Just like the retailers who immediately clear the shelves of Halloween items on 11/1 and replace them with Christmas items for sale, I sometimes have the tendency to skip over Thanksgiving in my thoughts.
There is so much to do to get ready for Christmas with shopping for gifts, baking, sending out Christmas cards, taking the “perfect” Christmas photo, creating numerous photo gifts, etc. that I start thinking about all the I have to do as soon as Halloween is over also.
But, I really want to take the time to slow down and be thankful for all the I have been blessed with as well as take the time to bless others at this time of year. Plus, I want to instill a spirit of thankfulness in my children, too.
Here are some ideas that I like to use to keep thankfulness at the forefront:
- Thanksgiving Chain – have each child (and yourself) think of 5-10 things that they are thankful for. Write them down on a 1×3 strip of paper and staple them together to make a chain. Every morning go through each link to remind them of what they are thankful for. They can add additional items to help the chain grow.
- Serve at a soup kitchen with your children – if your children are old enough, consider serving at a local soup kitchen with your child. Not only are you helping those in need, but your child also gets to see another side life…which can help them be more thankful for their own situation.
- Donate extra food items to a food pantry or food drive – this time of year, many organizations are collecting food for those in need for both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. If you shop the deals and have a stockpile, there may be many things that you already have available to donate.
- Involve your Child in Operation Christmas Child or Toys for Tots – although this may seem like you're skipping ahead to Christmas, many of these organizations need gifts early. Get your child involved in picking out items and toys for another child. Instead of looking through the toy section for themselves, they can look for others. Or, if you're like me, they can pick some toys from your own toy pantry (toys you've purchased on clearance throughout the year).
How do you focus on thankfulness this time of year (and throughout the year)? For more frugal ideas, please visit Life as Mom.