Apparently, in the earlier part of the 20th century, my dad’s family had a tradition, where at Thanksgiving (and New Year’s eve)both kids and adults would dress in costume. These were not necessarily related to the holiday at hand, but just for fun. Back then, most folks tapped into their imaginations and made their own costumes. Some of my favorite photos illustrating this wacky tradition are of my dad, about age 6, dressed in his father’s suit and hat and another of my grandfather dressed as a China man. This Thanksgiving was wonderful, especially because we got together for an amazing feast at my brother in law and sister in law’s place in Brooklyn, New York. Jonathan (my husband’s brother) and Caitlin have the two most adorable kids, Ida, who is 5 and Reggie who is 2 1/2. They are full of fun. Joining them were cousins Laney (age 15), Kate (age 12), Leah (age 16), Miranda (age 13), Jacob, who at 17, is the oldest, and Ben (age 13). It was high energy all around and what is always so impressive is how well the kids get along and “play” together with the little ones. Reggie and Ida are adored by their older cousins; Leah puts makeup on Ida while playing dress up; Reggie rides piggyback on Jacob and they all have fun playing kitchen or with other toys the kids have around. This time, I brought some of the Backyard Safari Outfitters toys with me and they were a huge hit, I think, because they inspire open ended play. For example, Reggie grabbed on to the Cargo vest–he put it on immediately and was fascinated by the multiple pockets and of course by the pop up field guide. All of a sudden, he took on a sense of authority! Ida was thrilled with the field binoculars and got so excited when she could, all of a sudden, see everyday things in larger than life form. I’ll post photos of them in action soon.