Practicing gratitude is an essential attribute to enjoying the holiday season. According to psychologist and author Dr. Thomas Lickona, “Gratitude is the virtue of feeling and expressing thanks for benefits received. It’s been called ‘the secret of a happy life.'” In a recent article, Dr. Lickona explains that grateful people are healthier, more alert, sleep better, and have more positive relationships.
A grateful spirit makes us aware of all that others do for us and inspires us to be helpful in return. Frequent expressions of gratitude cost nothing but do a lot to make others feel appreciated and create a loving atmosphere in the home.
Create an attitude of gratitude in your home and make gratefulness part of your family culture by practicing these family habits:
- Start dinner with a round of “gratefuls” (“What are you grateful for today?”).
- At the end of dinner, thank the individuals who prepared the meal for their work or for a part you especially enjoyed. Also, thank whoever set the table or will be doing the dishes.
- Make it a family practice to sincerely thank anyone who does you a service, such as those who wait on you in restaurants or stores.
- Teach your children to thank their teachers and school staff like secretaries and custodians who might not get a lot of appreciation.