Frugal Living

mymessmytide

Laundry. It's not one of my most favorite chores but of course has to be done. It just isn't all that fun, is it...but then again chores in general are not all that fun, are they? ;)

This week is laundry week for me. Yes...week. I have a bit of a bad habit of letting laundry pile up until there is nothing left to wear and then taking care of it all at once. Ideal? No, probably not, but it's efficient!

Instead of dreading laundry week this time around, I'm actually looking forward to it because I have five new varieties of Tide to test out on my clothes:

Tide Ultra Stain Release
The Ultra formula contains technologies to help lift off stains with ease. 

Tide Sport
Tide plus Febreze Freshness SPORT is specially formulated to fight tough sports stains like grass, dirt, clay, and blood. It’s the #1 sports detergent that also helps eliminate odor.  

Tide plus Febreeze
Tide plus Febreze Freshness contains new renewing scent technology, which releases on motion. This provides bursts of freshness in your fabrics all day long. 

Tide plus Downy
Tide plus a Touch of Downy is also formulated with special ingredients that provide softening benefits throughout the wash.

Tide Cold Water
Tide Coldwater HE is specially formulated for your high efficiency washer to provide a brilliant clean in cold water conditions. 

Tide plus Bleach Alternative
Tide plus Bleach Alternative contains no chlorine bleach and has an ingredient that neutralizes the chlorine in your water, so it’s safe for all your machine-washable clothes and won’t cause colored garments to fade.

Who knew that there were so many options?! I've got items to wash that fit perfectly with all of these detergents! 

Over the next couple of days I'm going to be sharing my experiences with a few of these Tide varieties. In fact, I've dug through my piles and have come up with the two "dirtiest" items to really put Tide to the test. Here they are:

stinky-blanket

This is my dog's blanket. It has been in their "house" for two weeks now and, well...it stinks! I'm going to be testing out Tide plus Febreeze on this one.

dirty-pants

These are my ski pants. I've wore them about five times this season (don't judge me ;)), and finally decided that they are long past due for a wash! I'm going to see if Tide Ultra is able to get these dirt stains out.

Now, while you're waiting to hear how my laundry week goes, make sure to check out these two exciting promotions:

Save on Tide at Albertsons

Buy Any 4 Tide from participating Albertsons stores and Get $5 off your bill Instantly (only through 3/11). Participating products include: Tide (46-50oz), Downy Unstopables (13.2oz), Downy Fabric Softener (48-60 load), Tide Oxi Stain Remover (108 load), Bounce Fabric Sheets (105ct).

my-mess-my-tide

Tide Caption Contest

How would you like to win a brand new HE washer/dryer and a year supply of Tide? Head on over here to check out Tide's Caption & Win contest to enter!

*Full Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Tide. All opinions, as always, are my own.

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st-patricks-day-idea
St. Patrick’s Day is often synonymous with leprechauns and Irish foods such as corned beef and hash. It’s thought of as the holiday when Irish people are kissed and those not sporting green are pinched, and that’s honestly about it. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing the “traditional” things on any holiday, but I thought I would change things up this year. Would you like to join me? Here are some out of the ordinary ideas to help spice up St. Patrick’s Day or to encourage those of you who don’t normally celebrate to have a little fun and spread some cheer, too.

It’s Your Lucky Day

Here’s a twist on paying it forward. On St. Patrick’s Day, choose someone you can spontaneously encourage. Some examples could be paying for the person behind you in line, giving some unwanted clothes to a friend who is in need of or desiring a wardrobe update, or take a meal to someone who could use a break from cooking. When you do your random (or not so random) act of kindness, also give the person a little card saying “It’s your lucky day! Now, make someone else’s day lucky. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” and include a little “green” (a dollar or $5 bill) with it to help get them started on paying it forward to someone. Have a little fun making someone’s day and inspiring them to do the same for someone else.

lucky-to-be-with-you

I’m Lucky to Have You

Spend some time on St. Patrick’s Day communicating to as many family and friends as you can reasons why you are lucky to have them in your life. This could be through an e-mail note (with green text instead of black, of course J), snail mail card, facebook post, phone call or text message. Include greenshamrock-shaped notes in your family members’ lunches or as place cards at the dinner table with written message about why you feel lucky to have them in your life. Make it a scavenger hunt to find shamrock “I’m lucky to have you because…” notes throughout the house. When the notes have all beenfound, have fun over dinner guessing which notes were written to which family member and celebrate the uniqueness each person brings to your family.

