It is that time of the year again….I was thinking what would be a great message for this Christmas … I wrote about the instilling the value of gratitude last year, and thought it would be another great topic to add to the festive season.
But first, let's explore the meaning of gratitude; from Dictionary.com "the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful", not just for the things that we have, but for the everyday experiences, health and well being.
During the festive season, it is a great opportunity to reintroduce or enhance the values of gratitude – and where shall we start?
How do you instill and foster the values of gratitude in your children at home during this festive season?
It all starts at home!
- Model gratitude – take time to show gratitude to your family, thank them for their support and help to the lead up to the special day. Show careful thoughts for the gifts and taking time to wrap them. The more the children help in the process, i.e. help setting up the Christmas tree, preparing the meals and shopping etc., the more they will appreciate the amount of work that goes into preparing for a fun and big day like Christmas.
- Irrespective of the nature of the gifts, whether it is an expensive gift or something that is not as extravagant, always remember that it is the thought that counts. I always prefer something that is made from the heart rather than from the factory! Even a HUG is a valuable gift!
- Be grateful for the family members that come together to share the occasion and festivity together and those cheerful / and not so cheerful shared experiences together.
- Encourage your children to hand-write a thank you note to relatives for their presents. I am a believer of hand written notes, as it takes more thought and care when you have to write it out with paper and pen.
- It is about giving during this festive time – I was walking in the local shopping centre, and noticed the Christmas tree is up with tags requesting for donations of toys for the local disadvantaged families – this is something you can do as a family, and maybe a yearly family ritual?
The value of gratitude is a precious value, and a legacy that you can instill in your children. It is more than saying thank you, it is an attitude of appreciation, an attitude that can help to ground us and bring out the feeling of peace, joy, abundance and the beauty of human nature.
Wishing you a wonderful and blessed Christmas!