Tag Archives: gratitude

Giving Thanks: Make a Gratitude Wall

This yer my family has been very lucky and privileged to do a lot of traveling and see a lot of different places. We made it to two big cities on our travel bucket list. We did a lot of sight seeing and learned a lot of historical things about the cities, and our country.

As with any travel we spent a lot of money, more than I would have chosen to spend. But we are very lucky to work hard and had the opportunity to put money away for these trips. Not everyone can do that. While on our trips we also saw a lot of people, people from all sorts of different walks of life. Since we visited big cities we also so a lot of people that live in abundance, and those that live with nothing. It brought up some questions with my kids. They were curious. They had seen homeless and people that lived on the streets before. But big cities have so many it is hard not to feel and see the difference.

When we returned home we began talking about things that can be done for people who are not as fortunate as we are. My children’s school does a toy drive for less fortunate kids every holiday season. We have already chosen to donate for each child attending the school. However, we also wanted to do something to remind us just why we are as fortunate as we are. We wanted to thank the universe for the life we have been lucky enough to live.

In the past we have done a thankful turkey, we put little paper feathers in it that we all write something we are thankful for every day of November. However, a mouse invaded our attic this year and our poor turkey was destroyed. So this year I was in search of something new. And lo and behold I found the Gratitude Wall, thank you to Livingly.com for the incredible inspiration.

Livingly.com created this simple version here. We have a large chalkboard in our living room and have chosen to use it as our board. But we have chosen to write something we are grateful for every day. Today I wrote that I was thankful for my healthy family. Health has always been a struggle this time of year, and this year I am thankful that we are able to enjoy the season with our health intact. What would you write for today?

 

Gratitude: Thank You Cards

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We had a birthday this month in our house. Which meant a big birthday party with lots of kids, games, cake, and of course presents! We try not to go overboard on the gifts with our kids since we want them to appreciate what they have and not be a “gimme” or “I want” spoiled child. This can be difficult, especially at holiday time and birthday time. Children expect to get gifts, and while I do love buying and giving them things they love I also want them to want less and love what they have. One of the ways we try to keep this appreciation and gratitude alive in our home is through thank you cards. Every time my children receive a gift they write a thank you card to the gift giver. We try to make sure a lot of thought and love goes into each card.

We explain that each present they received was bought with love, and thought. That their friends and family spent a lot of time thinking of such a wonderful gift, then took the time to wrap and decorate that beautiful gift for them, and that they watched in anticipation and excitement as they opened that gift. That is a very involved event. They did all of that specifically for them, and that in return they should show the same amount of love and gratitude as well.

We began our thank you cards at a very young age. Even the two year old writes thank you cards. With the younger children we take a picture of the child playing with or wearing the new gift. We then turn it into a postcard and let the child draw, write, and color on the back to show their love and appreciation of the gift. The older children must write in words, as best as their ability allows, explaining why they loved the gift and how they are using it, and how happy they are that they received that gift.

Thank you cards started when I was a child. My mother always made sure that my siblings and I sent out thank you cards for all the gifts we received. Not only did she believe it was good manners, she felt it was an important way to teach us to appreciate what we had gotten. I truly think that it did. By making thank you card writing fun with special pens, markers, paints, photos, and stickers we looked forward to writing them. But we also had to write a different card to every person. We could not just write “thank you for the gift.” This was not a pro-forma card. We had to make each person feel that their gift meant something to us. Because they did. To is day I remember special gifts from my grandparents and great grandparents because of the cards I had written to them. To my surprise they remembered them too. When they passed away we found several of my handmade thank you cards in a drawer. Not only did my cards mean something to me they meant something to them. The circle of gratitude went on, now I am thankful that I meant enough to them that they kept the cards.

No matter what your reason for making a thank you card try to make it fun. Let your children try new ways to make them whether they do postcards, folding cards, letters, or even video thank you’d where they sing, dance, talk, or do something else to show how much they appreciate their gifts.