Kid-friendly Green Fun

Have kids participate in the sharing of “I’m lucky to know you” gestures. Cut the top inch off of a green pepper horizontally in order to reveal a three or four-leaf clover shape (depending on the pepper’s shape). Dip this opening in green finger or tempura paint, and use it like a stamp on paper. The created shape will look like a shamrock and will only need to have a stem added using a paint brush or finger to paint one on. Repeat the “stamping” throughout the paper and turn it into a card or wrapping paper to give to grandparents or neighbors with an “I’m lucky to know you” message included. Another way to help kids share the “green” is to create shamrock shapes out of felt and attach a safety pin to each. Make enough for all of the classmates to have one on St. Patrick’s Day so the whole class can avoid the dreaded “I’m not wearing green” pinch by sporting their special pins.

Let’s make March 17th a perfect excuse to share a little fun and inspiration this St. Patrick’s Day!

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unique-valentines-day-gift-ideas
We have a rule in our household: NO “traditional” Valentine’s Day gifts allowed on February 14th!

Yes, you read that correctly. There will NOT be boxes of chocolates or roses found in our house on Valentine’s Day. I refuse to pay (or have my husband pay) the huge mark-ups on gifts for a holiday that can be made special in so many other ways by thinking “outside of the box” of chocolates! I would encourage you to think about doing the same and giving your significant other something meaningful that won’t be double the price just because it’s mid-February. Here is an example of one such gift and variations of it. What is it? It’s a “Summary of our Year Together” gift that can become an annual tradition.

unique-valentines-day-gift-dea

My husband started the tradition in our house of giving me a personalized tile each year. This is a tile that he has painted to summarize the past year of our lives together in some way- a significant event, a summary of what we did often throughout the year, etc. He also includes the year somewhere within each tile.

We now have a tile from each year we have been together, and it is such a neat reminder of where we have been and what journey life has taken us on. He simply purchases and paints the tile at one of those pottery painting studios and picks it up after it has been fired.

The tiles are displayed in our home on small easels on a wall shelf display. Eventually, we will have too many to display this way and have contemplated creating our own tiled table to display them or have them framed in sets of 4 years each. It’s a fun tradition that helps us remember memories from each year. I look forward to the gift as it affords me an opportunity to reminisce each time I see it. My husband looks forward to creating something he knows I’ll love, and it helps keep him intentionally in-tune with what each year of life brings. The blessings that come out of both the good and bad in life are displayed as reminders on our wall, and they are cemented in our hearts, too.

valentines-day-ideas

A personalized summary of life together can take on more forms than just a series of painted tiles. The beauty of it is that a February holiday means a year has just ended so you know what that year brought for your family but still allows time for the creation or purchase of the gift before Valentine’s Day. Here are some additional creative ideas:

-Consider creating something like a picture-a-month framed collage of 12 photos for your spouse’s office or a personalized calendar with a picture from that same month the previous year for each month of the new year.

-Another idea could be to purchase a small wall hanging or painting from a family trip to save and give at Valentine’s Day to add to a wall collage of trip memories.

-To commemorate the growth of your children from year to year, a clay imprint of their hand could be created each year to demonstrate their growth and be displayed above kitchen cabinets in order of year.

The ideas are endless, and the goal is to make the gift personal and meaningful for your family. Even if you don’t start it this year, the annual summary gift is something to keep in mind to implement next year and carry on the tradition each year after that.

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home-organization-projects
With so much hustle and bustle surrounding the holiday season, settling back into routine at the start of the year is a great time to do some quick yet worthwhile organization projects. These projects are meant to be done in a short period of time (30 minutes or less). The goal of these mini-projects is to give some often-used areas in your home and kitchen a little TLC while making them even more efficient and easy-to-use in the process. Happy Organizing!

Coat Closet Clean-Up

For many families, coat closets are a central spot for much more than just coats. They often house sporting gear and winter accessories, too. With so many small items, the coat closet can be overcome by piles and make it difficult to find what is needed. Consider taking all of these items out of the closet leaving only coats inside. Push coats to one side and hang a pants or shoe organizer on the other end of the closet rod. Simply use each section for small items by theme whether it be sporting equipment or clothing accessories. One section could hold sunglasses while another could be used for winter hats. Still another could house gloves or scarves. Use an old ice cream bucket in one of the sections to hold various small balls or other sporting goods. Fill any shelf or floor space in with larger items as needed once the smaller items and coats are organized.

