Each autumn, cultures across the globe set aside time to show gratitude for our many blessings. In October, China celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival, while South Korea celebrates Chuseok, and in November the U.S. celebrates Thanksgiving.
The Thanksgiving holiday reminds us to reflect on all that we are thankful for. It is a time to think about our family and friends, our warm homes, the food on our tables, and all the many blessings we have but sometimes take for granted.
In the days leading up to the holiday, Concordia students from each division were inspired to express gratitude for the people and things they appreciate in their lives.
Our younger learners explored the concept of thankfulness, reflecting on some of the feelings that come from being grateful. Preschoolers listened to stories celebrating the value of saying thank you and practiced ways of showing gratitude to others through words and actions.
ES students spent time discussing what it means to have an “attitude of gratitude.” After some reflection, grade four students jotted down things they were thankful for on paper leaves and added them a Tree of Gratitude that had sprung up outside their classroom. By the end of the week, the tree was full of colorful leaves of thanks.
In the MS and HS divisions, students took time to consider how gratitude could be an empowering response to some of the challenges the world has faced this year by creating gratitude grams, individualized signs to express thanks and appreciation for the things and people they find most important.
Research tells us that a daily habit of expressing gratitude can lead to improved mental and emotional health and can help us build and maintain relationships. The simple practice of reflecting at the end of the day on the things we are grateful for can positively impact our well-being.
Perhaps you’d like to make gratitude a regular practice with your family. Parents can continue to grow gratitude within their children by modeling it themselves. Simply by showing appreciation to others with acts of kindness, by pointing out simple pleasures in our lives and telling our children why we are thankful for them on a regular basis, we plant the seeds of gratitude in the hearts of our children which will continue to grow as they do.