A gratitude list is something that every family should sit down and write together to help remind everyone just how lucky they all are. This once-a-year activity can bring up wonderful memories while allowing your children to see everything they need is already in their possession.
A Family’s Guide To Creating A Gratitude List
This year, we had to cancel a huge family trip to Malta. My mother was so excited to attend her 50th High School reunion. I was looking forward to seeing my cousins. My children just wanted to hit some incredible beaches. Obviously, none of that is happening.
I heard my kids complaining a bit about the summer. How everything was “ruined” and I flipped the narrative on them by asking them to think of things that they could be grateful for instead.
What started out as a whine-fest resulted in a family bonding moment that everyone was truly grateful for and I had to post about it because I think everyone should spend some time creating a gratitude list – especially right now. It really is all about perspective.
What should I put on my gratitude list?
I’m sure you’re wondering what we put on our gratitude list. I will absolutely jot down some of our ideas below, but just know that these gratitude list ideas might not work for you.
My gratitude list is pretty customized and personal, but I still wanted to share it because it might inspire some ideas to kick off your own personal grateful list.
- A summer at home without any travel
- More time to spend with one another
- More baking
- Our new hot tub
- Our new backyard set up
- Dance parties and BBQs
- Hula hooping outside
- Warm blankets
- Our church
- Tucker walks
- Movie nights
- Game nights
- Malibu Beach Club
- King size bed
- Our grandparents live right next to us
- Biking with friends
- Going to bed at midnight
- Unsweetened Black Tea
- Marvel Ice Cream (no, I didn’t mean Carvel – it’s a Long Island thing)
- Drives out to the North Fork
- Fresh pie stands
- Pajama days
- Quiet street
- Both parents working from home
- Sudoku puzzles
- Mom cooking every night
- Fortnite (blah – that was from my sons)
- Sleeping in late
- Mom’s kisses
- Our home
- Our friends ringing our doorbell all summer
How can I have more gratitude in my life?
As mentioned, I heard my children not living life with gratitude and I decided to have a conversation about it as soon as it happened. I think that we, as adults, have to do this with ourselves, as well.
My dream of all dreams is to retire out East on the North Fork. I want to buy a house a few hours away and live somewhere that sells fresh pie and is right off the water. I want to walk to town and get homemade ice cream and maybe own a small shop that sells little trinkets. Does it sound like it should be in a book? LOL! Then we are on the same page.
Well, I often find myself UPSET that I cannot afford to buy that retirement home NOW. I struggle with the fact that we can’t get my FINAL house TODAY because I want it and it’s just not FAIR.
I’ve worked so HARD for almost twenty years, after all. Does any of this sound familiar to you? Gratitude doesn’t always come easy when life gets in the way.
When I find myself on Zillow feverishly house hunting without technically being able to do so, I STOP myself and I start a fresh gratitude list.
Ten things that I am grateful for in my life – on that day. They could be so small! My favorite cup of tea! That’s a win. It calms my mind and I let all the “what if’s” go.
An interview with Ava DuVernay about gratitude
A few years ago, I interviewed Ava DuVernay and she truly changed my way of thinking about gratitude. She told me that she counts in her head all the things she should be grateful for every single day. Someone opens up the door for her – plus one. Someone says thank you – plus one.
By the end of the day, when she is in bed and ready to go to sleep, she tallies all of her plus ones and feels good about all that she has to be thankful for. That is how she does her gratitude list – and she does it every single day! I LOVE THAT.
Ava knows she is blessed but not because of her millions. She is blessed because she recognizes all the daily gratefulness that surround her life. I will never forget that interview. I pull from it often.
3 grateful things
Can you come up with 3 grateful things that you’d like to acknowledge? What are three things in your life that bring you happiness and joy?
You don’t have to start with 100 Things To Be Thankful For! Although, I have that post written up if you want to read it. Just start with three.
If you’d like to use a fun printable worksheet for kids – I have this Thankful Worksheet where children can come up with one word for every letter of the alphabet. That could be a great way to get the conversation started.
Can gratitude change your life?
The concept of gratitude can absolutely change your life. Perspective is everything! This is why it is important to instill this belief onto your children at a very early age.
Working on your gratitude list as a family is such a powerful lesson for everyone involved and I promise you that your littles will feel SO GOOD once you are done. You could buy a gratitude journal and fill it out every single time you feel like writing a new list. Or you could grab a piece of paper from the printer and stick it to your fridge when you are done. That’s up to you.
We are all abundantly blessed. Sometimes the wrong things get in the way and cloud our judgement. They prevent us from seeing our real truths. Everything that we’ve ever needed… we’ve had all along. Dorothy had it right.