I’m sure it was no big surprise to many of you when I posted our November Family Focus booklist last week, and you saw that our Family Focus Traits for November are gratitude and thankfulness. This was one of those months we planned intentionally in advance, knowing that we’d be talking about this right now as a family anyway. We officially kicked off our gratitude and thanksgiving Family Focus month on Sunday, and the girls are already incredibly excited about this!
As has become our habit for our Family Focus Trait kickoff nights, we started with a dinner that everyone would eat and love (after all, happy bellies often make happy hearts and minds, ready to do hard work!). When I finished dinner and the girls were still munching, I pulled out Giving Thanks: More Than 100 Ways to Say Thank You by Ellen Surrey (affiliate link used). Because, you may remember, we LOVE to read to our girls while they’re eating!
Have you seen Giving Thanks: More Thank 100 Ways to Say Thank You yet? It’s absolutely delightful! Surrey’s main character is thinking through all of the people (or pets!) in his life for which he is thankful. He is then challenged to think about the various ways he might show his appreciation for them, from giving them a gift to sharing special time with them and more!
But the best part of Giving Thanks — at the end, Surrey gives directions for how to both create AND use gratitude jars and thank you notes! And that made Giving Thanks the perfect book to use to kick off gratitude and thankfulness month. We each painted a gratitude jar (we used some old acrylic paints and mason jars), which will live on our dining table with pens and leaf cut-outs for easy gratitude access all month (and hopefully beyond!). I also cut some old paintings that the girls had done into card-sized pieces, so we folded them in half and wrote “Thank You” on the front of them.
Throughout the rest of the month, we’ll add to our gratitude jars at dinner (or really any other time we feel compelled to do so!). Then, every Sunday night, we’ll spend time as a family writing formal thank you notes to important people in our lives. I’m excited to see where the girls take these activities!
If you liked this, be sure to check out our full gratitude and thankfulness booklist! What practices does your family have to build habits of gratitude and thankfulness?