words have inspired generations of explorers and inventors. However, we need make time in our lives for both asking questions and pondering on possibilities.
When there’s just not enough time, stress and exhaustion often abound. The preparation days leading up to holidays in our schools and homes find most of us moving at a very hectic pace. So how can we use the holidays to carve out a niche for shared creativity?
Holidays can become one of the gifts of time needed for creative explorations. Within all cultures there are traditional celebrations and activities built into the family gatherings. It’s the perfect setting for adding a dash of creativity. There is an air of relaxation and laughter – two of the perfect ingredients to spark creativity.
Ideas to Share
If you’re looking for more ways to inspire generations of happier creative children, you can find some we collected from friends and family in our book The Creativity Crusade: Nurturing & Protecting Your Child’s Creativity. Here are two of our favorites:
Wild Wednesday Wilkin Wanderings
The Wilkin family takes time in the summer to plan a creative outing each week. They choose places they’ve never been to in Colorado and acted like tourist for the day. This brought a lot of new discoveries right in “their backyards” and a ton of new questions and ideas to explore.
After Dinner Campfire Stories
The Cooney family added an after dinner living room campfire experience to holidays and family gatherings. Complete with a campfire (fireplace), tents (blankets over couches) and sleeping bags (pillows and blankets). Grandpa Cooney would start telling a story and pass it on to a grandchild to create the next part of the story. Great memories are shared about these stories every holiday!
Thanksgiving has always been one of our favorites. This federal holiday originated as a harvest festival. So we’d like to challenge you to extend that holiday attitude into daily lives of your children and students. Try to find more ways to create more and more niches of creativity. Harvest their ideas and thoughts and then schedule more time for pondering on the possibilities.
Take time to stop-drop-and-ponder. Build more creative moments and activities into your classrooms and homerooms.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING:
- Curiosity is one of the most powerful instigators of creativity.
- “What if?” are two incredulously powerful words.
- We all need more time to question, to reflect, and to ponder!
- Holidays gatherings are perfect places to carve a creativity niche.
And we will leave you with one of our favorite poems.
Do more than exist, live.
Do more than touch, feel.
Do more than look, observe.
Do more than read, absorb.
Do more than hear, listen.
Do more than think, ponder.
~ John H. Rhoades