By: Serge Guenette

Happy Thanksgiving!


Thanksgiving is more than just an excuse to gather for a big family dinner and chow down on turkey. Certainly, that can be a big part of it, but why not take advantage of the intent of Thanksgiving and take some time to be thankful?

There are many ways we can show our thanks, from the simple to the extreme. One easy way that can also lead to a touching family tradition — while demonstrating to your children the value of thoughtfulness and thankfulness — is to start a family journal.

Every year at Thanksgiving, each family member can take a page, noting the year and their age, and write down what they have been thankful for that year. Maybe it’s a great experience they had, maybe it’s a loved one surviving a health scare, maybe it’s simply being thankful for the friends and family in their lives.

It doesn’t need to be philosophical or overly lengthy, but it serves as a bit of a record of what that family member was thinking and feeling that year. Then, the following Thanksgiving, you can go around the table and read out everyone’s entry from the previous year.

Like I said, it’s not a big gesture, but it can have a surprisingly big impact.

Another way to show your thanks is by helping others. From volunteering at a shelter — or volunteering anywhere, anytime, really — to donating to a good cause, to small acts of paying it forward like picking up the tab for the person behind you in line at the drive through, taking the time to be thoughtful toward others can be both gratifying and an expression of your own thankfulness.

And, of course, make the most of your turkey dinner and the time spent with those you love. Our lives can be so hectic that grabbing these moments to sit back and appreciate what’s most important is a true treasure.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving everyone!