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Pumpkins Are For Gratitude: One Family’s Secret To Using The Fall Season To Give Thanks


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A fall family favorite for years in America has been carving pumpkins.

Still, a new riff on the seasonal tradition just might keep families and friends smiling for far longer than the most professionally crafted jack-o’-lantern can last.

Introducing the Gratitude Pumpkin!

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To get started, all you need is a pumpkin, permanent marker, and grateful thoughts. If you have a lot of these, you might want to collect more than one pumpkin.

(Note: Don’t try washable markers. You’ll only have an orange dry erase board.)

A pile of fall harvest pumpkins before Halloween. Every day in October, a mom recommends that each member of the family remember something they are grateful for and write it on the pumpkin!
(Stock)

Then, each day in October, make it a habit to ask yourself and your family members something to be grateful for.

Don’t underestimate the grateful little movers that the smallest ones in your home can be. While moms and dads can also serve as gratitude muses here and there, let your children become the generators of gratitude.

Watching children go through the typical (although still important!) ideas of gratitude and then begin to identify deeper ideas of gratitude is fascinating and rewarding.

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You can help them do this by asking open-ended questions such as, “What’s your favorite thing to do with Dad?” or “What was your best day this year?”

Children as young as toddlers can discover the blessings within their own families and communities - and express them during the fall season.

Children as young as toddlers can discover the blessings within their own families and communities – and express them during the fall season.
(Stock)

While they can start with “I’m grateful for my LEGOS,” this practice can help children from a toddler age discover the blessings of their own families and communities and bring families together.

Lest you find this activity commonplace, consider the origins of the jack-o’-lantern: Celtic communities hollowed out turnips (and other vegetables) to create spooky images that would ward off evil spirits and protect their homes.

Neuroscientists have proven that gratitude creates and strengthens healthy neural pathways.

So what better way to protect your home from the Grinch and other holiday hassles than to start cultivating a spirit of gratitude now?

Since gratitude breeds gratitude, you could end up with a whole chunk of the season's favorite fruit, according to one mom.

Since gratitude breeds gratitude, you could end up with a whole chunk of the season’s favorite fruit, according to one mom.
(Stock)

Cicero said gratitude is the “mother” of all human feelings, neuroscientists have proven that gratitude creates and strengthens healthy neural pathways – and your gratitude pumpkin will literally speak for itself.

Try it and see how it goes. Since gratitude breeds gratitude, you might end up with a whole chunk of the season’s favorite fruit.

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A few other ways to (pumpkin) spice up include the following ideas.

1. Make Your “Gratitude Pumpkin” a Centerpiece

While some families may want to keep it outside to add to your fall decor, others may choose to place it in the center of the table to guide family dinner conversations and serve as a visual reminder to help children (or parents!) to get back on their feet. follow when the moods get cranky.

The Pumpkin of Gratitude displays an array of blessings that members of the Riner family have acknowledged to each other.

The Pumpkin of Gratitude displays an array of blessings that members of the Riner family have acknowledged to each other.
(Britt Rinner)

2. Before you write your gratitude notes, brighten up this jack-o’-lantern

Let the kids go wild with paint, googly eyes, stickers, glitter and glue.

Not only will it be safer than carving with sharp knives, but the process might even be more fun for them – and less attractive to insects for your front door.

3. Involve children so you can teach them

Have your kids pick out the pumpkin at the store and have them take it home.

When they say, “Oh, that pumpkin is heavy,” it’s a chance to discuss the strength of American farmers and their hard work to ensure that we not only have pumpkins in the fall, but also good food to eat all year round. .

This gratitude pumpkin says, among other things, "I am grateful for friends who are like family." Another post: "I am grateful for the freedom."

This gratitude pumpkin says, among other things, “I’m grateful for friends who are like family.” Another message: “I am grateful for the freedom.”
(Britt Rinner)

First offering of gratitude for the pumpkin? Check!

Do this activity with a group and share the impact it has on your families.

It could be a way to stay in touch with grandparents and cousins ​​across miles by sharing photos as your gratitude list grows.

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Or maybe friends from work, school, or church will join in and your new tradition will become community-based.

“I’m grateful to have been able to sing for my little sister.”

In my own family, a few years ago, my eldest hadn’t befriended her little sister the way her brother had – and that weighed heavily on my heart.

But one night she started singing one of the ballads from her favorite movie.

The baby just smiled and laughed with joy at her big sister. My eldest finally had a captive audience.

Britt Riner is a mother of four in Florida.  The pumpkin idea of ​​gratitude, she says, can become a way to stay in touch with relatives across miles;  families can share photos as their gratitude list grows.

Britt Riner is a mother of four in Florida. The pumpkin idea of ​​gratitude, she says, can become a way to stay in touch with relatives across miles; families can share photos as their gratitude list grows.
(Britt Rinner)

Her example of gratitude that night?

“I’m grateful to have been able to sing for my little sister.”

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Once the kids fell asleep and I cleaned up the dinner table, I could have added my own note of gratitude.

It was like this: “I’m grateful to have seen my daughters enjoying each other’s company.”

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