Thanksgiving - Giving Thanks All Year Long - An Attitude of Gratitude

Giving Thanks for the Bounty God has Provided
Giving Thanks for the Bounty God has Provided | Source

When we started our family, we started with three kids, all at once, ages seven, eight and nine. I must say it was a very difficult ... a ... delivery.

I'm not sure how we survived ... especially by the time C.P.S. and Adopt A Special Kid (the agency that was the go between C.P.S. and us) got finished with us, but survive we did. But the hoops they made us jump through were a piece of cake compared to the ten years that were to follow. Those ten years were some of the most difficult years of my life, but then that is a whole different story.

Unlike most parents who begin with infants, we had to decide what family traditions we wanted to start in our family, immediately. The kids moved in with us one week after we met them and a few days after school started in August of 1996. So our first real holiday where traditions would be started was Thanksgiving of that year.

On that Thanksgiving day, I was ready. And I'm not talking about the meal, although I had prepared more than enough food. I was ready to start a new tradition for our family's Thanksgiving. And, this tradition would require a year's worth of preparation in order to be ready for the following Thanksgiving!

You're probably wondering what I have up my sleeve this time, aren't you?

To begin with, I think we all ought to live with an attitude of gratitude all the time. (I must confess, sometimes I struggle with this attitude thing.) And I think that we should be thankful for things and remember those things on more than just Thanksgiving Day. I think that many times our thankfulness gets lost, and Thanksgiving has become nothing more than cooking, eating, napping, shopping and watching football. The thankfulness part has gotten lost in all the doing.

Before moving on to "what I have up my sleeve", let me state, I do not know whether I came up with this on my own or if I read about it somewhere. Whichever, it is a totally awesome idea!

Living with an attitude of gratitude.
Living with an attitude of gratitude. | Source

Preparations Taking a Year

When I say I was ready, I mean that I had purchased a notebook and found a pen laying around somewhere. This is all the preparation that I needed for our new Thanksgiving tradition. Really, all that was required was pen and paper, and a place to store them that was accessible to everyone.

Now, you are probably wondering what kind of Thanksgiving tradition I could possibly be preparing for? Or maybe you're already three steps ahead of me! But I certainly had the kids guessing!

I told them that starting today, Thanksgiving 1996, and all the way until the following Thanksgiving, we were going to write down things that happened in our lives during that year for which we were grateful. This would ensure that these things were not forgotten. And then the following Thanksgiving, we would spend time reading out loud and sharing those times, people, or things that we were grateful for or had been grateful for.

What are the rules?

I laid out a few ground rules and then we were set to go!

  • The entries had to be something that you personally were thankful for.
  • No bad words (profane) could be used.
  • You could not write on or over other people's entries.
  • The entry had to be dated and signed.

I think these were the only rules we had, but obviously they could easily change with time if needed.

The First Fun Thanksgiving, after J.L.G. Ferris
The First Fun Thanksgiving, after J.L.G. Ferris | Source

What are you thankful for?

So, what are some of the things that could be written:

  • I made an "A" on my math test.
  • I am so glad I'm finally over with the flu.
  • My best friend Megan got to come and spend the night.
  • I am thankful for our first Christmas together as a family.
  • I am thankful for the dollar bill I found in the Wal-Mart parking lot.
  • I am thankful for the skateboard I got from mom and dad for Christmas.
  • I am thankful for the flowers that Criss (my husband) got me for Valentine's day.
  • I am thankful that my son did not seriously hurt himself when he jumped out of the second floor window.

These are just a few examples. I don't have these notebooks anymore, but that is a whole other story. Just know ... I can relate to Thomas Paine's quote, ""These are the times that try men's souls..."

Other things that I liked to put in the notebooks were things that I wanted to let the kids know that I was proud of them for, their accomplishments or their choices. This could be things like:

  • I am so thankful that my daughter told the truth about .... even though she knew she was going to get into trouble.
  • I am so thankful for having a son who could play baseball was well as my son did tonight.
  • I am thankful that I have a daughter that is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.
  • I am so thankful for the abilities my son has, being able to assemble things without even looking at the instructions.
  • I am thankful for the artistic abilities that you have given my son.
  • I am thankful for the kind heart that my daughter showed when she did ....
  • I was so proud and thankful when my daughter sang a solo during the Christmas pageant.
  • I am so thankful that my son was such a good sport even though his team lost the game.

I think you get the idea. This helped us remember all the things that had happened, and the things that we were thankful for, while at the same time helping the kids feel good about themselves and the things that they had done. It was a great teaching tool. And a great way to edify my children.


Thanksgiving with the Lego Trolls .... too fun not to share!
Thanksgiving with the Lego Trolls .... too fun not to share! | Source

Putting the thanks back ...

