Each year at Thanksgiving, one of my sisters would make us go around the table and share what we were thankful for. She was met with groans. My siblings and I reluctantly shared our blessings. Can you imagine that? A group of people grumbling about having to be thankful on Thanksgiving. Sheesh. Sorry I was such a jerk, sister. I hope she didn’t let that experience discourage her from carrying on that tradition with her own family.
Gratitude shouldn’t be something that we dread. It also shouldn’t be something that we express only once a year.
Gratitude should be expressed daily. A thought of appreciation, a verbal expression of “thank you,” whatever form it comes in. It is important.
But it makes us feel a little vulnerable, doesn’t it? We need other people. Gratitude is admitting that we need other people, admitting that we can’t do this alone. We admit that it’s not just those big things that we are grateful for, it’s the little things as well. Maybe we feel a little embarrassed about being thankful for such “trivial” things. But they aren’t trivial. Those little things in life can bring great joy.
I’m not big on seasonal decorations for my house. I’m not sure if it is lack of creativity or talent for decorating or laziness. This year, I made a Thankful Tree for Thanksgiving. I got the idea from Pinterest. Let’s celebrate the fact that I made something on one of my Pinterest boards!
The idea is that each leaf represents something you are thankful for. At first, it was a bit of struggle for the ladies. They were cautious, not knowing exactly what to put. When I contributed “sweet potato pie” to the tree, I think they realized that it was ok to be thankful for the little things. They couldn’t write their ideas down fast enough. And they didn’t care what they wrote. There was no embarrassment over being thankful for turkey, penguins or each other.
They are simply grateful.
This Thanksgiving, I am so grateful for the many blessings in my life. I hope that you have a tree full of blessings to be grateful for as well.
And maybe if some relative at the table asks you to share those blessings with the whole group, you will embrace the opportunity to share your joy with your family.