30-min-spice-organization

Spices Looking so Nice

As you stock up on spices and add to your assortment, spices can quickly take up a good amount of space and be hard to organize. If your spice collection has gone past the point of being able to fit in a nice little spice rack on the counter, consider finding a shelf in your kitchen to dedicate to spices.

This will allow you to have all of them in one place instead of some of them being on the counter while others are in a drawer or in the pantry. Organize the spices in rows grouping spices that you use simultaneously or by theme. For example, put all of your meat seasonings in a row, your ethnic-themed spices in a row (Italian, Asian, etc.), your sweet spices in a row, etc. By having them in themes they will be easier to locate, and you can use extra space at the backs of the rows for any stockpiled spices that will easily replace the ones in front of them. You can even take it a step further and use a label maker to create labels for each row.

Reusable Food Containers all put in Order

With the constant need for packed lunches for school and work, it is easy for reusable food containers to get disorganized and even scattered (do you have some lurking in the office or car?!?). Collect up all of your containers, take them out of their intended storage space and do a simple organizing. Once they are organized by size and in efficient stacks, re-load the storage space. Have separate spots for the lids and the containers so you can easily see what you have and can fill a container without needing to move all the lids off to get to it first. If the containers are organized and visible, they will be easier to find and therefore more likely to be used. This may just inspire you to actually eat those leftovers and take lunch from home instead of just eating out or buying school lunch.

Freezer Fine-tuning

When I come home from the store, I end up putting my freezer items at the front of the freezer or wherever I find room to cram the food in. If you do the same, take a little time to take everything out of freezer (wear some winter gloves so your hands don’t freeze!). Once everything is out, start putting things back in better order. Consider putting newest items on the bottom so the oldest items that need to be used first are on top. Organize by groups so all of the meat is in one area, all of the veggies and fruit are in another, and quick foods like pizzas and snacks are in one spot. Use the door shelves for smaller items. A simple bit of organizing will remind you of what all you have to eat in the freezer, could help inspire meal planning for the weeks to come, and will make sure those older items get used before Jack Frost takes over.

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folder-organization
Maybe it is just by virtue of necessity, but I find it much easier to organize my day-to-day schedule than I do one-time events that occur throughout the year. I needed a place to put event tickets without carrying them with me in my daily planner and needed a way to organize birthday and anniversary cards as I stocked up long before the actual celebration. In addition, infrequent renewals needed to be recorded somewhere. This folder organizational system was born out of those needs. You, too, can have a simple system for organizing monthly and annual events and reminders that is fun to make and easy to use!

to-remember

Making the Folders

Start with 12 manila folders. Label each folder on the tab with a month of the year. To add pizzazz to the folders, attach a 12” X 12” scrapbook paper to the front outside of each folder and trim so it matches the folder’s shape. Choose paper that reminds you of something during that month whether it be a holiday from that month, the typical weather, or a celebration unique to your family (for example, we have lots of June birthdays in our family so my June folder has birthday-themed paper), etc.

On the inside of each folder, attach a printable calendar for that month. Since you will use this folder system for more than one year, just remove the year from the title before printing. It does not matter what day of the week corresponds to each date. On the other inside panel of the folder, attach a printable sheet that you create with specific things you want to keep track of for each month. Mine has three sections—Notes to Remember, To Dos, and Journaling.

Put all of your completed folders in a magazine holder and place it on your desk. It’s pretty enough that you can leave it out and be festive all year long!

using-folders
Using the Folders

Once you have your 12 folders, you can add some items to them right away and add others as you go throughout the year. For example, I pre-record birthdays for all months on the calendar section by writing the person’s name in the box for their birth date. Then I just have to record new birthdays as I meet new friends or as babies are born. If I already have a stock-pile of birthday cards that I have designated for certain recipients, I slide those into the correct month’s folder corresponding to that person’s birthday. All I have to do is look in the folder at the beginning of the month, pull out and write the cards and get them sent off. As I re-stock my cards, I place the cards immediately into the folders when I purchase them.

In addition to birthdays, I also use the folder system to house event tickets. If you purchase tickets to an event that is months away but still print them out right away or get them in the mail early on, you can easily keep them in the middle of the event month’s folder. This is also a great spot to keep magazine and newspaper clippings about activity ideas to do for specific holidays.

