What a perfect time of year to show gratitude. We are thankful for someone or appreciative of something almost daily, yet how often do we not take the time to act on it. Remembering all the things we are grateful for is an easy way to lead a life full of happiness.
1. Thankful Jar (Thankful Jar Too): A jar with slips of paper depicting different aspects of life (i.e. family, nature, friends, etc.) and an activity or gesture that can be done to show gratitude. For example, we pulled out a card that said cafeteria workers and made the cafeteria ladies at our school some homemade cookies.
2. Thankful Journal: Keep a journal that you write in at least once a day. Have each member of the family and any visiting guest write something they are thankful for.
3. Make a Thankful Tree: Place a bare branch in a bucket or pail filled with stones. Trace several different shaped leaves on heavy cardstock. Using embroidery floss and a simple blanket stitch trim the edge of each leaf. Finally, have each family member record reasons why they are thankful on the leaves. Tie the leaves to the branch with floss or thread. Leave a small basket of leaves and a pen near the table to encourage others that visit to add to your tree.
4. Express Gratitude Daily: Start a new family tradition. In the morning or at dinner, have everyone in the family name something he/she is thankful for. It could be as simple as a good night's sleep or a yummy lunch that you will get to eat. Expressing thanks daily helps you lead a life of gratitude.
5. Volunteer: Volunteer at a local hospital, soup kitchen, animal shelter, etc. Helping others always seems to make you feel good. It also lets you see first hand how fortunate you really are.
There are many other ways to remember all we have to be thankful for. These are just some ways that involve the entire family.
Remember to recognize those you are thankful for. A quick handwritten note, a nice baggie of cookies, etc. can go a long way. Before you know it, others will pick up on your thoughtfulness and begin to encompass the same happiness you have shared.