Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Thankfulness

by Leigh



I'm so thankful for a beautiful October.  It was all about the light and colors of Autumn.  November is quickly approaching and thoughts of thankfulness are at the forefront of my mind.  As the mom of two young children, I am always looking for ways to teach them the importance of gratitude.  I believe that compassion and gratitude go hand in hand and by practicing grateful living they will in turn become more caring people.  Can you imagine what a better place this world would be if we remembered all we had to be thankful for?


A lot of pressure comes with this parenting gig as we try to figure out ways to mold our kids into caring people.  And the month of November always seems to be the perfect time to start a gratitude project. This year I want to do something fun that the kids will look forward to everyday.  And this my friends...is where you come in to the picture.   I know we have a creative bunch here so tell me...have you ever done a gratitude project?  I'm looking for something that will become a tradition we could do every year.  So gets those creative juices flowing and give me your project ideas.


My first thought was a gratitude tree.  We could make it out of butcher paper and hang it on the wall.  Then each evening at dinner everyone in the family writes on a paper leaf what they are thankful for  and then attach it to the tree.  At the end of the month the whole tree is full of leaves.  Not only would this be a great thankfulness project, but it would also be a great way to connect and eat dinner together as a family each night.  


The kids aren't the only one who will be practicing gratitude.  I'm trying to find the perfect outlet for me as well.  One idea is an online journal.  I came across Thankful For which would be an easy way to journal daily.  Another idea is to incorporate it with photos.  Now this sounds right up my alley! Perhaps sharing photos on Instagram or Flickr with a daily photo throughout the month.  Do you have any other ideas for a gratitude project?  We would love to hear about them!  Share with us here on the blog or on our Facebook page.  




9 comments:

Dotti said...

You're in luck, Leigh! Our November theme is Gratitude. Be sure to click on the monthly theme tab when it goes up on Friday. There is a challenge waiting for you.

Carol said...

This is looking ahead a little bit, but I had a friend who had a nice tradition. Every year in November, they would pick one new friend they had gained that year. Then they would make two Christmas ornaments with the friend's name on it. They would gift one to the friend in December, and keep the other. As the year's progressed, they would decorate their tree with friendship - each ornament bringing back memories of friends past and present. I love that idea!

CarolHart said...

Last year I lost a friend suddenly. He was half my age and left behind a wife and a 7 year old son. This hit me hard. Here I was, twice his age, battled cancer twice and I am was still here and he was gone and his son would not get to know what a wonderful man his father was. I was quite depressed about this for awhile until another friend of mine suggested that I focus on being grateful for the life I have so I started a little book, writing on the cover "Count Your Blessings", and every day I wrote at least one thing that I am grateful for in that book. That book filled up, then another, and another. I am on my fourth book now and practicing gratitude daily has enriched my life and taught me not to take anything or anyone for granted.

terriporter said...

Leigh, I love your idea of the gratitude tree! Sounds like a perfect idea for kids the age of yours. But somehow, knowing your kids, it seems as if you have already done a great job teaching this lesson. When my kids were young, we always went around the table at Thanksgiving and everyone said what they were grateful for in the previous year, but I think a month-long focus on gratitude would have been even better. I love Carol H.'s idea of writing something down every day -- what a great way to focus on what we are grateful for! As Dotti said, with our November theme being Gratitude, you might get some great ideas from our readers!

Kim Stevens said...

One Thanksgiving we invited another family and neighbors to our home for dinner. One of their traditions was like many of us to go around the table but instead of saying it out loud, we all wrote down on a small piece of paper what we were grateful for and then we each pulled out a note and read it. They kept that in a jar and added to it, and would pull them out each Thanksgiving and read them aloud. I've been thinking of doing the same, only for the month of November, even year, much like Carol does in her journal.

kybarb said...

I did a month of daily gratitude writing in August this year thanks to a Facebook friend who issued the challenge. It was a good practice! Considering taking photos to go with the words. Also Cathy Zielske has a great 30 Days of Thankful scrapbook album with digital templates: http://cathyzielske.typepad.com/my_weblog/2013/10/announcing-the-30-days-of-thankful-album-project-for-2013.html

Deanna said...

I did a grateful journal on Thanksgiving Day with my family for years. They would get a 7x10 piece of cardstock and were asked to write down the main things that they were grateful for in the past year. I would have photos of each of them from the previous Thanksgiving. After dinner we each read our page outloud. After my husband declined so badly it became an embarrassment for him because he couldn't put his thoughts on paper, so I stopped the tradition. Eventho my family complained every year when I dragged out the papers, they totally enjoyed reading what they had written in previous years. I made a book out of their gratitude pages, decorated the cover and it has a special place on the bookshelf. I may have to start it back up again this year since my son & his wife along with my grandson & his wife will all be at my home this year....the whole family will be together, perfect time to start again.

kelly said...

gorgeous photos leigh...so perfect for entering into the month devoted to gratitude. i love all the ideas here...i think with kids it's especially fun to do something sort of craftsy. can't wait to see what you come up with.

Roxi -Coppercurls Designs said...

I love the shot of that first strange little plant. So cute and delicate.

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