Thanks: an expression of appreciation or gratitude. Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Appreciation: an expression of gratitude and admiration. (all as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
The holidays are approaching faster than ever. The second you turn on TV there are commercials showing the newest and greatest toys. Everywhere you look…things, things and more things to buy. But this is not what our holiday celebrations should be about.
Holidays are about families and the wonderful get-togethers. The familiar smells of turkey, stuffing, potato latkes and jelly donuts. And oohing and ahhing over the new baby and the grown-up toddler. Enjoying each other, reminiscing, telling stories, laughing, sometimes crying but just sharing your love while creating wonderful memories and giving thanks. Remember, charity, appreciation and gratitude start at home and don’t cost a penny.
The following suggestions will not only make your heart smile but warm the hearts of whomever you touch.
1. Smile when you pick up your baby…it’s contagious.
2. When baby won’t stop crying, ask daddy to help and tell him he’s a great dad!
3. Get down to your toddler’s eye level when teaching him something new. A very loving way to bond.
4. When your toddler is coloring a picture, color with him. Your time’s more valuable than any toy you could buy.
5. If you have a million things to do and your toddler won’t nap, ask him to help you. Then tell him how much you love him.
6. Ask your toddler to draw a special thank-you picture for his teacher or caregiver and include a personal note of appreciation from the family. There’s no better gift.
7. Talk to your older toddler about children that are less fortunate. Then ask him to pick out a toy to donate during the holiday season.
8. Put family pictures in your children’s rooms. This is such a loving way to show them you’ll always be there.
9. Tape a family picture on the outside of your baby’s crib or wall where she can see it.
10. Welcome Grandma and Grandpa with open arms when they want to help you with the baby and toddler. And don’t forget to say, “Thank you– I really appreciate you.”
11. Visit the pet store with your little ones and talk about donating dog or cat food to the Humane Society.
12. When you’re at the grocery store, pick up some extra food to donate. The food banks always run low this time of year.
13. Don’t just put your baby or toddler’s outgrown clothes in the garage. Donate them to another family member or a charity.
14. When you’re getting the house ready for the holidays, put on some music, place your baby in the front-pack and dance away. Makes tidying much more fun!
15. During the holidays, bake some cookies for your pediatrician and staff, mailman, hairdresser, newspaper delivery person and include a personal note of thanks for making your life much easier.
16. Smile when you answer the phone — the caller will hear it in your voice.
17. Call your parents and in-laws and tell them they’re the best grandparents and parents in the world!
18. When your husband comes home from work, tell him what a great husband and father he is and how much you appreciate him.
19. And remember to appreciate and honor yourself. Appreciation and Thanks wouldn’t happen without you.
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they’re the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom!!
Wishing you all a Wonderful Holiday Season filled with family, friends, good food, new traditions and lots of memories!
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My Best Parenting Advice: Thankfulness, Appreciation and Gratitude by Blythe Lipman