November in the United States has one of the more celebrated holidays of any other time of the year and made all the more important because it’s the perfect time to highlight the importance of gratitude.
An attitude of gratitude can be the difference between happiness and bitterness. Between contentedness and coveting this time of year.
Right after Halloween, and right before Christmas, lands THANKSgiving. The perfect time… to give thanks.
A couple of years back, my family started a tradition for my older children. Towards Thanksgiving, we write down what we’re most thankful for on pieces of construction paper and then clip each “leaf” in a clip on a card holder. The end result looks like a tree in fall, with leaves of orange, yellow, and red.
This year, my older three took part in the tradition, and here’s what we came up with.
My oldest says she is most thankful for:
- Holly Days (holidays)
- Gunther (“our” dog- which happens to belong to a neighbor)
- Her brothers and sister
- Tiger (our cat)
- Her candy
- Coco (another neighbor’s dog)
- Grandmas and Grandpas
- Beanie Boos
It’s obvious in looking at this list what is most near and dear to her heart. She loves her family, pets that she sees as family, but she also has a healthy appreciate for the gifts she’s been given. Movies and beanie boos are what she likes most.
In talking over the importance of gratitude with her, I’m most appreciative that the objects of her affection are lower on the list.
The fact that I was put down between them is amusing though.
Attitude of Gratitude Continues
And my middle child, he was verbalized an attitude of gratitude in more detail than his older siblings, which I found refreshing.
Specifically, he said:
I love my dad.
I care about my mom.
My Pokemon?I love them!
I care about friends.
And I love my snacks.
I care about my teacher.
I love my God.
Candy is my favorite.
I care about my stuffed animals.
Awwww! It warmed my heart that he was so detailed about what he was thankful for.
Each child’s list was very unique to them. There was no prodding. There was no suggesting, on my part, I simply gave them the leaves for our thankfulness tree and asked that they write what they were grateful for.
My older two wrote in short hand, and my middle son wrote whole sentences.
ALL of them mentioned they were grateful for the PEOPLE in their life, as well as basic needs and wants. And overall, there’s not a lot of materialism listed, at least not from where I’m sitting.
What I wanted to focus on here was that they were all thankful for…
All of my kids wrote that they were thankful for their siblings. Their mom and dad. Their extended family like grandparents. And two of them mentioned they were thankful for friends and teachers.
These are all people they’re grateful for.
I only gave each child 10 “leaves” and all 3 kids used all their leaves whether or not I posted the responses to each.
My point being, they could have said they were thankful for ANYTHING.
The list could have been nothing but video games, electronics, cell phones, and clothes.
But it wasn’t.
Instead, I received responses on their limited pieces of paper about how much they valued FAMILY. Mom. Dad. Grandparents. Siblings. Teachers. And Friends.
That may not seem like a big deal… but it is.
Value What Really Matters
In a time where electronics are everywhere. Everything is going digital. Social media is actually an oxymoron in a lot of ways in that we “socialize” from the comfort of our home and depending on where we are in life, we may not need to step foot outside our home and ever lay eyes on another human being because all our basic needs can be delivered right to our door and we can just “type” or “text” or “write” a person without doing any FACE TO FACE interaction-
My kids value relationships.
I love that.
I hope they continue to value them.
So thinking back to November. And the holiday we’re all about to celebrate here in the U.S.
What are YOU most thankful for?
Is it cars, clothes, phones, and things?
Or is it people?
What you’re most thankful for is a direct correlation to your priority.
Don’t take what, or who, is truly important for granted.
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