The Holidays are rapidly approaching. Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the season for me. Although I have to say that Christmas seems to overshadow Thanksgiving a bit thanks to retailers trying to seize the moment and extend the shopping season. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude and thankfulness. Besides the amazing food we all enjoy on Thanksgiving, I think the holiday has lost some of it’s original intent. I, myself, get so caught up in the flurry of family and making the meal perfect that taking the time to reflect on my blessings kind of takes a back seat to everything else begging for my attention. So how do we infuse thankfulness back into Thanksgiving?
Being purposeful about fostering thankfulness doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming. It really is more an attitude of the heart. Focusing on blessings can bring everything into a healthy perspective when we feel overwhelmed by life’s troubles that we all face. It seems like our troubles naturally take up more real estate in our thinking than everything that is good and right in our lives. When I feel overwhelmed, I sometimes have to take a mental inventory of blessings versus troubles. Writing it down side by side is a powerful attitude adjustment.
Thankfulness can also be a precious gift passed down to the next generation. Children, in themselves, are such a blessing. Many of life’s lessons are caught more than they are taught. As parents, practicing thankfulness and gratitude in big and small ways, will teach your children to do the same.
I wanted to give some practical and fun ways to infuse thankfulness back into Thanksgiving this year. My hope is that you will make beautiful memories with those that you love this season.
* Make a thankful tree. Grab some branches from a tree. Drop them in a vase. Cut out paper leaves and write things you are thankful for on them. Attach the leaves to the tree as you lead up to Thanksgiving. Your thankful tree can be a great conversation starter over Thanksgiving dinner.
* Create a Thankful Questions Jar: Write thankful questions and drop them into a jar. Each
morning have the children pick a question from the jar. You can also do this around the table.
Questions might include:
Name one person you are thankful for and why?
Name one thing in your room you are thankful for
Name an activity you are thankful for
Name a part of your body you are thankful for such as your eyes or ears
• At the Thanksgiving meal, go around the table and say something you really appreciate or
admire about the person sitting next to you.
These are just a few ideas to foster thankfulness this Thanksgiving. One of the things I am thankful for is you, my friends and clients. You make my life rich and full. It is such a blessing to me to be able to capture the joy of a newborn and watch your families grow.
I pray that you all have a blessed Thanksgiving.