The twenty-five pound turkey’s almost gone. The two pumpkin pies for sure. And soon the yellows, oranges and browns around the house will be replaced by reds and greens. It all comes and goes too fast, unless . . .

you’re like some who don’t consider all the turkey and second helping of pie worth the stress that entered the door.

person holding knife and fork cutting slice of pie on brown wooden table

Many breathe a sigh of relief when the last coat is taken from the hallway closet, the front door closes, and it’s time to handle the mess in the kitchen, which might be easier to deal with than the mess that just gathered around the table.

assorted variety of foods on plates on dining table

If you don’t feel like this, chances are you know someone who might.

adult art conceptual dark

I can hear you now, “Thanks for the fun, happy, upbeat post, just when I was ready to hang the lights and jingle the bells!”

But wait, I won’t leave you there . . . promise!

person holding round smiling emoji board photo


I remember one year when I returned from Thanksgiving break to my first grade classroom. I asked my students what they did over the holiday: played with friends, car trips to relatives, movies, pumpkin pie, jammies till noon.

Since no one mentioned the turkey, I asked, “Sooo . . . how was the turkey?”

chicken close up dish food

One boy called out, “Dead.”

The spirited chatter stopped. The wheels turning in the minds of these excitable, optimistic, free-spirited little tykes had come to a screeching halt.

The gears had switched. . .

black and white blur child close up

“Yeah, mine was dead too.”

“Mine—really dead.”

“Ours was brown and dead.”

We almost had a cry-in.

I grabbed the book, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie, by Alison Jackson. Before long we were back on track. Back to joy. The joy we can always find if we look hard enough. Back to thinking about what gives life, rather than memorializing what takes life out of us.

If you’ve had one of those dead Thanksgivings, here are a few books to help get the jingle back:

If more than a jingle is needed, these clips of the Scottish Granny reading to her grandson will jump-start you back to joy  . . .

Wonky Donkey, by Craig Smith


I Need a New Bum, by Dawn McMillan and Ross Kinnaird

But if you’ve had the time of your life and can’t wait for the next gathering, well, the time’s always right for life-giving laughter. And when you share it with a child, it’s doubly life-giving!


Time to top off that leftover dead turkey with a little whipped cream!

What books have you read with your child that have helped bring back the joy?


2 thoughts on “GROW BACK THE JOY

Leave a Reply to Karen Condit Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s