Maybe this could be a great way to put the thanks back into your Thanksgiving! And this can be done even if you must do it alone or as a couple. We all have things to be thankful for every single day. And what a great "pick me up" tool to have at your disposal for the times that can "try men's (and women's) souls".

What do you think?

Does this sound like a tradition that you might want to start?

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Comments: "Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving by Giving Thanks All Year Long - An Attitude of Gratitude" 25 comments

NiaLee profile image

NiaLee 5 years ago from BIG APPLE

Cindy Thank you so much for sharing your ideas and your family tradition. May your family be blessed for decades to come and more, the whole world too.

Being grateful is great, writing down things allows you to remember and experience the joy over and over again.

I am grateful for everything and everybody good that is, was and will be in my life and way more.

I work on teaching my kids how to have a positive attitude, have faith, be good people; and being grateful makes a lot of that possible.

I am thankful I came across your hub and you.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

I absolutely agree HSB we should be thankful each and every day and I am. We also have a similiar tradition...each year we write what we are thankful for and then we share the previous years responses...NOW I have to remember where I stored the previous years! Uh oh! Thanks for the hub and the reminder HSB! I'm thankful for YOU!:)


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

NiaLee - Thank you so much for your comment. It seems that we are right together with the values that we want our children to learn to to have learned. And I think that being grateful is a big part of that. If we are grateful then we will be more content and happy and not always be worrying about the things that we don't have.

I can tell by your response that you do live with an attitude of gratitude. Blessings to you.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

I posted a comment on here. I know I did. Weird! Anyway I enjoyed your hub HSB and I can't remember what my previous comment said. A friend had the same thing happen on my hub. I do remember saying I was thankful for you:)


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Sunshine625 - Here they both are now. I think sometimes they are just a little slow arriving. But I think in your case, I was answering comments and got distracted with other stuff and had not made it to your first comment yet, because I remember seeing it. I don't approve them until I have time to respond to them because I want to respond to them all and I don't want to accidentally overlook someone. Thanks for coming back and trying again. That was so sweet and so special.

I love to see you every time you stop by! And I will get by to yours. I am very behind on my reading. My real job is taking more of my time these days! Have to pay those bills. Darn!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

Good to know! I thought there were issues because of what happened to my hub. I agree about those darn bills! Yuck! But we'll still be thankful:))


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Yes we will. Especially when we can pay those bills! God continues to provide!


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

This is such a good idea. We have so much to be thankful for and so often forget what they are.

A great hub.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Rosemay50 - We really do have so much to be thankful for. I am thankful that I have readers and followers who enjoy what I write and let me know that they do!

Thanks for stopping by!


shea duane profile image

shea duane 5 years ago from new jersey

This is wonderful. I too am so thankful to God everyday for the wonderful life he has given me. I'm going to try this this year!

Thanks.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

shea duane - I hope this truly blesses you and your family. And yes God has blessed us in so many ways.

Thanks for stopping by.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

The very fact that we are breathing is reason to give thanks. Sometimes we forget the little things. Thanks for reminding us that we don't need to wait for November to give thanks.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Cardisa - I can tell that you already have an attitude of gratitude. I think giving thanks is important.

thanks for stopping by.


Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 5 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

Beautiful hub and we all are blessed and have much for which to be thankful.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 5 years ago from The Caribbean

That's a wonderful tradition. I also journal my thanks. May I share another tradition that I hubbed about today? https://holidappy.com/holidays/A-Thanksgiving-Acro... Happy Thanksgiving!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Fiddleman - so well said. Yes we are.

Thanks for stopping by!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

MsDora - thanks for stopping by! Happy Thanksgiving to you also!


5 years ago

Great hub. Voted up. 'In every thing give thanks'; yes, indeed. Blessings.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

f - we do have much to be thankful for. Such as, thanks for stopping by!


breathe2travel profile image

breathe2travel 4 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

What a great idea to chronicle your family's thanks. For over 10 years we have had our "thankfuls" everynight -- we share three things from the day for which we are grateful. Never thought to write them!

Voted up & useful. I linked your hub in my "ThanksLiving" hub: http://hubpages.com/holidays/ThanksLIVING-Living-a...

Warmest regards~


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

breathe2travel - I like the thankfuls every night as well. And I really like, ThanksLiving!


AudraLeigh 4 years ago

What a great piece about family and traditions! I like how you would have documented stuff too! Why don't you anymore? Good idea!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

AudraLeigh- good to see you back. I am glad you enjoyed the idea. I will be writing more hubs soon I hope. I have been very busy!


wishbook 3 years ago

the photo attribution for the Lego "feast" picture looks to be for Josh Wedin--not martha_chapa65

See www.flickr.com/photos/38446022@N00/3064088118 for original and others.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 2 years ago from Texas Author

I have taken care of this. Sorry to have attributed it to someone that obviously has stolen your content. I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season.

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