I took a shower today.
I feel pretty good about it.
Not just one of those quick showers where you hop in and wash up, leaving your hair unwashed. Nope. A real, full-fledged shower. With face, body AND hair washing. And all the grooming. It was SO nice, you guys. Sometimes, it is the smallest things in life that make us happy. We're so busy that I can go days (yes, days, sometimes up to a week) without actually washing my hair (hello, dry shampoo!). And sometimes, when we get so busy, we forget to be thankful for all the amazing people and things we have in our lives (like showers).
In our house, we try to talk about the things we are grateful for every day. When we sit down to dinner as a family, we go around the table and everyone haas an opportunity to share- about school/work, about good & bad things that may have happened that day. Most nights we at least touch on things that everyone is thankful about, particularly when we talk about bad things that may have happened. It gives us an opportunity to look for the good that comes of them.
It's hard not to want things every day. We live in the age of a Pinterest-perfect world. Of Facebook & Instagram, and information coming at us so fast it's hard to catch everything. I think this is true for kids, too, who may not be on Facebook and Instagram, but are definitely seeing commercials on TV, hearing commercials on the radio (I never really give the radio much thought, but let me tell you Number Four has become a die-hard Tim Horton's coffee drinker, just from listening to the radio in the car), and seeing everything their friends have. And it's especially hard as we near the holidays, when the advertising schemes are ratcheted up to ten.
A few years ago, in an effort to keep perspective as the holidays rolled around and Christmas lists started growing, I began looking for small things I could do to help remind our entire family of ALL the things we have to be grateful for. So, I drew a tree with chalk on our pantry door (don't worry, it washed off!) and I cut a whooooole bunch of leaves out of cardstock, and I started writing things I was thankful for on them and sticking the leaves on the tree. Pretty soon, my kids wanted to join in, and not very long after that, our tree was full. It was really nice to watch my kids all jump in and share the things that they were thankful for and to realize that, no matter how much they may whine about not getting EXACTLY what everyone else got, they're still seeing just how much they have.
So, after that first year, it became a tradition of sorts for me to put up some kind of display where we can list all of our gratitudes. This year, it is Thankful Turkey (yes, my kids have named him).
Everyone say "Hi, Thankful Turkey!" I put this turkey up and added the one feather two days ago. When the kids got home from school and went to for a snack, there he was, and they were EXCITED to put his feathers on. Now, he looks like this:
I keep the "feathers" 9which, in all honesty, are just long ovals I cut out using a Cricut), a marker, and some painter's tape in a basket on the side of the refrigerator, right next to our pantry, so they are easily accessible.
Every few days or so, we'll add more feathers. The kids are always free to add them on their own, but I try to make sure I get something from each of them every couple of days, because otherwise Number Four will be missing out (since he can neither reach nor spell yet). And sometimes, if someone is especially struggling with the concept of "need" vs. "want" (myself included), I will have that person add a feather. It's just a nice visual reminder of all the things we truly have to be grateful for.