In mid-October, one of my sisters gave us all thankful books, small handmade books in which we were to record things for which we are grateful. The goal was to write or draw in the book each day of November. We started on the first day of the month, noting that we were thankful for family, life, God’s creation and work.
Nearly every day our three-year-old said he was thankful for his daddy. As the month progressed, our list came to include mommy, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends, good health, wrestling time with daddy, our son’s school, days of rest, the library, bed time, colors, the five senses, gym class, Legos, the stars and the moon, baths, fresh bread, the Ethiopian restaurant, our community garden plot and chopsticks.
There were a few days in the month when we misplaced our book, but we’d catch up again once it was found. We were instructed to bring our books to our Thanksgiving celebration, and after dinner we had the chance to share some of what we’d written.
With this project, my sister gave us a good reminder: the best way to teach our kids to be thankful is by being thankful. And since gratitude has both physical and mental health benefits, we’re also doing ourselves a favor by expressing gratitude.