Giving Thanks All Year Long

November 3, 2016


Giving Thanks All Year Long

A few weeks ago, I was decorating my home for fall, when one of my daughter's friends spied my newly updated "Give Thanks" banner hanging from my kitchen hood and he made a face.

"Uh...a little early for the Thanksgiving decorations, Kim."

I looked at the banner and then looked back at him.

"Well, yes, I guess it is," I replied, pointing out the distinct lack of turkeys in the room, "but being grateful is a wonderful sentiment for all year, don't you think?"

He answered me with a simple, "Touché," before leaving the room with my daughter and a plate full of cookies...for which he profusely thanked me.

Very funny. Ha ha.

While the exchange was actually pretty quick, it weighed heavily on my mind for weeks. While I would love to be able to chalk his comment up to age, or sarcastic teenage nature, I know that many of us would look at that banner and think the exact same thing.

Heck, once he said it, I actually decided not to share that particular angle of my room in my fall decor post.

Give Thanks banner
Give Thanks Letter Banner

I figured most people would have the same reaction.

And it made me wonder.

Why don't we make giving thanks all year long a priority? Why is that behavior relegated to just one month, or frankly, touted in unison on just one day?

Shouldn't we be giving thanks for whatever we have, no matter how big or small, all year long?

Oh, I know that some people do. Perhaps it's a prayer,  grace before meals or a few notes in a gratitude journal. It's big business to be grateful today. It promotes happiness, it's good for your health and obviously very good for somebody's purse. The books on how to do it are everywhere, especially in November. There are even blogs dedicated to it, classes, workshops and seminars.

It's a bonafide movement.

Give Thanks Embroidery
Give Thanks Yarn Embroidery (Tutorial Coming Soon!)

But does it really need to be that complicated?

Why do we need organizers and flow charts to express the fact that we feel blessed and why do we need to search our surroundings and make lists of ten to twenty things to quantify how thankful we are?

Isn't one good enough? And are we really so jaded as a society that we need to think long and hard about what we have that we should be thankful for?

Give Thanks Printable
Give Thanks Printable Decor
When I was twelve, my dad passed away in May. It was awful and my family suffered in so many ways.

It was obviously a great loss.

However.

From that day forward I was keenly aware of what I did have - a mom. She was still there, every morning and every night, taking care of us, physically, financially and emotionally and for that I was so grateful. And I did not wait until Thanksgiving to acknowledge that feeling or let her know. You can bet I told her all the time.

All year long.

Every year.

Without a book or a holiday or a banner to prompt me.

Imagine that.

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60 comments:

  1. Great reminder that we should be thankful every day. Thanks my friend!

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  2. What a GREAT post! I have much to be thankful for every day, and thank God many times during each day for blessings large and small, for lessons I am learning, for drawing me closer to Him as I walk this widowhood journey.

    Your banner is lovely, and so is your little embroidered piece.

    Thanks for posting this reminder about being always thankful in all things.

    FlowerLady

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    1. Thank you so much, Lorraine. :) I know your journey is not easy and sometimes it must be hard to find things to be thankful for in the face of such loss. I think that is the one thing that was able to help our family through the rough time of losing my dad and the many other tough days that we have all encountered since. Sending smiles to you...

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  3. My niece calls it practicing an attitude of gratitude. I try to think of at least one thing a day for which I'm grateful, even if it's just because I had a good night's rest. I keep a wooden sign that says Thankful on my mantle, year round. Another great post, Kim!

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    1. Thank you, Nancy and I love your year round Thankful sign. I may just add one to our mantle as well!! : )

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  4. Excellent Kim . . .
    Thankfulness . . . simple as that . .
    Brings me to tears. . . .
    A two year old reaching for my hand . . .
    Oh my, my heart . . .
    Like I said . . .Excellent Kim . . .

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    1. I agree 100%...it should be simple...and what a sweet two year old she is, Lynne!!

