We started a new tradition this year with family and friends, we started a gratitude jar. I wanted something that people could submit, share or write down what they were thankful for throughout the holidays and I wanted people to write this down at any time, not just on Thanksgiving Day. The gratitude jar appeared on Nov. 1 and is still here, collecting slips of paper with expressions of thanks and gratitude.
The jar is a basic bell jar but any container would work. I printed off slips of paper that say “I am thankful for:” and you can write a word, statement, etc. Then fold it up and put it in the jar. No names on any of the slips of paper. At Thanksgiving, I plan on dumping them out, taking a photo of all of them, and making them into a paper chain that will be up for the holidays.
The holidays are an important time to reflect, express gratitude, and for giving to others. My heart hurts for those who don’t seem to understand the true meaning of the holidays (faith, family, reflection, giving, etc.) Even the simplest acts of kindness, which cost no money, can mean so much to others.
Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation and to return kindness. To always “want” is the complete opposite. When you have gratitude, your life is more joyful, your relationships are more meaningful, your heart is more at rest/calm in your life. Contentment. The most discontented people in this world are never happy with what they have, their lives focus on what they can get to fill their unhappiness. There is no expression of gratitude is always wanting. This is hard to shift or change but can be done. But it takes discipline.
It’s not too late to start that gratitude jar. My hope for you this week with Thanksgiving is that you have a calming, restful holiday, filled with gratitude, meaningful time with family and friends and that you reflect on your blessings. Happy Thanksgiving!