Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Giving POW WOW

A Tradition Worth Sharing, you still have time to do this!

Hello, I am The Park Wife and I am a tradition junkie. (Let me hear you say "Hello Park Wife"). I was raised in Mississippi with many wonderful Southern holiday traditions and have added a few as I married and started my own family. However, I found out that there is such thing as tradition overload.

I live on a state park, love the simplicity of my life, and am trying to keep the holidays from getting out of hand, so I have chosen the traditions that speak to our family and have thrown out the rest.

A couple of years ago, I started a tradition with our two little buckaroos that is wonderful for character training, a history lesson (we are homeschoolers), and it helps to de-clutter before the holidays. Now that is a win-win tradition that fits our life perfectly, it is THE GIVING POW WOW.

In Native American culture, true wealth comes from sharing with others instead of amassing material wealth. The gesture of giving illustrates selflessness while it strengthens the community bond. The gesture is more important than the value of the gift. Now, that is something I want our boys to understand and embrace.

Last year, we invited some other families to join in on the fun of our Giving Pow Wow. All the kids cleaned out their closets of toys that were still in good shape and brought them to our volunteer fire station/community library wearing full Native American regalia. We sat in a circle around the treasures we would donate to a local charity and the festivities began. The children were given a history of pow wow’s and of the tribe’s from our area, that fulfilled history class for the day. Also, several of the children shared what they know about the Native American culture from sign language to the meaning of face paint colors. We then all held hands and prayed for the recipients of our gifts, that their lives would somehow be better from our act of generosity.

Plan your Giving Pow Wow today and give your children a shared past that they can pass on to future generations, a tradition that embodies the qualities of the person you hope them to be.

We return thanks to our mother, the earth, which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and stars, which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun, that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in Whom is embodied all goodness,
and Who directs all things for the good of Her children.

In everything, give thanks,
The Park Wife

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