Seven suggestions for producing grateful kids

When I did this blog series last Christmas, my posts were “Six Shoppers Shopping” then “Seven Songs for  my Savior.”  Even though I could have just copied everything again for this year, I wanted to really think through what was posted again.  Since I am always wanting to encourage you toward great Christian music, I knew that I wanted a new post on Savior songs.  For the shopping post, MOPs moms shared their favorite children’s gifts – the ones that have lasted, and they came up with some wonderful ideas.   But when Lorri showed me an article that she had found on a blog, I knew that this year I needed to go a different direction. So, the gifts post will not be repeated this year, but if you are having a hard time finding great gifts for your kids (especially if you are a newbie mom), e-mail our and I can send last year’s post to you. (Or you can scroll back a long ways on the blog itself!)

I usually enjoy the cartoons that are posted on Facebook, but this one was particularly true.

Thankful cartoon

I had never pondered the irony of the fact that such a time of consumerism and often greed directly follows a time of thankfulness.   How do we balance giving and getting?  How do we balance encouraging our children to be excited about this season while helping them to have realistic expectations and not allowing them to get everything they want or think they need?  How do we balance letting them give gift suggestions without allowing them to become obsessed with toy catalogs?  Maybe we look at too many catalogs ourselves – I know that if I look at too many magazines, I definitely feel discontent

For the last nine years, we have been unable to put any gifts under the tree for the fear that they would be opened or even demolished before Christmas.  My kids are finally old enough that I do not think that this would happen anymore.  But I decided that I really like not having the presents there, even the ones for extended family.  I like being able to see the tree and the lights and the ornaments full of memories, without the distraction of presents underneath.

I have been convicted lately on how often I am seeking the next new thing … a new book to read, the new Christmas songs, even the new recipe.  Sometimes I can struggle with enjoying what I already have, what I have already been blessed with.  This was revolutionary to me since the discontentment was happening in such a subtle manner.  I want to learn to enjoy what I have been given and not seek more all of the time.  A challenging concept.  Maybe you have already mastered being thankful, but you are striving to teach your kids how to not want more.  Sometimes I need practical ideas from other moms who also have that goal in mind.

When our mentor Lorri, read the book One Thousand Gifts, it strongly impacted her life.  She began writing in a grateful journal.  She also started reading on the author’s blog which is a great site that perpetuates thankfulness thoughts.  I am so glad that she shared the “Grateful Christmas Project”  with me.

If you  have ways that you are helping your children  to more grateful this Christmas, please share them on our Facebook page or make a comment below.