November seems to be the perfect month to talk gratitude. Last year I talked about teaching gratitude (http://www.babywisemom.com/2010/11/teaching-gratitude.html). I focused a lot on being a good example of gratitude to teach gratitude. I stand by that today.
Gratitude is such a powerful thing. I think it is a great stepping stone to many great virtues. If you are grateful for what you have, you seem to be more willing to share it with others. Gratitude leads to service. Gratitude also leads to happiness. When you are grateful for what you have, you are happy. Being happy leads to being kind. If you are happy, you aren't going to be bitter or mean-spirited toward people.
Our children really reflect who we are. I thought I would issue a little challenge for us all for the next few weeks. I challenge us (including myself) to keep a gratitude journal each day.
When I was in college, I was challenged to do this. I was given a little notebook (sorry, I won't be providing notebooks). Each night, I would write down 3-5 things I was thankful for. The first few nights are easy. Family. Friends. Warm home. Food. Church. Gospel. But once you run out of those standard answers, you start to think a little harder about it, and start to see all of the small and simple things you have to be grateful for in your life.
Doing this daily really changes your perspective to focus on the many blessings you have been given. It does lead to a more content, happy, serviceable person. That, in turn, will lead to a better you and more content, happy, and serviceable children. What a great way to start off the holiday season! Rather than focusing on what we want, focus on what we have.
My idea is to all share some of our blessings around Thanksgiving.
I have to also share an idea we have done for the last few years. It is called the Thankful Basket. Follow that link for info on it. It involves the entire family and is fun to do throughout the month, also.