By Deborah King
As seen in Texas Wise County Youth Today Magazine
As we enter the rush of the holiday season, let us practice an attitude of gratitude especially with our family and friends. It is one of the best gifts we can give. Children are often encouraged to ‘put on their best manners’ when they go to an important event. Instead of ‘putting on’ our best manners, like a special outfit we wear, let us ‘become’ them. It has been said that the hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any. Children tell me in the classroom that they rarely hear their Mom and Dad say please or thank to them, or to others. How often do you say please and thank you in a day? This little act of kindness goes a long way in making life more enjoyable.
Another way to express gratitude is with a written thank you note. Thank you notes are mini gifts. They express appreciation for a gift received, an invitation, or a kindness done.
Be Timely: The sooner you send a thank you note the better. If you wait, you may forget! Within a week is the goal.
Be Specific: Mention the gift and describe how you will use it. Mention the kind act and how it blessed you.
Be Brief: It doesn’t need to be a book. A few thoughtful and sincere sentences are enough.
Be Prepared: Create a ‘Thank You Note Box’ with beautiful cards, a pen, stamps and an address book.
Be Creative: Children love to be artistic. Try stamping, drawing, cut outs, or stickers. Make it beautiful in language and presentation. Who doesn’t love to open their mailbox and see a beautifully handwritten note of appreciation? We all get enough junk mail!
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates vision for tomorrow.
~ Melody Beattie