Finally, I use my folders to organize happenings that don’t occur regularly. For example, I know my car insurance always comes up for renewal in February so I keep a record in the notes section of that and a reminder to pay it in the “To Do” section. Any annual (or even more infrequent) expenses, renewals and expirations are easy to keep track of here- car registration, driver’s license or professional license renewal dates, airline mile expiration dates, etc. These can be recorded in the notes or task list sections on the inside of the folder. The journal section is a place to remember those special moments that occur once-in-a-lifetime but are worth remembering year after year such as dedications and baptisms.

I hope you can enjoy a little “craft” project on a chilly day this month and trust it will help you stay organized throughout the years to come! This folder system works well as a personalized gift for your organizationally-minded friends, too.

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kids-valentines-day
During a holiday traditionally set aside for “lovers”, it is important to keep in mind that Valentine’s Day can be a great intentional opportunity to remind your kiddos how much you love them, too. While kids often celebrate at school with cards and parties, Valentine’s Day does not have to be limited to just that. Consider making Valentine’s Day more than just an excuse to go out on a date with your significant other, and include the whole family in the festivities. Here are some ways to do just that.

Red and Pink Family Dinner

Create a special meal at home for the family that is exclusively Valentine colors. Be creative with how you can turn things into those colors such as making pink milk and mashed potatoes by adding a little red food coloring. Think about foods that are red and pink to create the menu including ham, cherry tomatoes, berries, red velvet cookies, etc. Solicit ideas of red foods from the kids, and have fun creating the menu. Do you think pasta would turn pink in red-colored water?!?! It is worth a try, right?

valentines-surprise

Surprise gifts and treats

For the little ones, consider doing a gift scavenger hunt similar to an Easter basket hunt. Set a trail of candy hearts throughout the house that leads to a special small gift for Valentine’s Day. For older kids who are in school, surprise them with a gift or treat when they get home from school by having it on their bed. They might not discover it until later in the evening, but it will be a sweet surprise and a great reminder of your love for them.

hearts-on-glass

Get festive!

Don’t let the end of the holiday season and festivities in addition to the chilly weather keep spirits down. Get back into a festive mood by decorating the house for Valentine’s Day. Have the kids help as a fun indoor activity that is out of the norm. Allow them to even decorate their rooms with red and white paper chains or strands of paper hearts. Be creative and think about what ordinary places could use some extra cheer. Use window clings on anything glass (not just windows) including flower vases or to jazz up dinner plates/cups.

14 Reasons Why I Love You…

Because there are 14 days in February leading up to Valentine’s Day, write out 14 reasons why you love each of your kids. Write each one on a heart-shaped sticky note or sheet of paper. Incorporate the presentation of the notes into the family Valentine’s dinner and share them together over dinner.

Let’s make Valentine’s Day an intentional demonstration of why we love our kids this year! Don’t have kids? Consider how you can shower your friends and other family members with expressions of your love and gratitude, and let love live!

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color-coded
If your household is anything like mine, you are probably the one in your family that everyone expects to be a walking calendar-- able to recall what is going on in anyone's schedule at a moment's notice!

Although my mental and written calendars are musts for me personally, I also want to make sure that my family is informed about what is going on and is also able to manage their own schedules as well. If you want the same for your family, here are some basic steps in creating and using a family calendar that will help keep you all organized and informed.

color-coded-calendar

1. Choose a central location in your home for your monthly calendar.
Think about a location where all of the family members will be able to easily view the calendar on a daily basis but not necessarily a place where visitors to the home will see it, too. For example, in our home, we have the calendar in the hallway where all the of the bedrooms are located so we all see the calendar at the start and end of the day. Because most guests don't need to be in that part of the house, this also eliminates potentially broadcasting our schedule to everyone who enters our home.

2. Select a calendar that is functional for your needs.
When considering calendar options to make or purchase, think about your needs and uses for it. Ours is a whiteboard calendar so it can be easily erased and added to. We made sure it was magnetic, too, which gives us the ability to post things on it. Consider if you would use one with a cork board section or one with an organizer attached. For those of you who prefer computer organization, you can make a calendar on the computer. Just be sure to print it and post it where the family can access it. If you are choosing one spot for the family to access all of the information they need, make it as useful as possible.

