November is a time for thankfulness. To be thankful, we must also be reflective. Years ago, I began a family tradition of creating a “thankful chain.” On long strips of autumn-colored construction paper, we wrote all the things for which we were grateful that year. It was an exercise in thought and appreciation, encouraging my boys to take a step back and look at their lives from a different angle. We connected all the strips into a paper chain and draped it around the dining room, creating a conversation-starter for dinner time.
The earlier years clearly indicated innocence and youthfulness with paper links marked “chocolate chip cookies” or “Legos.” As the boys grew, so too did their appreciation of the important things in life. Their words began reflecting empathy, compassion and spirituality. Although they are young men now, we continue this activity every year because it keeps us grounded and well balanced. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, take some time to reflect and appreciate all the goodness in your life. It’s well worth the effort!