Gratitude and giving thanks


It’s never too early for gratitude and giving thanks, and in our house, the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving are a special time for thinking about the people who made our lives better this year.

Could be just a little thing they did or said – or maybe they really made our lives a whole lot better in a way that’s meaningful to us.

Start Early

From an early age, our kids wrote letters or drew pictures to say thank you, and we made sure those messages were delivered in time for Thanksgiving. I started writing letters of thanks at Thanksgiving many years ago, and now even the kids start talking about people they want to thank.

Start Anywhere

Our recent trip to see Great Aunt Mabel sparked dinner table conversation about gratitude. OK, OK, I admit that I got it started and it was mostly gratitude for her great chocolate chip cookies, but you have to start somewhere!

Be Sincere

I have no problem with my kids sending letters of thanks for chocolate chip cookies! It’s not about a “thing.” It’s about an experience and about the kindness someone showed.

Think About Good Ideas

The kids have asked me for ideas for Thanksgiving letters or pictures, and I’ve told them what I’ve done myself.

Sometimes I said thank you just because someone did something nice. Or shared their time with me.

Does It Have to be Family?

Maybe it’s someone I’ve known for decades or someone I met just this year. Gratitude isn’t measured in how long it’s been but in how good it feels.

To have a friend or neighbor or relative to thank is a gift. So from the time our children were old enough to wield a pencil or draw a picture, we have encouraged them to create Thanksgiving letters of their own.

Do People Think Our Family is Weird?

People who receive our letters are often astonished. They’re using to getting very nice Hallmark cards at Thanksgiving, but letters or drawings created by children? Or by friends? Or family? Or neighbors? Almost unheard of. Except in our house.

So now that we’re back from visiting Great Aunt Mabel, the great letter writing will officially begin. And I’ll bet all of us will want to say thank you for those great chocolate chip cookies!

Shh!  When Do I Do It?

I almost always write my Thanksgiving letters in the early morning darkness, before the household stirs. A cup of coffee is close at hand, and so is the joy of remembering past kindnesses.

I feel grateful that I have the freedom and the opportunity to give thanks and let people know that their kindnesses did not go unnoticed.

And Special Thanks to Those Who Love Belinda!

I’m grateful to the people who have read my book. And especially grateful to those who let me know they’ve read it, either here on my web site or on Amazon!

It means the world to me every year to know that new readers have found it, and others have put it under their tree as a classic to be enjoyed anew!

Please share your own experiences and suggestions in the Comments below!



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