When I was growing up, the dictionary was one of my best friends. It wasn’t because I loved looking up words and their meanings. No, it was because whenever my mom used a word I didn’t know and I said, “What does that mean?” that she would say, “Go look it up.” I had kind of a ridiculous vocabulary for an elementary student as a result and even got questioned by my teachers a few times because they thought my mom had written a paper or done my homework for me. A desire to understand the meaning of different words has stuck with me throughout the years and as we approach Thanksgiving, I’ve been considering the difference between two words: thankful and grateful.
So often we use the words thankful and grateful interchangeably and it’s easy to forget that they actually have different meanings. I think this quote sums it up really well: “Thankfulness is measured by the number of our words. Gratitude is measured by the nature of our actions.” (David O. McKay) To me, this means that when we have gratitude, we are taking our thankfulness a step further by taking action. I’m not negating the importance of saying thank you to people, however, I’ve noticed how much more appreciated I feel when someone takes the time to write me a note or drop off a small gift or treat to emphasize their previous words of thanks.
|Grab the free 4×6 printable of this quote!|
This year, our family is adding to our current Thanksgiving traditions. (Read more about them HERE.) We’ll be using a simple kit called Deeds of Gratitude from the New Tradition Crafts company. The kit includes 18 colored leaves, chalk marker, twine and ideas on how to use it. This is a company that I’m familiar with because we use their 25 Days of Christ as one of our Christmas traditions (read more HERE), so it seems fitting that they came out with the Deeds of Gratitude kit to help keep families centered on the meaning of Thanksgiving.
How to Introduce It To Your Family
Our kids are 5.5 and 3.5 so their understanding of holidays and traditions and the meanings of words is still limited. We decided to sit down earlier this week and do a short family night activity with them to kick things off. We started with a video about gratitude to help introduce the topic and keep their attention. (You can find 10 short videos here about gratitude.)
Then we talked about being thankful, why it’s important and how it makes us feel when we tell people thank you or they say thank you to us. We asked the kids what they were thankful for and let them go back and forth for a minute or so. Next we talked about the word gratitude and how it was different than being thankful. This is when we brought out the leaves from our kit. I had written out six ways we could show our gratitude by our actions, such as, doing chores without complaining, giving treats to our neighbors and donating unwanted toys. We talked briefly about each of them and then I asked the kids to think of ways they could show gratitude. I was pleased and surprised at each of my kids’ responses because they were relevant and showed they had thought about it. We wrote our deeds on a leaf with the chalk marker included in the kit, then finished up the night with a treat and bedtime.
We will be displaying these deeds of gratitude leaves in our home for the month of November as reminders to be grateful and ways we can show it to those around us. Hopefully, we’ll be able to write up more ideas on the remaining leaves and add them to the others we already have.
If you think that the Deeds of Gratitude kit is something you’d like to add to your family traditions, then I encourage you to purchase one as soon as possible! You can go to their website and order them for yourself and/or other family members. Plus, I have a code for 10% off when you use the code ‘sunshine‘ at checkout! But hurry, because it’s only good for the next 3 days, Wednesday October 25-Friday October 27.
Lastly, I want to let you know that in addition to Deeds of Gratitude being a great product, New Tradition Crafts is also donating ALL proceeds to Hopelink, which is a non-profit in the Pacific Northwest that is dedicated to eliminating poverty by providing much needed stability and training to families in need. Help spread some good in the world and your home at the same time! (For more ideas on how to give back when you don’t know where to start, check out this post HERE.)