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The leaves are falling and there’s a chill in the air. Even in October stores are pulling out all their Christmas decorations. With school activities, shopping and work, we can easily rush through November without pausing to take a breath. I think if we do, we can miss a great opportunity! THANKSGIVING! A time to pause and think. I designed a free printable Thanksgiving Gratitude Calendar that may help.
Each day in the Thanksgiving Gratitude Calendar there are helpful suggestions. Some are definitely more difficult than others. Some will take more time and planning than others. Most can be done by children on their own, and a couple will require adult guidance. But all of them definitely will be fun done as a family project.
Print your Thanksgiving Gratitude Calendar HERE
The suggestions all have a rythym. Since November this year starts on a Wednesday, we begin with Wednesday tasks. They are your gratitude list-making day – causing you to pause and think about things and people in your life. Every Thursday is for compliments! Fridays are for saying “Thank You”. Saturdays are for bigger tasks that may require more time. Sundays are for card and letter writing, a perfect family activity. Mondays are smaller tasks and Tuesdays are full of smiles! These all build on each other with hopefully having a more thoughtful Thanksgiving Day – with a special bonus of “Be Good to Yourself” day on the 30th!
One of the most difficult tasks listed on the calendar might be on November 20th: “Forgive someone today.” It isn’t easy to forgive, but it’s a blessing even more to yourself, than to the person you are forgiving. It’s a perfect way to enter Thanksgiving Day. One of my faith heroes is Corrie ten Boom who endured years of imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp. She came face to face with one of her prison guards – with the opportunity to forgive. I’ve read all of her books and although she has died, her videos are still available and many are on Youtube. One of her books is “Amazing Love: True Stories of the Power of Forgiveness” which is at Amazon.
When you see an * asterisk on the Thanksgiving Gratitude Calendar, there are suggestions below helping you to accomplish that task!
*Make Cheerful Cards for the Elderly: So many elderly people have outlived friends and connections. They yearn for someone to tell them they are thought about. The Facebook Page called “From the Heart” is my favorite. Anyone can ask for cards for their elderly friends and relatives. The admin has compiled a wonderful long list of addresses you can find in the first post “pinned” to the top. (You don’t have to be a Facebook member to be able to see these addresses.) Another organization is Bring Smiles to Forgotten Seniors.
*Make Blessing Bags to Keep in the Car: Simple ziploc or drawstring bags filled with lip balm, comb, or brush, toothbrush, toothpaste, small candies, bottle water, dried fruit, granola bar, deodorant, wet wipes, socks, handerchief, encouraging note, etc. These are just some suggestions (and some links to Amazon). You can add a fastfood restaurant gift card too. Have a few bags in the car, and when you see someone in need, share.
*Drop off an Operation Christmas Child shoebox: November 13-20 is Operation Christmas Child collection week. It’s a great project to do with your children, family and friends. Pack a shoebox gift for a child who may never have received a gift in their life. I share alot about crafts and deals that are perfect for shoeboxes. It is a ministry dear to me and to my family for over 20 years. Hearing stories and watching the videos about the project definitely helps me to be grateful for all the blessings I have.
*Make a Cheerful Card for a Soldier: Operation Gratitude has a wonderful letter-writing program to encourage our troops. Check HERE for more information. Soldiers’ Angels is another great program to soldiers, veterans and their families. Check HERE.
*Make a Cheerful Card for a Child in a Hospital: there are a number of wonderful groups, my absolute favorite is one by a young girl named Emersyn. Just a Junior in High School, she has spent most of her young life volunteering and helping others. Send her cards and she will deliver them to Ronald McDonald House, etc. For more info check her Facebook Page Cards for Kids. (When sending cards to sick kids, never say “Get well” or “hope you get better” etc. Many of these children are either unaware they are ill, or are so sick they will never recover. Happy silly encouraging cards are best. ) Here’s another group Cards for Hospitalized Kids. You could also contact your local hospital or Ronald McDonald House directly.
*Feed the Birds: Not only will your local birds benefit from the seeds, but you will as well. We have a feeder outside our window and have spent many a peaceful hour watching them. A lovely distraction from stress and can be very relaxing to purposely sit and relax. Also – keep them around until spring when they can begin eating the insects in your yard. That’s a wonderful perk! Here’s a 40lb bag and a smaller 20lb bag of seeds available. Here’s a great squirrel resistent Bird Feeder . All are at Amazon. I do love them delivering heavy items to my home!
I hope you enjoy this Thanksgiving Gratitude Calendar! I encourage you to print it out. Keep it where the entire family can see it – and print an extra copy for work. I think even following a couple of the “prompts” can help me have a more thoughtful and purposeful Thanksgiving day.
Check out the other charities I’ve shared about!
Check out crafts I’ve shared that are perfect for donating to charity.