It’s that time of year where everyone talks about the things that they are thankful for. November seems to bring it out in us, it’s a time to be thankful.
Being thankful can, in general, be hard… especially for adults. It’s hard to be thankful when your fridge is on its last legs, your sewer pipe keeps backing up, your finances aren’t what you’d like them to be… and of course the list goes on… but being thankful doesn’t mean everything is going right and all is perfect, it means simply appreciating life.
I live in the US and I really believe that being a citizen gives me much to be thankful for. There are many countries that I would say the same about, but sadly, many that I wouldn’t, and fundamentally I think most of us forget that there are so many basic things that we should be thankful for… things others don’t have.
Running water, electricity, freedom of speech… these are things that some in our world do not have. While we are upset that our finances aren’t what we would like making it so we can’t afford that pair of boots we really, really, REALLY want, there are still people walking miles to get dirty drinking water… barefoot.
Does that mean our problems aren’t hard… no… but I do think that we often glance over the small (and sometimes big) things that we should be thankful for. We all live life for such a short time and living it with joy and thankfulness allows us to appreciate all of it! Often this takes a little mental adjustment, and not just once, everyday… and sometimes several times a day.
Helping My Kiddos Understand
Raising thankful or grateful children is a big task. A few years ago I decided to have the kids make leaves and write the things that they were thankful for on the leaves. We did this everyday and it was amazing. They were young and sometimes the things were…
“I am thankful for juice”
“I am thankful for markers”
“I am thankful for blankets”
… but these things really are amazing things to be thankful for. Juice can have a great taste. I am also thankful to be able to taste yummy stuff. Markers are fun and the colors are pretty. I am also thankful to be able to enjoy art and to be able to see colors in all their glory. Blankets are warm. I am also glad to cuddle up on cold days with a blanket.
These things seem small… but there are no small things in thankfulness.
I really liked doing this with my kids because it opened up conversation and helped me learn about their likes, and what things really mattered to them. Hearing why sometimes was a blast too! If you notice above, one of the leaves says “I am thankful for scissors” and this was because scissors helped mom open chip bags faster!
The Month of November
We made the leaves the whole month of November and hung them up… by the end I was amazed by what I saw! I loved doing this with my kiddos and it is something we do still.
When they were little we just cut construction paper and taped them to our mantle, but there are many ways you could display these. I haven’t been as vigilant with the pictures of this as the years have gone by, but I do plan to update or post about this again, because it is important to me that being thankful… be an everyday practice.
As I write this, it is only a few days out from Thanksgiving, however, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do this with your children or even just by yourself. The month of December is a month of giving and is a very easy time to reflect of being thankful. Making cut out snowflakes or snowmen and writing notes of thankfulness would just as fun!
It is easy to get caught up in the crazy and sometimes crappy parts of life, but living with thankfulness really can help us appreciate the richness around us. Being thankful for those special earrings that your grandma gave you, your favorite molasses cookie, the way rain feels on your skin… these are things we can be thankful for no matter what life has thrown at us. It doesn’t need to be November or December to be thankful… write it down on a post-it and stick it to the mirror for the days that make you feel there is nothing to be thankful for!
I’d love to hear about what you are thankful for and see your finished projects. Maybe you and your family do this but in a whole different way… do share! Give me a comment here or head over to Instagram or Facebook and share with our community!
Check out these fun Thanksgiving ideas!
Bet + Fam 🙂
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