Tag Archives: thankfulness

Teaching Gratitude at Christmas Through Hand-Written Cards

teaching gratitude at christmas hallmark


We’re doing our best at making this year a simple Christmas season. Less fuss. Less stress. Less stuff.

More of focusing on what MATTERS in the Season.

I don’t want to leave thankfulness back in November. I’d love for it to be heavily sprinkled onto the things we do during this month of December. Wouldn’t that be counter-cultural?  Creating a season of gratitude, when everything around us is screaming “BUY ME! YOU CAN’T BE HAPPY WITHOUT ME! YOU NEED ME!”


The boys and I spent a few minutes today writing handwritten cards to a few friends to show a little extra appreciation and love this Christmas. We sent a couple to friends who have lost loved ones, and might find this season particularly difficult.  We sent one to our helper, Katie, who came over during her Thanksgiving break, and we sent one to a long distance friend.


I remember getting so many notes of encouragement seven years ago when I was on bed rest with my quad pregnancy, and it honestly got me through some of the roughest days. A dear friend committed to sending me a handwritten card every single day that I was hospitalized.  I still tear up thinking about how much it meant to know she was thinking and praying for me during that uncertain time. I kept every single card I received during those difficult weeks, and go through them usually around the boys’ birthday. What a treasure they are to me, and will be to the boys’ as well!


Sending gratitude in the mail is something I want my boys to do more often to bless others. Words are a powerful, yet simple gift that can be sent miles away or next door. 

Gratitude doesn’t just magically appear when we want it to, it’s something we have to practice. It’s something we have to live. It’s an example we have to set.


And what better way to set the example by sitting down and jotting down a personal message to someone you love and appreciate this Christmas?  As much as I love picture perfect-photo cards that flood my mailbox, nothing compares to a hand-written note from a friend. It stands apart now more than ever. It costs very little, but can be treasured for years to come. It shifts the focus off of us and our wants, and allows us to be grateful for something we already have, which is much more valuable than any gift on our wishlist. Simple, yet meaningful – that fits our Christmas agenda.



How about YOU, do you treasure a hand-written card or note in the mail?  Do you take time to send them out regularly?  What are some simple ways you are teaching your kids gratitude this season? 


This post is part of a series that I’m partnering with Hallmark for during this month of December. I’m honored and grateful to be part of their “Life is a Special Occasion” campaign, and I’m also happy to pass along this special coupon offer for $5 off $10 at Hallmark Gold Crown Stores. Enjoy!



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Thanksgivingpalooza 2013



Oh these little Turkeys!  I’m so grateful for the joy they have brought into our lives these past 7 Thanksgivings!

It’s Thanksgiving week, and since we have 79 days into our 1st grade homeschool semester, we’re taking the whole week off!  We don’t have far to travel, since our families are within an hour away, so we’re planning on a low-key week of togetherness.

So what’s on our agenda?

It should be a great Thanksgiving week!  So what’s on YOUR agenda this week?  Traveling? Hosting family? Keeping it simple? I’d love to hear about your plans too!





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“Thankful” Pumpkin Bars with Alpha-Bits Cereal

This post is part of a campaign with Mom It Forward Blogger Network and Alpha-Bits, but all my opinions are my own.


It’s November – the month of thankfulness. And couldn’t we all benefit from another helping of thankfulness?  We’ve been talking a lot about gratitude around here, and trying to be even more intentional with our kids during this season. But I have to admit, if I’m not having a grateful heart, it instantly rubs off on my boys.

All the more motivating to practice gratefulness in front of my kids. 


We know that action is the best reinforcement, so instead of just talking about things we are grateful for, we put it into a fun cooking and decorating activity.


We made these yummy pumpkin bars together (see recipe below), and they took turns adding ingredients and cracking eggs.  {We also used baking as an opportunity to apply fractions and measurement math skills.}


While the bars baked and cooled, they told me what to write down on their “Things We Are Thankful For” list, and then they practiced reading the list. I love real-life learning.


Next I had them sort through Alpha-Bits cereal, to spell their thankful words. Playing with your food is encouraged for this activity

I let them snack on the leftover cereal while I iced the Pumpkin Bars. {Alpha-Bits are a guilt-free delicious breakfast/snack for children. With 20g of whole grains and 12 essential vitamins and nutrients per 30g serving.}


Then they got to decorate their bars with the Alpha-Bits cereal letters and gummy pumpkins. 


Thankfulness. Family. Pumpkin. Fun with Learning.


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