"A (wo)man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of (her)his life in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of beautiful God has implanted in the human soul."- Goethe

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Month Full of Gratitude

The entire month of November is a time to reflect on the bounteous blessings we receive that we sometimes take for granted. I think one of the best ways to keep upbeat and kind is to cultivate a grateful heart. Here are a few ways we've been reminding ourselves how good life really is for our family:

The Baxters reflect on five things they are grateful for prior to feasting on Thanksgiving, and eat a candy corn kernel each time they think about what they are grateful for. It represents the first winter the pilgrims experienced in America, when there was only enough food for each person to eat five kernels of corn, and reminds us to remain grateful even through hard times.

The Nielsons compile a gratitude list, and bake each line on the list into its own roll. When anyone eats a roll from the Thanksgiving batch, they discover what someone in the family is thankful for. It's a gratitude fortune cookie of sorts, and it lasts long after the feast is through, or at least for a couple of extra days. It serves as a reminder to share your gratitude with others, and not keep it to yourself.

Also, we've started a new tradition with the three of us, wherein each of us writes a grateful bit on our Freedom of Speech Wall, turned Gratitude Wall during the month of November. Since the baby bumpkin can't write yet (or speak, for that matter) we take turns imagining what she must be grateful for. This helps us remember that gratitude isn't restricted to the fourth Thursday in November, but that it should be expressed constantly.

There are so many fun ways to keep a grateful heart all year 'round. What are some ways your family expresses gratitude?

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