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Practicing gratitude is the act of calling our attention, noticing and reflecting upon those experiences for which we are thankful. Many of us are accustomed to this practice around the Thanksgiving holiday; however, there are benefits of practicing gratitude regularly. People who regularly practice gratitude experience more positive emotions, express more kindness and compassion, sleep better, and may even have stronger immune systems.

While some people enjoy writing daily in a “gratitude journal”, your family might enjoy creating a collective “gratitude jar”.  Simply place an empty jar in a common area of your home, along with post-its.  Feel free to leave colorful markers or stickers nearby to jazz up your notes and add a little flair. For young children, you can write sentence starters on pieces of paper, such as, “I am grateful for…” or “Something I am thankful for today is…”  Each family can write “gratitude notes” reflecting on things they are thankful for, and watch as your gratitude jar fills up! Take some time each week, perhaps around the dinner table, to read some of the notes together.