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Where to watch ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’—and how to talk about it with your kids

We can use the beloved classic to teach our kids about inclusion and a fuller version of history.

Where to watch ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’—and how to talk about it with your kids

The classic children's film A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is a popular holiday special that will be airing again this season, but some parents are concerned that the history lessons within it need an update for 2019 audiences. The 1973 special will air Wednesday, November 27, at 8 p.m. on ABC and while it hasn't been updated for this century, parents can use it to teach kids about inclusion and why there are some gaps in the Peanuts' historical knowledge.

If you haven't watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving since childhood, there are a few things you should know when viewing it with your kids: First, it's still rather fun to watch as an adult, because now you get that Charlie is clinically depressed and Patty is a feminist and that Woodstock eating turkey is every bit as weird as you thought. But second, it's problematic in its treatment of Franklin, the cartoon's sole black character, who for some reason is seated on one side of the table by himself.

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In ABC's programming announcement, the network also added that the half-hour Thanksgiving special will come with a side dish, as it has for several recent years, 1988's This Is America, Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers.

This Is America seems a bit like an afterthought, tacked on to ABC's programming to make sure live TV audiences get a full hour to watch. It's a re-telling of the Mayflower voyage, the colonists' early struggles in America, and their first harvest celebration with members of the Wampanoag tribe. It pretty much adheres to the version of the story many of us learned in elementary school. A warning to parents of small children: There are several mentions of how many adults died during this time, though the Peanuts gang and all other children survive just fine.

While watching these programs, or at any other time during the holiday, we have a chance to correct some of the wrongs of previous generations by teaching our kids a fuller story about the English Puritan separatists and the Wampanoag people who welcomed them. For example, though we often call the event in 1621 the "first Thanksgiving," native peoples had been holding harvest celebrations long before.

There's also more to learn about Squanto, a.k.a. Tisquantum, the English-speaking man who first helped the English fish and plant food on the land where all his own tribe had recently perished from disease. For suggestions on how to do so, we like this guide made for teachers in Oklahoma City that offers ways to "redesign" Thanksgiving with the Native American perspective in mind.

That is one way to talk about Thanksgiving with your kids, but the old cartoons can be a part of the conversation, too. To watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, tune in to ABC on November 27 at 8 p.m. You can also buy or rent the cartoon (packaged with the Mayflower special) on Amazon.

[This post was first published on November 7, 2019.]

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Meri Meri: Decor and gifts that bring the wonder of childhood to life

We could not be more excited to bring the magic of Meri Meri to the Motherly Shop. For over 30 years, their playful line of party products, decorations, children's toys and stationery have brought magic to celebrations and spaces all over the world. Staring as a kitchen table endeavor with some scissors, pens and glitter in Los Angeles in 1985, Meri Meri (founder Meredithe Stuart-Smith's childhood nickname) has evolved from a little network of mamas working from home to a team of 200 dreaming up beautiful, well-crafted products that make any day feel special.

We've stocked The Motherly Shop with everything from Halloween must-haves to instant-heirloom gifts kiddos will adore. Whether you're throwing a party or just trying to make the everyday feel a little more special, we've got you covered.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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