So, you have decided to join the family gratitude month challenge. The first couple of days were easy enough, but now it’s starting to seem more like a chore. Introducing a little fun into the challenge can help your family show their thankfulness for the entire thirty days of November.
As always, Pinterest is your friend. Don’t feel like you have to get caught up in that Elf On The Shelf type competitive madness though, for your family month of gratitude. If you and your kids are having fun writing notes or making cookies for the entire month – go for it.
If you want some new ideas though, here are a few I have used or seen over the years (my apologies to the original creative people – I have no idea of the original source of any of these):
- Herbs – Pick up small pots at yard sales or find them in your garage. Here our grocery store actually has the cheapest herbs. One $2.99 pot of sage easily broke into two pots and I really could have gotten a third one from it. Someone who cooks will love having fresh herbs during the winter months.
- Christmas or Easter Cactus – These plants are awesome! One year I bought quite a few of the tiniest pots sold at my craft store and filled them with the “good” dirt (with fertilizer already mixed in). Then I took two or three sections off of a stem of my main plant and stuck the end that had been attached to the main plant in the dirt. In a very quick amount of time they had grown roots and were the beginnings of a flower that will last for years with beautiful blooms.
- Food Mixes – You can often find these free recipes online under “gifts in a jar” or something similar. I have done them in baggies with nice twist ties. The ones that were the biggest hits were for a multi-bean soup, hot chocolate and even a spice rub for barbecue. You can usually make several batches with each group of ingredients you purchase. Don’t forget to include the recipe that tells them what they need to add to “finish” the recipe.
- Cute Pinterest Sayings Attached to Useful or Fun Items – You can usually find suggestions under volunteer appreciation gifts. These are often items you can buy in bulk for not much money like candy or lip balm and then the saying adds a touch of appreciation to the item. Don’t forget to attach your personal sentence or two of thanks to give it a more personal touch.
- Personal Gift Cards – Instead of giving someone a gift card to Starbucks, set a day and time to meet them at Starbucks and you and your kids will treat them to the beverage of their choice. The time your family spends interacting will be appreciated as much or more than the cup of coffee. Or even better, give them a gift card good for a cup of coffee with your family in your home for a specific number of times with 24 hours notice.
- Become an Anonymous Admirer – I have never forgotten the mystery person who sent me an important looking book for my high school graduation with an anonymous note saying how much they thought of me and my future. To this day I am not sure who sent it, but it sure added to the fun to guess! Do whatever you were going to do, but don’t sign your name. Drop the card in the mail or leave the note and gift on the doorstep, ring the bell and run and hide. Young kids especially love the added air of mystery and the recipient might enjoy a little mystery in their life, too. (Note: If you do this, don’t leave homemade food items. We live in a world where that may make some people nervous and your hard work will end up in the garbage.)
Adding a little something special to your thank you can help the person feel appreciated and loved even longer. Every time they see or enjoy that item, they will remember your family and how much you appreciate them. It is a gift that will encourage them to continue shining their light to others like they did to you and your family.