Through the eyes of a child

Published 6:19 pm Tuesday, November 20, 2018

By Chanel Bingham / Religion Columnist

As we prepare to gather with family and friends to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, I always seem to get a little nostalgic. I can’t help but remember the many holidays spent at my grandmother’s home in Mobile, Alabama, surrounded by lots of love and laughter.

My aunts, uncles and cousins would come from out of town to celebrate together, and we would even have the occasional neighbor join our Thanksgiving feast.

One of my favorite traditions was helping my grandmother set the kids’ table. It was very important to her that the kid table be just as fun and festive as the adult table, and she worked hard to make sure we felt special.

Over the years, the time I spent at the kids’ table has come to hold a very special place in my heart. Little did I realize just how quickly that time would pass.

As an adult, it’s so easy to lose the simplicity of child-like joy in our holiday celebrations. We often overwhelm ourselves in trying to do too much or overstress ourselves if we feel we didn’t do enough.

This year, I wanted to reclaim the simplistic joy of seeing the holidays through the eyes of a child. So, in my quest for a fresh perspective, I spent some time with Ms. Brown’s fourth grade students at Clanton Intermediate School.

As we began our conversation, I could see the excitement in their eyes and hear the joy in their voices as they shared about their Thanksgiving traditions, their favorite (and not so favorite) recipes and what they were most thankful for this year.

Our time together reminded me once again to redirect my focus and relish the small things. It reminded me to keep my curiosity alive and allow faith and trust to reign supreme, and always, always, always maintain a sense of humor.

Of course, the best part of spending the morning with Ms. Brown’s students was their very insightful answers. In our time together, I asked the kids several questions:

  1. What are you thankful for this year?
  2. What is your favorite Thanksgiving recipe?
  3. What is your least favorite Thanksgiving recipe?
  4. How do you cook a turkey?
  5. What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?

I hope you enjoy their responses as much as I did.

What are you thankful for this year?

“My house, my family, and my pets: Shiloh, Jingles and Tigger, and my other cat that doesn’t have a name.” – Cody Bean

“Getting my braces off. I’ve had them on since second grade.” – Emma Elmore

“My family and having a big feast.” –Tayshaun Holloway

“My pets. I have a lab mix named Hope and a poodle named Peanut. And two hermit crabs named Hermie and Shellie.” – Marley Holsomback

“My house, food, friends and family.” – Zeb Baker

“My family, shelter, and being able to be on earth. And going to church. And my two dogs and my cat named King Kong. My dad named it.” – Briana Goggins

“Family and food.” – Sara Grace Glenn

“My family and pets. I have three dogs, a hamster named Zoey, and a fish named Blaze.” – Teegan Warren

“I’m thankful for my house and parents.” – Brayden Bowles

What is your favorite Thanksgiving recipe?

“Chicken. My mom makes good chicken.” – Will Ward

“My grandmother’s apple pie. You crush apples and put it in the crust. Cover it with dough. Put it in the oven on 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.” – Kourtney Benson

“My favorite is probably the dressing. Get a pan and go ahead and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. I would chop up some pickles, cheese, and little pieces of chicken. Cook it for 40-45 minutes.” – Shelby Grant

“My mom makes a perfect apple pie. She puts pie crust in the dish, cuts up apples and adds a little cinnamon, salt, sugar, flour and lemon juice. Fill up the crust and put the top crust on and put foil around it. Put it in the oven on 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Take the foil off for about 10-20 minutes.” – Ellie Grace Reece

“My dad makes the best ribs. He sets them in water and then puts them on the tray and seasons them with Dale’s. He heats up the grill on high and leaves it on for an hour.” – Lincoln Bingham

What is your least favorite Thanksgiving recipe?

“Squash casserole! You put it in a casserole and it kind of like bakes up and when it comes out, it’s squash everywhere you look! It tastes like squash and stuff mixed with it.” – Tucker Barker

“Cranberry sauce. I don’t know what’s in it, but I don’t like it.” – Millie Cleckler

“The dressing. My mom always tells me it tastes like cornbread, but it doesn’t taste like cornbread. It’s kind of like smushy.” – Kaylee Dale

How do you cook a turkey?

“You buy a turkey from the store and put seasonings on it. You put the oven on about 100 degrees and put it in the oven. Leave it for 10-20 minutes.” – Cambree Crumpton

“You buy it at the store and put ingredients on it like salt and pepper. You fry it at 500 or 600 degrees. Leave it for about 10 minutes. It will be kind of juicy and kind of dry. Then eat it.” – Luke Moatts

“You get it from the store and put some stuff on it. You probably put it in the oven on about 300 degrees for maybe 30 minutes and then pull it out.” – Lexie Kate Hayes

“You go the day before and record the sounds of turkeys. Then, you play the recording back and draw it to us. I would shoot the turkey with a .22 rifle. You season it with BBQ sauce and put in the skillet on medium heat. Leave it about 15 minutes.” – Caleb Moore

What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?

“My favorite tradition is watching the Thanksgiving Day parade. I like the Santa Claus float.” – Olivia Epperson

“I like going to my family’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving. They let the kids play, eat, talk, and all that.” – Stella Traywick

“Our family likes to go to the river and fish.” – Josie Baker

“Getting to go to my Nana’s house with all my cousins and eat turkey and play.” – Ava Cleckler

“We have a big family and we go to Nana’s and watch the Alabama football game. It gets really loud, especially when my Paw Paw starts banging on the couch and then the dogs go crazy. They have four or five dogs.” – Colson Mims

From one kids’ table to another, Happy Thanksgiving!

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18