Teaching Gratitude

The holidays have come and gone and once again we were extremely blessed.

We celebrated with family, were able to enjoy a delicious Christmas meal and received many lovely and thoughtful gifts.

I gave many thanks over this holiday season. I am perfectly aware that there are so many people in this world that don’t have what I have. Many people that aren’t surrounded by people who love them. People who did not overindulge in a feast of turkey, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, but instead went to bed hungry. There were no presents under a tree, no toys for their children.

I am aware of this and am able to give thanks. For my children, however, this is normal to them. They don’t know any different. I’m not sure they really understand just how fortunate they are.

My kids are loving and caring kids. We teach them about charity and giving back every chance we get. They have taken part in walks to raise money for Sick Kids and have brought toys to toy drives. This year they each chose items that fit into a shoebox to be sent overseas. Yet they have never gone without. They don’t know what it feels like to be hungry and for this I am so very grateful.

As much as I don’t want my children to experience these types of struggles in life, I also don’t want them to take these privileges for granted. There are many ways that I try to introduce gratitude to my children but this new year have come up with a new idea that I would like to try.

Every night as part of our bedtime routine we each say something we are grateful for, I would like to take this one step further.

Beginning January 1st, I would like to start a gratitude jar.

Every evening I would like us to talk about our day and agree on one thing that we are most thankful for. We will then write it down on a piece of paper and put it in a jar. By December 31st 2015 we should have 365 things we are thankful for as a family. Next year, during our holiday celebrations, I would like us to take some time to read the things that we have been thankful for over the year. To remind us how lucky we are and how wonderful life truly is.

My hope is that this will help my entire family to be thankful for the many blessings that fill our lives each and every day. Even during those moments where we might not feel very cheerful or thankful maybe this will force us to end the day focusing on the best part of our day.

My family has been blessed time and time again. Blessed with love and health, a safe warm place to sleep and full tummies. The kids have books to read and more toys than they can possibly play with. I don’t want them to take these things for granted and I am always searching for ways to help them stay thankful.

Hopefully our gratitude jar is something that can stick and become a nice way to remind us of our many blessings.

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