collecting thanksgiving



painted leaves | chalkboard | twine | journal

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Have I told you that yet? While of course I love the entire holiday season (Christmas and New Year’s included), I especially love that Thanksgiving causes me–all of us– to stop and reflect. For one day, instead of looking to our wants and needs and TO DOs, we dwell on what we have, on the relationships we’ve been given, and say “thank you.” I’ve had to refocus my own heart in this way regularly the last two years. As life has seemed to size us down (you can read more about that here), it feels easier to focus on the loss, the lack, the want. Finding ways to say “thank you” in those moments seems harder, like trying to lift your arms on a spinning roller coaster with gravity willing against you. No, giving thanks does not always happen naturally. However, when we intentionally seek ways to be thankful regardless of the circumstances, our hearts always grow. That’s the real gift.

The kids and I began collecting thanks a couple of years ago in a journal. Each day we would pass the book around and write something/someone we were thankful for, things like family members and pillow pets and a new bug we discovered and sunlight and fireworks and ideas such as wisdom. I’m writing in past tense because somewhere in the chaos of the last six months, we stopped. We now do it orally each morning with our read-a-loud time, but I miss having the written record. So in light of the season and trying again to be more intentionally grateful, I have been finding easy ways to begin collecting our thanksgiving again. Here’s a few of my favorites. What about you? How do you cultivate thanksgiving during this season? I would love to hear.


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  1. this is so good. so true that in difficult times it’s harder to be grateful, i’ve been fighting against that in my pregnancy woes [sleeplessness, crazy hormones, headaches, exhaustion, etc]. but i think it’s even more important and rewarding in these times when we can learn to find the blessings. thank you for this reminder.

    1. Thank you, Marla. I just recently read in your post that you were pregnant–so exciting! And exhausting. Tons of grace to you, friend. And I love the leaf tutorial and am planning for us to collect some this weekend! thanks for sharing.

  2. These are so lovely! i’ll be celebrating Thanks Giving for the very first time this year. And i really can’t wait! and of course to make a few decorations :)

    1. How exciting! Maybe it will become your favorite holiday, too. Enjoy the season, sweet lady, and thank you for sharing. x

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