Gratitude project 2013

Practicing gratitude is so much harder than it sounds. It is so easy to take things for granted. It is so easy to want more instead of being satisfied with what we have. It is so easy to compare ourselves to others and notice what they have that we don't.

Speaking of that last one, I came across this quote somewhere the other day.

If comparison is the thief of joy, then gratitude is the way to get it back.

Love it, don't you? It's so true.

November is the perfect month to practice gratitude. I try to do a project of some kind every year. Last year, I made a gratitude album with my daughter, (using Cathy Zielske's 30 Days of Thankful format). This year, I decided to make it simpler and more inclusive. No photos. No album. Just the gratefulness, pure and simple.

Here's what I did: I found these cute little printable tags (free download here) and cut them out. I found a little tray and set them out on a centrally located console table along with a pen and a bowl.

And then I didn't say a word. (This was the hardest part.)

It did not take long for the kids to take notice. And, did they ask me about it? No! What did they do instead? Check this out, it's so amazing: They started filling out the tags and dropping them in the bowl. All by themselves.

Well, I guess the project was pretty self explanatory, but still. I didn't have to say anything. They just started doing it. I secretly peeked in the bowl and was amazed at what they had written. Some samples:

my family
my friends
my bed

(Did you see my name in there!? They are grateful for me. Awwww. You wouldn't know it much of the time, so this was heartwarming for sure.)

I even see a card in there in my daughter's handwriting with my son's name on it, and one in my son's handwriting with my daughter's name written on it. Wow.

They had some little friends over the other day, and they each put in a couple of tags too. It's spreading!!

I'm still thinking about what to do with these little tags at the end of the month. Maybe I'll punch holes and keep them together on a binder ring as a compact memento. Or maybe I'll string them into a little garland for the Christmas tree. That would be sweet. (Or maybe they'll just get tossed at the end of the month, because really, the point is making them, not saving them. I'm trying to declutter around here, after all.)

I hope we keep up the momentum throughout the month. In case we do, I'm off to print more tags... we're almost out of one of the cute designs already!

Happy gratitude month!

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