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  5. What a beautiful post. It's so true. Thank you for joining us. I really appreciate it.
    Have a wonderful day filled with those you love.

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    1. Thanks for the invite, Meegan! : )

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  6. Love this post! Very well said (as always) and you are absolutely right!! We should be thankful and count our blessings everyday. I always remember my mom reminding us "it's not about treating people nicely and being grateful for what you have ONLY on the holidays but how you treat them and appreciate them every other ordinary day of the year that matters!" Words to live by!

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    1. Words to live by, indeed! And I know that you do! : )

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  7. Hi Kim, Great post and I love your banner and the meaning behind it. Thankfulness is for all times, everyday, every way and never has to be associated with a holiday of sorts. Some, not all, of our young people and even older folks, are not learning this key message and practicing it. Beautiful reminder!!
    Have a great day!! xo

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    1. I agree, Celestina Marie. When I taught kindergarten, we used to ask the kids what they were thankful for at this time of the year and they could list tons of things, easily. Today, I see grown ups who list material items or struggle to list anything at all and when they do, it often has a caveat attached. Sad...

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  8. Kim - thanks so much for sharing. You are so right! I've had many friends use a journal to list things they are grateful for and I think that is also an awesome way to remind yourself in the middle of February that things are pretty wonderful. Life is a gift!

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    1. Absolutely Paula! Thanks so much for the visit today. :)

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  9. Great post! And so true! I have much to be grateful for. And, even when things aren't going my way....I can usually find a silver lining. We need to be thankful for those too! ;)

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    1. Thank you, Donnamae. Yes!! I really do believe in that saying that there is always something to be thankful for. I guess we just have to look for it! ;)

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  10. This is such a great post, Kim! I'm thankful every day of the year. I honestly send up thanks on a daily basis. I love your banner and I don't think it's too early at all. Like you said, it could be up as a gentle reminder all year long. I'll keep my Thanksgiving and fall decor up until the day after Thanksgiving. We host Thanksgiving every year, so I can't bring myself to decorate for Christmas any earlier than that. :)

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    1. I’m with you, Lisa. I keep Thanksgiving up and enjoy it all until the holiday is over. That tree doesn’t go up until the Friday after…however, I may be adding a Thankful sign up all year long now!! :)

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  11. Hi Kim,
    A great post, as always. I grew up poor. My husband did as well. We had family and friends. We had love and laughter. I was thankful for all that I had. I know any treat was a sacrifice for my parents.
    We thank daily and I am thankful, that we have passed this attitude to our boys.
    Carla

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    1. My parents were Depression Era babies and we did not spend money willy nilly, even when they had it. A treat was a really big thing and we were always so appreciative. I find it a little sad that we need to be schooled on how to be thankful today.

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  12. so lovely!
    and to think that a little live turkey in the room made you feel self conscious about your beautiful thankful heart!
    he is young of course.
    but he is an example of something you see more and more these days.
    especially in our country i think where greed seems to have become a way of life for so many.
    he is part of what i call the 'entitled generation.' they've never done without. not really.

    in the materialistic world in which we live today... anything and everything they could possibly want is usually given to them at a very early age!
    some have grown up without all that. but really... very few have. their parents have figured out a way. even if it meant going into crushing DEBT.

    their world is segmented into sound bytes and lists and time tables and THINGS. and the acquiring of more and more THINGS. they go from one thing to the next ... never apparently satisfied with what they have.

    the intangibles of life seem to be lost on them. or for that matter... the simple basics of life! food. shelter. love. kindness.

    they live in an atmosphere of "what's next?" usually that material thing they want. rather than "wow! look how much i have already!"
    are they truly grateful? i really don't know. i hope so.
    do people really need 84 pairs of shoes when so many in the world have not even ONE?

    oh goodness kim. see? THIS is exactly why i ended the peanut. it's becoming too easy for me to PREACH! and anyway. who died and made ME the GREAT AUTHORITY on GRATITUDE!!! ???? LOLOL!!!!
    seriously tammy. i despair of you!

