8 Meaningful Ways to Practice Gratitude

1. At dinner each night of November, see if your family can collectively think of 10 things you are grateful for. Keep a running list or make a new list each night.

2. Set a small, doable goal for yourself to send out a few thank-you notes to people who might not know how much you appreciate them. Just to say you are grateful.

3. Drop a small note in your son, daughter, or husband’s lunch—or put a sticky note where they’ll find it at just the right time. You might say, “When I think of what I’m thankful for, you always come to mind. I love you. Or, Thank you for the ways you __. I love you so much.”

4. Turn the focus of your mealtime prayer in November toward giving thanks.

5. Train your eyes to “see” this month. While looking them in the eye, try to genuinely thank every person you’re able to: the librarian, the cashier, the waitress, the janitor in the restroom, the Sunday School teacher, TSA agents, your children for the joy they bring you.

6. Help younger children to put together a brief video “greeting card” for relatives far away, describing their appreciation for that person’s influence in their lives. Or, allow them to paint a butcher-paper banner to send in the mail for a special surprise.

7. On the back of an interior door, post a piece of poster board and keep a pen attached with adhesive Velcro. Make it a family goal to fill the poster by Thanksgiving with the objects of your gratitude.

8. Attempt to comb through your days, using visual cues to help you think in new ways about gratitude. A tube of toothpaste might prompt a quick prayer of thanks for good dental care; pulling out of the driveway, for a peaceful street and quality roads; the receipt at a restaurant, for a wholesome meal and washed dishes, with the finances to pay for it.

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