The other night my son turned the calendar page as he put his boys to bed.
“O, man….November,” 6-year-old Soren sighed. “There’s so much to do in November….like getting ready for December!”
Even our kids feel it–the imminent holiday rush. To say nothing of their moms! But even as December looms large, let’s not forget the great gift of November: Thanksgiving. What a wonderful opportunity to nurture thankful hearts—in ourselves and our kids.
In our “all about me/gimmee, gimmee” culture, an “attitude of gratitude” does not just happen. It needs to be both taught and caught.
Here’s a way my son’s family makes a grateful heart contagious:
They have a “thankful tree’” in their dining room window. Each time someone thinks of something to be thankful for, they write it down and add a leaf to the tree. Sometimes it’s hard for the kids to think of anything—like the 30 minutes it took one night for Soren to think of anything to be thankful about in his younger brother Nils. But it’s an important reminder.
And it becomes contagious! Play-date friends see it and offer ideas: “Aren’t you thankful for those Young Life kids you work with? I see them here a lot but don’t see them on the tree.” After coming to a crockpot cook-off, a neighbor texted her thanks. “Add that to the thankful tree,” she said.
My wish for every Mom (including me!) this November? A thankful heart that becomes contagious!
Linda Anderson and her husband Woody live in Burlington, MA. They have three children and eight grandchildren. Linda is founder of the Mom to Mom Ministry.