    it's a beautiful post. and a beautiful banner. a YEAR ROUND banner if you so desire!!!
    and you truly do have a beautiful heart... with nary a sermon in sight! bless you. XOXO♥

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    1. Ah Tammy...I have missed The Peanut and your take on the world. I happen agree with you most of the time and certainly today. I heard someone joking around the other day about a quote they saw somewhere. It basically said "what will the kids of today complain about when they are older? They will probably say that they weren't allowed to get an iPhone until they were in 4th grade and barely got wifi when they went upstairs!"

      Oh boy. That is just what I am talking about. My parents literally grew up with nothing. Depression Era babies, my dad actually wore two left shoes for a bit, because that is what was left in the box at Goodwill. Even though my dad did well, growing up we reused everything and were grateful that we could purchase it in the first place. I never received a toy unless it was my birthday or Christmas and a treat from the ice cream man was really big deal...today all of that is so expected as you said. I worry about this generation...I really do.

      And that live little turkey! ; )

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  13. So what do teenagers know? It's definitely not too early. It is November after all, but you're right, we should certainly be thankful all year round.

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    1. Ha!! Apparently way more than I do, Florence. The older I get, they less they seem to think I know! ;)

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  14. Hi Kim,
    We certainly have become quite the society that expects. Rather than give gratitude, people of all ages take for granted what they do have and expect even more.
    I can only imagine the devastation you all felt loosing your Dad and for your Mother her husband. I have no doubt that your heart and spirit are filled with appreciation, compassion and thankfulness for what you have in your life daily. You are instilling a beautiful gift in your own children to have that same awareness and thankful heart too.

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    1. Thank you, Jemma. I try with the kids I really do, but social media is a tough thing to fight. The posts of extravagance are everywhere and that's just not my style. I hope it's sinking it, but only time will truly tell!! : )

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  15. Beautiful post, Kim. I do feel thankful most days...for my family, our humble home, my husband's job that provides for us all, plenty of food to eat, our good health, etc. I love your banner ~ what do kids know? ;-)

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    1. Haha!! I ask myself that every day, Melanie...especially in a house of teenagers! ;) And thank you!

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  16. Kim, words and deeds to live by. We all know we should every day but don't always follow the rule. It so happens that at the end of your post some cute little products popped up and there was the cutest little "Give Thanks" painted on a natural board. It just struck me that it would look so cute in my kitchen window and I think it will have found a forever home there..See, I told you that you inspire me and I love your cheerful banner. .Happy Weekend..Judy

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    1. Judy, I saw that sweet Give Thanks sign…I have been been meaning to make my way back to it for another peek. I think it would look great on my mantle or kitchen hood, too! Sometimes, I don’t even try to DIY! ;)

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  17. You are preachin' to the choir! Great post.

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    1. Thanks so much, Lisa, and I am glad you popped by! :)

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  18. I just love your sweet words, Kim. A day without gratefulness is like a day without sunshine. Today was a good day to remind us of this. I'm at the head of the line when it comes to soaking it all in. Thanks so much for sharing so freely and for sharing this blog hop with me. It's so nice to know you. XOXO Susie from Chelsea Project

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    1. Thanks for the visit and the sweet comment, today, Susie. It was a pleasure to hop with you! :)

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  19. Kim I know exactly how you feel. Partly because I also lost a parent at a young age I do not take anything for granted and thank my lucky stars to still have my dad with me. And you are so right, it doesn't have to be complicated at all. Are we so out of touch with what our hearts are feeling that we need to find it in books? That is a sad state indeed. I am thankful for you dear friend for pointing out the obvious.

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    1. Thank you, Mary. I am sorry that we share the same sad background, but a loss of a parent does put things into perspective, doesn't it?