3. Write your family's activities on the posted calendar, and color-code it for ease of use.
Especially when there are kids around, it is easier for them to be on board with using this family calendar tool if it is user friendly. Have each family member choose a color that will be theirs so they know what to look for on the calendar. Write (or type- if you are using a computerized calendar) all of that person's activities such as practices, parties, and appointments for the month in their color. Continue this process with all family members switching colors as you record activities for each person. Make one color represent the whole family for any activities you will all be doing together. Make a color-coded key on the edge of the calendar to show each person's color. I use a separate color to record birthdays and other special events for the month so everyone remembers special days, too.

Are there other ways you keep your happenings organized and your family informed? Please share your fabulous ideas in the comment section below.

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Holiday Gift Ideas for Teachers

December 4, 2013 · 1 comment

by Katie

gift-ideas-for-teachers

The season of giving is upon us. For those of you with school-aged children, it is likely their their teachers are on your giving list. It can be tricky to know what they may want or need, but we all know that these hard-working people deserve a reminder that we appreciate them. Hopefully these suggestions will help you choose something truly meaningful to the teacher while showing your gratitude for all they do for your child.

Who Doesn’t Love Gift Cards?

If you don’t want to spend a ton of time and effort on a gift, a gift card is always a great choice. And, let’s face it, no teacher has ever turned down a little extra money! If you know the teacher well, you can get a gift card to a specific store or restaurant you know they love. If you are not sure what to get, consider more general gift cards that are just as meaningful such as a combo card that can be used at several different restaurants or a book store gift card to help stock the classroom. If you don’t have to have a big budget then consider a coffee shop, smoothie store or breakfast place gift card where a smaller dollar amount will still cover the cost of a purchase. If you want to go even more general, you can’t go wrong with some cold, hard cash.

Personalized Gifts should still be Functional and Usable!

Personalized and handmade gifts are special because it is the thought that counts anyway. Even so, if you choose to have your child help in creating the gift, be sure to think about if and how the teacher can use it. It is best to steer clear of handmade items that are designed to be displayed or worn in case they don’t match the teacher’s style or preference. While kids may love the rubber band weave bracelets, this probably isn’t what the teacher loves! Also consider the functionality of gifts and be sure it is something they can actually use instead of something that will end up collecting dust—a teacher can only have so many apple-inspired items. ;) A nice card written by the student and an edible creation could also work well as a personalized gift.

Whole-class Gifts are Winners!

You can get more bang for your buck and bless the teacher in a big way if you get the whole class on board to go in on a gift. Consider talking to other parents, collecting money, and creating a theme-based basket. Choose a theme that the teacher loves. If the teacher is a coffee-lover, the basket may include coffee, mugs, sweet treats, and gift cards to coffee shops in town. Choose a country the teacher teaches about during the year as the theme of the basket. Include some items that could be visual aids while teaching that unit (posters, etc.), include a restaurant gift card for a place that serves that country’s cuisine, and buy some books about the place for the classroom library. A book-lover would truly enjoy a basket full of their favorite genre of books, a cozy blanket to wrap up in and a gift card to a local book shop.

Consider making a personalized gift as a class. That way the teacher will only have one item instead of 20+ different items to use. This could be a tote bag with painted hand prints of the whole class on it or a bar stool for the teacher to sit in while teaching that has thumb prints of the students on it. Again, keep the functionality in mind, and don’t repeat something the teacher already has.

Even Classroom-related Items can be Great Gifts!

You’d be surprised to know just how quickly all those school supplies from the beginning of the year run out. Ask the teacher what supplies need to be re-stocked or what items are on his or her classroom wish list. Consider purchasing these as a gift. Teachers spend so much money out of their own pocket to keep the classroom stocked that this mid-year re-stock could save lots of the teacher’s time and money.

katie-on-bargain-blessingsThis post was written by Katie, an elementary Spanish teacher and a Bargain Blessings contributing writer. Visit the Bargain Blessings contributing team page to learn more about Katie and our other team members.

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thankfulness-through-written-messages

In the previous post about fostering thankfulness at Thanksgiving, we talked about ways to share what we are thankful for. These were more public demonstrations either through social media or through a sharing time over the Thanksgiving meal with guests. More “private” expressions of gratitude can also be incredibly meaningful and are much more long-lasting. These might be helpful for people who are not very comfortable sharing with a group what they are thankful for or just if you want a more permanent collection of gratitude anecdotes to keep track of over the years.

