You know the really cool thing about having your own home and your own family?
You get to create fun, new traditions with your family.
Traditions that maybe are different from ones you grew up with.
Traditions that bring joy and smiles to your loved ones faces and hearts.
One of the favorite traditions in our family is our month long November gratitude tradition.
It begins on November 1st, and we carry it through to the end of the month.
This tradition is not like anything I grew up with.
1 large, round pumpkin
Step #1 - Pick a special GRATITUDE pumpkin.
A pumpkin that is fresh and new.
One that hasn’t been used for a jack-o-lantern or anything else in the month of October.
It’s fun to bring the kids with you to pick out the pumpkin, but if you are pressed for time you can certainly do this alone.
Step #2 - Daily share your gratitude
Each day after dinner, as a family spend a few minutes going around the table each saying something you were grateful for that day, or someone you are grateful for.
I always like to follow up with this question: Why are you grateful for that event/person?
Did you know that when we take a few minutes to think about the why, we are teaching ourselves (and our family members) to go deeper with their thoughts and to get comfortable sharing them with others.
Step #3 - Make your family tradition personal
Choose 1 person (we usually choose our daughter) to write something from your gratitude list that day and write it on the pumpkin.
It's very important that you let all your family members have turns to write, especially the young ones.
Having the responsibility of writing on the pumpkin is a way of fostering independence, confidence, and writing skills.
**You can start at the top and write in a spiral around the pumpkin, or choose a different space each day**
Continue this each day in the month of November.
At the end of the month take a few minutes to reflect on everything/everyone in your lives you had the opportunity to be grateful for.
**We have used our gratitude pumpkin for a centerpiece at Thanksgiving dinner in the past. It’s a beautiful reminder of how many things your family was grateful for during the month.**
**Warning** You may have skeptics in your family who don’t want to join in this activity. That’s ok!
Don’t give up, keep doing it. You are never too young (or too old) to learn about gratitude.
Remember to be patient when starting new traditions.
Give you family members time to adjust and allow suggestions.