A Time to Practice Gratefulness

A few thoughts from Joanne Miller…
The Christmas Season is a wonderful time to focus on friends and family, and to be grateful for all we have. Yet it's also a time when we might be tempted to feel sad that we don't have more or because we no longer have something or someone we love. Christmas is a time of loneliness and longing for some.

Each one of us make a choice each day of what we might focus on, and I'm sure this week you'll have opportunity to teach your child some valuable lessons about gratefulness.

This weekend I've chosen to send a parenting tip that contains some practical ways to teach children about gratefulness. I trust it will encourage your heart as well.

A Parenting Tip about Teaching Kids to Say Thank You…
Gratefulness is an important life quality because it helps us to be thankful for what we have instead of complaining about what we don't have. Gratefulness is a lifestyle but it starts by saying "Thank you" to others who bless us.

Begin now to prepare your children for receiving gifts. Talk about the importance of the giver, not just the gift. Teach children to look at the name tag first so they can be thinking of the person who gave the gift while they open it.

Encourage children to express thanks to the giver, even if that person is not in the room at the time. A phone call to extended family or a thank you note to a distant friend can mean a lot.

Gift receiving sometimes provides that awkward moment when we want to ask, "What is this?" or discover that we already have one of these. Play a "What if" game with children to help them anticipate how they might say thank you in those situations.

Opening gifts can happen fast and then children are off playing with new toys and games. Helping them to take time to express gratefulness can extend the true meaning of Christmas past the few hours of Christmas Day. And don't forget to take time to thank the Lord for his special gift in Jesus Christ for us.

Milan Tomic

Hi. I’m Designer of Blog Magic. I’m CEO/Founder of ThemeXpose. I’m Creative Art Director, Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Interaction Designer, Industrial Designer, Web Developer, Business Enthusiast, StartUp Enthusiast, Speaker, Writer and Photographer. Inspired to make things looks better.

  • Image
  • Image
  • Image
  • Image
  • Image
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment


  1. Thanks for sharing these thoughts Joanne. We live in a world where people are very demanding and grumpy. Christians can really shine our light by being grateful and thankful. I think this is a huge part of what it means to be a witness. Christ fills us with joy from his Spirit and we need to let it shine out. I'm going to make a special effort to be grateful this Christmas.

  2. Wonderful opportunity for parents to practice gratefulness as well! How often do our children hear us complain about work, people, aspects of life not going well for us? Our children are always watching us to find out what is "acceptable," and what is "normal," as they try to figure out how to respond to various situations. When they see us complain or focus on areas of dissatisfaction day in and day out, it is normal for them to learn to express that in their own lives. When they see parents finding joy and appreciation in everyday life, they often learn to do the same (not always, but more than if they only saw grumpiness from mom and dad). Christmas is a wonderful opportunity for parents to model the heart of Christ. How many times do we talk about a gift not being quite what we wanted? Or, communicate our plans to return a present we don't like? How many times do we criticize or make fun of an eccentric or homemade gift that has no value to us, despite the value to the giver?

    Part of what we've learned over the years, and that Scott and Joanne have reiforced in our lives is that the heart changes we want to see in our children, often start with ourselves. And isn't that a powerful message at Christmas? Christ wants all of our hearts....just as we want all of our children's hearts.

    May your New Year be blessed with the richness of heartchanges!