Head of School Blog

Pausing to Give Thanks

Jill Singleton | Volume: 5 Issue: 11 | Nov. 25, 2015
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday.  Each year my family gathers together to cook our traditional meal – each of us insisting that we “must have” a certain side dish or “it just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving.”  For me, it’s the mashed sweet potatoes and the string beans with slivered almonds – yum!  As much as I love the food, however, nothing beats the prayer we say just before we begin to eat.  We don’t have a set prayer, or a particular person assigned to lead it, and it’s never very elaborate.  That’s not the point.  For me, it’s about the collective pause we take to give thanks, to recognize the abundance in our lives, and to experience the gratitude we have for each other and for our many blessings. At some point after the prayer, I wait for two things I know are going to happen.  The first is that my mom is going to say, “Mmm, mmm, mmm,” and the second is that my brother, the master chef at the feast, will sample everything on his plate and will invariably ask, “Who’s got it better than we do?”  Then my favorite part - we’ll all reply in near-unison, “No one!”  What wonderful moments and memories these are, surrounded by my family who all love me, and each other, unconditionally - who share history and countless memories together, and who have raised our children from infants into the amazing young adults they are today. What a wonderful pause this is, this moment at the Thanksgiving table – the best of the whole year.

For the past several weeks at All Saints we have been spending time in our spiritualty program focusing on Abundance and Gratitude. Students have looked at the importance of family, friends and community; they’ve explored the difference between needs and wants, gratitude for our responsibilities, and the ways in which we might invite more simplicity into our lives.  

This week we asked staff and students to use special colorful markers to write what they are most grateful for this year on our glass doors and windows.  What fun we had writing on the glass!  Their answers were truly delightful!  (Someone wrote that they are happy for water pressure – fitting as all of Hoboken and part of Jersey City struggles with a major water main break this week!) I am happy to share their responses with you here:

Horses
Potatoes
Voice lessons
Life
My house
Knowledge
My food
Clothes
My evergreen
Football
Animals
Art
My children
Guitar
Beaches
Beans
Sodas
Gymnastics
Geckos
My brother
Ice cream
Pandas
Pets
Peace
Life and its splendor
Baby Guzman
Peace
Kids
Music and love
Dance
Piano lessons
Little black dogs
Sports
Water pressure
Amazing life!
Books and food
Friends
All Saints
Family and education
Skiing and lacrosse
My teachers and family
The sun
Family and Friends
Doctor Who
Stuff
Family
Fish
Wilson, my fish
Happiness
Cats
Turtles
Golden Retrievers
Gym
Penguins
Education
My Mom
Trees
Swim team
Sharks
Cheese
Hunger games
Crème Brule
Basketball
My Parents, especially my Dad
Manchester United

What are you thankful for this year?  Care to share?  Email me! - jsingleton@allsaintshoboken.com

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