I know there is nothing the least bit original in this tradition. Many people take the opportunity to make November a month of gratitude, and I think it's fantastic. It's so refreshing to hear people acknowledging the good instead of complaining about the bad.
Even though we're just one more family on the gratitude bandwagon, I thought I'd still show you how we've done it in our home. Ours is neither the simplest nor the most complicated variation of this activity, but it works perfectly for our family.
At the beginning of the month, we decided how we would showcase our gratitude. Last year, we drew a tree and wrote down our blessings on various-colored leaves before gluing them up.
(I can't remember why I bought that obnoxious shade of red/orange last year, but this year, the other side was still beautifully empty, so we used it. Next year, we're switching to a much more mellow color. Hopefully, these pictures don't hurt your eyes too much.)
Our turkey is now quite be-feathered, and we're having to be creative with where we put them so we don't cover up what we've already written (notice how Aaron turned one feather into the turkey's wattle).
Each night, we gather in Mike's and my bedroom, pull out a new feather, and ask each other what we're thankful for. Our responses range from the serious to the practical to the ridiculous.
Without fail, Bradley always says, "I'm thankful for . . . Jesus!" And then we always tell him it's wonderful to be thankful for Jesus, but since Jesus is already on the board, maybe he can think of something else.
(Just in case you're curious, the numbers are so we can keep track of who said what: Mike is 1, I'm 2, Aaron is 3, etc.)
Of course, we didn't have to make a thankful turkey in order to share our blessings. We could have just gathered together each night and said, "Okay, everyone, let's hear what you're thankful for today!" That would have still fulfilled the purpose of becoming more grateful.
But I love what we decided to do because (1) it wasn't hard (you can tell this is not a masterpiece . . . it literally took us less than 15 minutes to draw and cut everything out); (2) it gave us something tangible to attach our blessings to (sometimes I catch Aaron reading all of the feathers); (3) it made the magnitude of our blessings seem obvious (we only have to glance at our crowded feathers to realize how blessed we are); and (4) it made it fun for the boys (it is seriously easy to please young children, and you can bet they don't let us forget to add a new feather every night).
What have you done to help yourself be more grateful this month?