So often that is easier said than done, and even more difficult to teach our children, even with Thanksgiving Activities.
My husband and I have a family Thanksgiving tradition of going to the mountains on Wednesday and returning on Saturday. Then we prepare our Thanksgiving meal on Sunday. It works for us, at least it has for the last four years, and it is a lot less pressure. This year we are embarking on a new Thanksgiving “tradition” with our young sons: A Gratitude Jar. Science supports the positive benefits of “being grateful” or “practicing gratitude” (and yes it does require many of us practice and work) on a person’s body and life happiness, generally.
Here is how we try to integrate “gratitude” into our daily lives: At meal time or bed time we ask our sons about their favorite part of the day, or the part of the day for which they are most grateful. Some of the answers are heartwarming. Other days we don’t get much. But we’re asking. We’re hopefully getting them thinking. So this year for November we will embark on our Gratitude Jar. My hope is that this very jar will remain a part of our family and become a tradition for years.
Family Thanksgiving Tradition:
- Small pieces of paper
- A mason or similar jar (we purchased our jar for less than $10 from Storables)
- Decorative materials (we used photos and fake leaves)
- Mod Podge
- Brush to apply Mod Podge
- Every day in November, ask about and jot down grateful moments on a piece of paper. It could be a drawing by your 4 year old.
- Place those small pieces of paper in the jar
- Decorate the jar in any way you choose – maybe with photos, souvenirs from times spent together as a family, maybe art supplies will do the trick
- Then, come Thanksgiving Day, open the jar and read each gratitude moment.
The thing with Mod Podge is that during the process I always think that the final result won’t end up beautiful. It always does, though. So, have faith. Be grateful. Enjoy November and Thanksgiving as we inch closer to 2013. Wow.
Thanksgiving Story Books:
Are you looking for more ideas? Check out our collection of Thanksgiving Story Books.