Christmas is such a special time of year for me. I love the Christmas trees, the lights, the giving of presents, and the love that people are more willing to share with each other. Christmas is also a time for me to reflect on the birth of my Savior, Jesus Christ.
Last year when I was getting ready for Christmas, I noticed that I spent more time thinking about what I wanted and what I needed to buy for my family. It made me feel so awful that I spent so much looking at what stuff I wanted instead of cherishing my blessings. I was saddened that I spent more time thinking of me instead of people around me.
So I decided that a new Howell family tradition will be the gratitude box. The gratitude box is a decorated card board box where pieces of paper containing statements "I'm grateful for" are deposited through the large slit on the top.
Each day you challenge yourself and your family to write at least one thing that you are grateful for. Whenever you think of something you are grateful for, then you write it down on a slip of paper and place it in the gratitude box. If you think of more, then put those in too! Once you get started, it is hard to stop. This habit continues until Christmas Eve where you sit down as a family and read all the slips of paper together.
The reason why I decided to do a gratitude box because it represents a present, a present where my family symbolically gives to our Savior. Last year was the first year I did this, and I have to say how much it helped my family remember what was truly important. We were able to continue to keep the Thanksgiving spirit through the Christmas season. We were able to recognize that Christmas is not about getting more things, but instead it is about loving others more deeply and doing service for others. It is a tradition that I am so glad that we started.
How to make the gratitude box:
- Get a cardboard box that comes with a lid. A shoe box works great.
- Cut a large slit through the box top. You want the slit large enough so papers can easily be slipped through.
- Decorate the box. I decorated my box with wrapping paper. You decorate using paint, stickers, scrapbook paper, etc. Make sure to get your entire family involved so they will be more excited about the box!
|I just love this wrapping paper|
|I wanted the inside to look pretty too!|