By Jennifer Halter
During this time of year, it’s very common to hear discussions or see posts on social media about the importance of giving thanks. Here are some great ways you can get the entire family involved in learning the importance of showing gratitude, not only for this month, but throughout the entire year.
At mealtime, go around the table and ask each person to share one thing that they are thankful for that happened that day. This could be something that happened at school, work or home. To make this more fun, you can put each family member’s name in a jar. Each person will pick one name and share something he or she is thankful for related to the one chosen. Examples could include “I’m thankful for mom/dad for cooking dinner” or “I’m thankful for brother/sister for helping me clean up our toys.”
Another activity would be to start a gratitude journal. For younger children, you may want to keep it simple by having them finish the sentence, “Today, I am thankful for…”
At Daycare or School
Our teachers and caregivers have special days throughout the year when they are celebrated, but you don’t need a special occasion to show them how much they are appreciated. You can have children make special cards (there are lots of cute ideas on Pinterest!). Don’t forget about support staff, such as those in the office, cafeteria and bus drivers.
In The Community
Our first responders, such as police officers and firefighters, work hard to protect and serve our communities. Some even volunteer their time to do this. A fun way to give thanks as a family or even with other people in your neighborhood is to deliver goodies to the stations. Baked goods, donuts or even pizzas are big hits and are always much appreciated. Call ahead to your local station to be sure there are no restrictions on this and to see what would be the best time to drop items by. For those serving in the military, you and your family can send care packages to troops that are currently deployed. You can even send photos and letters expressing your gratitude for their service to our country with your package. For more information, go to supportourtroops.org/care-packages.
Jennifer Halter ([email protected]) is the founder of Macaroni Kid in Woodbridge and Gainesville.