our gratitude calendar

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Giving of yourself to others, and feeling gratitude for what you have is the quickest path to peace and happiness that I know. Christmas is the perfect time to experience both of these things simultaneously.

Last year we started a new advent tradition. Instead of the chocolate treats we’d had each day of December in previous years, our advent calendar has become a place for special messages. It’s now somewhere we can express feelings of love and gratitude for siblings, parents and partners. There is the odd chocolate too, but mostly just messages of love.

When we dusted off and opened the box of ‘days’ today, last years messages were there, and they were beautiful. Not only because they were inspiring, but also because they created an interesting paradox considering the weekend of fairly intense emotion and conflict my sons seem to have had. But the sweetest part of all, was how they had been written. My eldest son, who turned six last Christmas, was just beginning to develop his writing skills. His language was quite complex, but his spelling was completely phonetic (wcos = because, which is exactly as he would say it). Reading each note is like decoding a foreign language which doesn’t make any sense at all until it’s read aloud. The time and effort that he put into each message was enormous. Reading them together, I felt as though my sons were being reminded of how good it feels to be loving towards each other. How good it feels to appreciate what’s around you every day, and how good it feels to make others feel really special by doing it. Or perhaps I’m just feeling hopeful.

Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT

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13 thoughts on “our gratitude calendar

  1. What a lovely tradition you have started Michelle and I think it is so great the way you get to enjoy last year’s messages and advent anticipation all over again – giving you the perspective of how the kids have grown and how much joy there is in the process.

    • This has been the first year we’ve had fairly regular intense conflict between our boys. They love each other one minute and absolutely hate each other the next. I can only see good things coming out of saying positive things about each other. I’ve definitely had to take the lead with it all, but it feels really great.

  2. That is a beautiful idea. Your children are lucky to experience such a wonderful daily act of gratitude – I’m sure it will quickly become a treasured family Christmas tradition.

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