My hope is that these couple tips for preserving an attitude of gratitude through lasting written word will foster thankfulness and be a lasting blessing for your family throughout the years to come.

memory-book

Seasonal or Daily Gratitude Journal

One of the best gifts I ever received was a 5 year journal. Each day of the year has one page in the journal, and that page is split up into 5 sections for a short entry on that given date to use over the course of 5 years. I just write a few short sentences about what happened in life on that day, but it is so neat to have a record of what has happened. As I go through the next few years, I’ll be able to look back at what I was doing a year or two ago on that same day and remember to be grateful for the journey I’ve been on.

You can do the same, and I guarantee you’ll be able to find something to be grateful for in each day. If a daily journal seems to be too much, you can just use a seasonal journal. For example, you can store a journal with your fall or holiday decorations and pull it out when you decorate. Throughout the season until those decorations and journal are packed away again, record things periodically from that season that you are grateful for. As you foster this habit of finding blessings in every day, you’ll be encouraged that life has good things to offer. Be sure to look back at your daily or seasonal journal to remember the journey you’ve been on and be grateful for where you are headed!

thankful-leaves

Gratitude Display with Written Message

I’ve found that some members of my family are much more comfortable sharing their heart of gratitude in writing than sharing out loud. Therefore, I started a tradition of pulling out a small metal “tree” display stand that I have and left a bunch of papers cut out in the shape of leaves near it with some pens. I punched a hole in each leaf so that it could be hung on the tree. I encouraged everyone who came to Thanksgiving to take time at their leisure to write what they are thankful for on a leaf and add it to the tree. I made sure it was clear that they would not be read out loud but that they would be saved from year to year. Some guests chose to write their name and the year on their leaf while others left them completely anonymous. I found that this helped some people open up their heart of gratitude in a way that they never would have sharing aloud.

Although they don’t have to be leaves, choose a shape of something fall or Thanksgiving-inspired and cut out a bunch of those shapes on fun paper. You can use a tree display like mine or have a bulletin board or photo holder for people to attach their messages onto. Be sure to pull out your gratitude display each year and have new papers for people to write on. Keep the previous gratitude messages to add to the display so people can read them from years past and add new ones.

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thanksgiving-thankfulness
One of my favorite parts about this time of year is that it causes us to intentionally think about what we are grateful for. There’s something about celebrating a holiday called Thanksgiving that encourages us to do just that- give thanks! We all can get out of the habit of doing this, and this season can be a good time to refresh our thinking. My goal is to not just be thankful this time of year but to carry an attitude of gratitude into the New Year and beyond—to develop a habit of being grateful. So, how can we actually put this into practice? Here are some ideas. My hope is that these will help foster thankfulness not only in yourself but help you encourage your family and teach your children how to do the same.

thanksgiving-table-2

-Use social media to share who and what you appreciate.

Like it or not, social media seems to be the way to get the word out. If we use social media to voice so many things, let’s use it to spread thankfulness, too. It would be such a blessing to family and friends that live near and far to see you post about why you are grateful for them. Consider “highlighting” one person each day to mention and tag in your post or tweet. Why not write about something that you are grateful for from your day instead of posting a silly story or frustrating circumstance? Try writing about something you are thankful for each day during the month of November or every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Your commitment to being grateful every day may encourage others to try doing the same, and it will start developing a habit in you to find something to be thankful for each day.

thanksgiving-table

-Have an intentional sharing time during the Thanksgiving meal to give thanks.

During or at the end of the big meal, ask everyone to share something they are grateful for from the past year. It could be as big or as small as they want--a significant occurrence or an everyday blessing. This simple time of sharing can be really meaningful. It is a great demonstration to children that all of us- young and old- can and should find things to be grateful for in our lives. If an open-ended conversation won’t work with your family’s dynamics, choose a topic to narrow down the conversation such as a person you are grateful for and why.

turkey-hand

-Help young children foster gratitude in a simple, kid-friendly way.

If you have young children and still want them to participate in the sharing time about what they are thankful for but know they may need some structure, do an activity in advance that your child can show at the meal. You will want to ask them what they are thankful for but will also need to provide some modeling for them by using examples from your own life of why you are thankful for the things you say you are. When your child has decided on the things they are thankful for, help them write them down.

Here’s a fun way to do it: Trace your child’s hand on a colorful sheet of paper. Have them color in their hand. Add stick legs to the bottom of the palm of the hand in the picture. Also, add a face of a turkey to the thumb of their hand drawing. The other fingers serve as the feathers. You’ve now created a turkey, and you can write something your child tells you they are thankful for on each “feather”. Your child will love showing their turkey to the guests at the meal, and this will allow them to participate in the gratitude conversation in their own way.

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