It is the month we focus on Thanksgiving – at least in the United States. It’s also the month where we honor our veterans for their service and sacrifice on our behalf.
I love November! I love the colors in the grasses, trees, sky, and clouds. I love the invigorating crispness of the air. But most of all, I love the focus on thankfulness and gratitude. It’s a wonderful yearly reminder to me to focus to my blessings.
Why is it important to practice thankfulness?
- We need to remember. One of the things I wanted my children to learn was thankfulness. Teaching them to be thankful wasn’t easy and I’m not sure I did a good job of it. But practicing thankfulness revitalizes my heart. Several times during their growing up years, we used different methods on Thanksgiving Day to focus on remembering all for which we are thankful. Here’s a couple of ideas we used:
- Put a holiday muffin paper at each place setting filled with a few candy corn. Each person lists something they are thankful for as they eat candy corn.
- Create the body of a turkey out of construction paper or some sort of heavy paper. Cut feathers out of different colored paper and have each child write what they are thankful for on a feather – one thing per feather. Attach the feathers to the turkey body. You can do this all through the month of November. It becomes quite the colorful bird!
- We need to recount blessings. When I turn on my faucet and clean water abundantly pours out, I’m blessed. When the weather is cold and my furnace turns on automatically, I’m blessed. I live in a country where I can freely express my beliefs, I am blessed. Look around you today at the ordinary and recount the extraordinary blessings found there. It does your attitude good!
- We need to reflect. Today is Veteran’s Day. As I reflect on the sacrifices, through the years, of men and women who served my country, I am thankful. Teaching my children the meaning of Veteran’s Day was crucial to their understanding of the freedoms they experience every day. Freedom isn’t free. Many have given their lives so that we can live the life we live today in this great country. Many continue to sacrifice every day to protect our country and our freedoms. Words are insufficient to adequately express thankfulness to these warriors and their families. This reflection produces gratefulness.
I love November! November is my favorite!
As we move into the holiday season, I’m going to remember, recount, and reflect more with myself and my family how I am blessed extraordinarily every day. Will you join me?
How do you teach your children thankfulness and gratitude?