“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.” – Cicero
With Thanksgiving in our focus at our apartment community in North Austin, TX, it brings back great memories of gathering together with friends and family during this time of the year.
It is also time to reflect-back to all the good in life that we may have forgotten to appreciate through our most recent challenging times. In that light, we thought we would share some ideas to help children, and adults as well, get together to share their ideas and memories about the more positive things in life.
Below you will find an easy list of ideas that we have gathered from our favorite family-focused websites. We encourage you to take some time to share these ideas before Thanksgiving and perhaps during the upcoming holiday as well.
Make Time to Say Thanks
During this busy time of the year, it is often challenging to get a family to sit down for dinner when it is usually the best time for a family conversation. Perhaps you can start the inspiration at breakfast and ask everyone to spend a moment to share what they are thankful for each morning. This will jump-start everyone’s day in positive note which they can carry with them throughout each day.
Post Your Gratitude
If you have some post-it notes, pull them out and put them to good use this Thanksgiving! This simple idea can last a long time when it comes to reminding your family how grateful you are for their love and kindness. Just write a quick note – and perhaps post it in the bathroom on the mirror. You can rest assured they will see it at some point during the day!
And then leave the post-it pad with a pen close by … to encourage their own inspirational thoughts.
Give Thanks Across the Street and Beyond
With all the delicious recipes overflowing on the internet, maybe this will inspire you and your children to make something yummy to share with the next-door neighbors?
Or help out at the local Food Bank or Soup Kitchen volunteering, safely, to help those who need it most.
Play the Alphabet Game
This is an easy one that everyone can play – be it indoors or out! Start with the letter “A” and ask everyone to name something that they are grateful for that begins with “A”. Think: adoration for my family, art, apple pie!
Try A Game of Gratitude
All you need are a few pieces of paper and pen, and a timer, for this easy and interactive game. Tell the players that they will have one minute to write down everything that they are grateful for this past year. Whoever has the biggest list can then oversee starting a similar game with a ball in hand. The idea here is to hold the ball, say what you are thankful for, then toss the ball to another friend or family member. This can be a timed event as well. Set it for a minute and see how many times the ball can be passed.
Start a Piggy Bank Filled with Love
We love this one. Give everyone seven pieces of paper on which they will write their thoughts. No name is required – just the thought. Every morning, have them place their paper in a jar through the week. On Thanksgiving, or during the holiday weekend, find time to pass the Piggy Bank around the table and ask everyone to pull out one thought and share it with all involved.
Create a Family Thank You Journal
All you need for this idea is a blank book (or large notepad) that will be a treasured keepsake. We like to start this on Thanksgiving and encourage our family to write their thoughts of gratitude within the Journal until Christmas Day. It is not necessary to write every day, yet at least once a week. We use Sundays as our days to stop and reflect on what we are thankful for during that past week.
On Christmas, we close the book and share it on New Year’s Eve. You may be surprised how all the entries can set a healthy and happy tone for the new year ahead.
Bring Back the Hand-Written Thank You Note!
If there is one act of kindness that our staff at Juniper Springs apartments in Austin appreciates most – it’s a good-old-fashioned Thank You note. These are certainly appropriate after one receives a gift yet are just as powerful as an impromptu act of kindness. No need to wait to just to tell someone you are thinking about them or appreciate their guidance and advice.
We hope you have enjoyed this bit of inspiration to kick-start the holiday season. From all of us at the Juniper Springs apartment community, we thank you for your friendship and wish you a warm and memorable Thanksgiving.