Gratitude is perhaps the most important character quality we should exhibit every day of the year. Without grateful hearts, we will spend our days anxious, unfulfilled, and always wanting more.
Does your family struggle with discontent during the holidays? It’s almost impossible to be content with what we have when so many wonderful toys, tools, and gadgets are paraded across the television screen and touted on the Internet. How can we change grumbling and discontent to gratitude? Can it even be accomplished?
I think the answer to that last question is a resounding Yes!
We can change the atmosphere of our home from one that always wants more, more, more, into a home environment of gratitude and thankfulness. All it takes is a commitment to change and recognition of what we have already been given.
Have your ever made a personal “Gratitude List”? What about a family “Gratitude List”? If you haven’t, may I encourage you to do both?
Begin with your own personal gratitude lists. After dinner, send everyone off alone to construct a list of everything they have for which they are personally grateful. Give your children some ideas to get started. The ideas might be along the lines of: food, clothing, pets, toys, etc… After everyone is finished, regroup and read your lists aloud to one another. As they hear everyone else’s lists, don’t be surprised if your children find more items to add to their own list.
Now, with personal “Gratitude Lists” complete, take some time to construct a family “Gratitude List”.
Brainstorm together all the things that your family has that should produce gratitude. Our own list includes things such as: brothers and sisters, a mom and dad who love each other, our home, good friends, and so much more. Let everyone have a turn to contribute their own unique ideas.
Christians should be the most grateful people on earth. With forgiveness for our sins, a Savior who sacrificially loves us, and an eternal home in heaven, how can we be anything but grateful?
Throughout the holiday season, encourage your family members to add to their lists as they recognize new things for which they should be grateful. Share those new items with one another as an encouragement to family growth.
Gratitude is the antidote to grumbling and contentment will keep our kids from coveting everything they see.
Work together to become a family characterized by gratitude and thankfulness!