I love how the month before Christmas, we are celebrating a holiday all about giving thanks. It seems like the perfect entrance into the Christmas season. What better way to prepare our hearts than focusing on giving thanks?
It is so easy to get swept up into all things Christmas- especially when it comes to the gifts. While we do not have Cable, my kids still manage to catch glimpses of all the advertisements. I am pretty sure my oldest has been writing an ongoing Christmas list since August.
While I am all about giving gifts (it is one of my love languages), I also want to be mindful in what heart attitude we are teaching. Helping form a grateful heart in my children is so important to me and it is something we are constantly talking about in our home. We love to talk about giving others gifts, the excitement of receiving gifts, and then the contentment that we can have.
The past couple years, we have used the month of November to focus on giving thanks. A couple years ago, our church sent home a note with the kids about creating a Thankful Tree in our house. Instantly, I loved the idea as it combined a lesson with something creative. It was a great activity for family night and we used construction paper to make our own tree.
Every day, the kids would add a new leaf to the tree with something they were thankful for written on it. It was amazing to see how this simple activity helped turn our hearts on giving thanks. My husband and I participate as well and I love how it is a gentle reminder of all we have to be grateful for, because kids are not the only ones who struggle with being content.
Having an intentional Christmas does not start December 1st, it starts now. We can plant little seeds into our children’s hearts about gratitude and use a simple activity like a thankful tree to build even more into this.
What about you? Do you have any fun ways to teach gratitude to your children?
This post is part of 31 Days of Intentional Christmas- read more here.