Gratitude around the Family Table

Live in Thanksgiving Daily

Orange and black bins lined the front walk of a house in our neighborhood last weekend. The family taking down their Halloween decorations have twice as many boxes as I do for Christmas. Most likely, just as soon as these decorations return to the garage, the Christmas boxes will come out.

But, in between candy and costumes and giving and receiving is a special period of time to protect just for you and your family—a month of thanksgiving.

Counting blessings doesn’t require a box of anything except maybe some pens and paper.

Giving thanks doesn’t require a special treat, although a meal will most likely mark its end.

Remembering doesn’t cost anything except a few minutes of time and a humble heart of gratitude.

Our tradition to “live in thanksgiving daily for (our) many mercies and blessings” during the month of November has taken different forms depending on the age of our children or our circumstances. Sometimes we’re formal, but more often we’re not. It’s always personal, but occasionally we share.

This year, we’re living in thanksgiving every day around our family table. Our  favorite Amish basket holds blank slips of paper, some pens for after the meal when we each pause and write a blessing, a gift, a tender mercy or anything. Then, we fold them back up and toss them in the basket until it overflows on our Thanksgiving table.

The simplicity of naming them one-by-one as a daily routine prepares us to recognize, receive and recall all we’ve been given before we even think about buying or wishing for more.

How do you express gratitude as a family?

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