Happy Thanksgiving! (and the #GratitudeTree)

Shelley Widhalm of Shell’s Ink Services and her family have a #Thanksgiving tradition of filling up the #GratitudeTree with the names of things that make them feel grateful.

By Shelley Widhalm

What traditions get you excited when it comes to #Thanksgiving? Of course, there’s the food and with my family … the #GratitudeTree.

My brother, his wife, my mother and I eat the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole lunch at her assisted living center, and then we usually get coffee after. But our tradition became extra special three years ago.

The activities director came up with the idea of leaving leaves or other fall-shaped cutouts on the tables and asked the residents (there’s about 75) to write down one or more things that make them feel grateful. Once they have something, they then place the cutouts on fake Christmas trees or centerpieces, depending on the year. I call whatever it is the #GratitudeTree.

Each time, I put my dog and coffee, but this year, I think I need to be more creative.

What should I say? My business? My writing? Reading? My fairly new car? My dog (yes, I already mentioned her—she’s a 12-pound miniature dachshund named Zoey)? My brother? My parents? My friends? Poetry? Nature?

I could go on and on.

It’s important to show gratitude daily, and health professionals often recommend gratitude journals to make it a regular practice. Plus, writing down something helps put it to memory.

I’m grateful for my dozens of journals and notepads, because I love to write however and wherever I go. I guess my top gratitude would be #writing. What’s yours? What makes you feel thankful?

Anyway, I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving with family, friends, joy and gratitude!

Note: I provide editing, writing and ghostwriting services and can help you perfect your project from a short story to a novel. I also offer consultations on writing and editing through #ShellsInkServices.

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