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  20. He was 100% wrong, Kim! And never think that any of us would think that. November is not long enough to be thankful for all of the blessings in our life. And we need this even more while in the ending days of a presidential campaign because we must not be blind to the fact that our personal life will go on no matter who is elected. And isn't that wonderful!

    Thank you for your heartfelt reminder, it's one that is always good to hear, over and over.

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    1. Thank you, Dewena...I appreciate your kind words!!

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  21. I put my Thanksgiving decor out in September when I decorated for fall. I don't really decorate for Halloween & I was so ready...even though we've been running the ac even this past week.

    My fall chalkboard art says 'Give thanks with a grateful heart' & I agree, we can say that year round & should!

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    1. What a wonderful saying, Jenny. That sounds like a wooden sign in the making to me!! Your home sounds like a warm and charming place, by the way!

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  22. There are so many things in life to be thankful for. My son and I faced much uncertainty after my divorce. We are so very thankful for a roof over our heads, food, medical and dental care and most of all a loving husband and role model who goes above and beyond to set the example for a teenage boy who will soon become a man. Your banner is lovely and a reminder of what we should be doing everyday. Giving Thanks :)

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    1. It certainly sounds like you have much to be thankful for, Karen. Sending smiles to you this Thanksgiving season. :)

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  23. Yes, this is indeed a season to remember to be thankful! We have had a bumper harvest around here and the farmers are happy! Beautiful banner!

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    1. That is wonderful news, Angela! :) And thanks!

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  24. You brought up a simple example of a terrible problem in our world. We have so much that we fail to see how rich and blessed we really are. With an overabundance of things, there is a lack of thankfulness, perhaps a spoiled mentality. I couldn't even begin to wonder how to right the wrong with this, but for me, I am thankful for everyday ordinary things that I don't ever want to take for granted. And so, I vote you leave your give thanks sign up year round. A beautiful reminder of something we should do every day. Always enjoy your posts Kim!

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    1. Marilyn, I agree 100%...and I too have no idea of how to fix it, except to try and display a grateful heart on a daily basis and to encourage my kids to live the same way. And I think I will leave my sign up...thanks!! :)

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  25. Every morning in the shower, after having read the world news, I give thanks for my hot shower and the fact that I live in America / it's that simple. I wonder why my karma deserves it...versus what is going on in the Middle East and elsewhere with the indredible suffering going on there. And when I give thanks I am fully aware that much of my country and its' 'shadow government' / elites / illuminati/ whatever is responsible for that misery going on elsewhere :(

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    1. I always love your perspective, Deb.

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  26. This is so sweet and such a great reminder, Kim. Many of us probably think of the things we are thankful for all the time but don't say them out loud. I think that's important for our own hearts and the people around us. My MIL is the kind of person who expresses these things in every conversation. No matter how crappy a day might be she sees the good. It's so nice to be around people like that.

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    1. I agree. I would like to think that I was one of those people, but I am not sure I always am. Something to strive for, for sure!! :)

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  27. I try to have a thankful heart every day but a really cute banner would help me with that ;-). Great post!

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    1. I think banners are always appropriate, AnnMarie. ;)

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  28. What a gentle reminder to be thankful! A constant state of gratitude is something certainly to strive for. Wonderful post.

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    1. Thank you, Lynn. I do try to think about it every day.

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  29. Thanks for the reminder! Hmmmmm.... I may need to make some home decor that says "Give Thanks" but is NOT in fall colors! You've inspired me!

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    1. So glad, Ann...inspiration is the motivation behind my crafting madness!! :) Thanks so much. :)

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  30. I think the happiest people in the world are those who are grateful and express gratitude and thankfulness. I'll have to enjoy your darling Thanksgiving decor since I'm skipping on to Christmas! I want this year to be the best since our eldest daughter will be earning her PhD out of state next year. :(

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    1. I totally understand, our family has begun to spread out across the US and our holidays of 30-40 people have become much more intimate settings...where we miss people dearly. Enjoy this entire season with your family and Happy Thanksgiving.

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