Today is a national holiday. It is a day where we feast on the food we have been preparing for at least a day. It is a day where we gather with friends & family. Thanksgiving is a day to be grateful.

The definition of gratitude is:

  1. Warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful
  2. Expressing or actuated by gratitude
  3. Pleasing to the mind or senses; agreeable or welcome; refreshing

In other words, when someone says they are grateful for someone or something, they deeply appreciate and are thankful for kindness received, etc.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched — they must be felt with the heart.”

-Helen Keller

This means that the best things in life are felt through emotion. Such as expressing love or kindness. Personally, when I receive a random act of kindness or generosity, it impacts me much more than a gift I can hold in my hand. I believe this is what Helen Keller meant when she said this. Anne Sullivan, Helen’s teacher/instructor, tremendously impacted her life for the better and she did so with helping her accept and find the bright-side in her disabilities. This is not something Helen could physically touch, but she could feel all the ways Anne had helped her through the hardships she faced every day.

Here are some things I’m grateful for: (I encourage you to make a list to reflect on. I do this every year and I like to look back on the year before to find similarities and differences.)

My family, of course! Specifically, my dad for providing everything (and I can always count on him to make me laugh). My mom for being the most kind and compassionate woman I know (and for being my friend, my very energetic and encouraging friend). My brother for always keeping me entertained (we have so much fun together and I love hanging out with him — when he isn’t being a typical 11 year old).

My friends. My friends mean the world to me. I am a very social person and have always depended on my friends. I am incredibly grateful to have made new best friends so quickly in California! I can’t imagine not having them (old & new) in my life.

Food, water, education, clothing, & shelter. I am forever grateful for these things and I realize how lucky I am to have always had them.

Georgia. I will never forget the 10 years of memories I made there.

California. I love living here! I love the amazing weather and the lifestyle. I can’t wait to make many years of memories here.

My health. I am very lucky to be healthy and happy.

Sunshine. I always feel so much more happy and positive with sunshine!

My favorite TV show. The office (U.S.). never ceases to make me laugh constantly.

The weekend. This break from school is definitely appreciated.

Uncontrollable laughter. I am the type of person that laughs a lot. Thankfully, I have a good laugh (or so I’m told). Few things make me happier than random moments where I am laughing so hard that I can’t move!

Music. The right kind can get me in and out of any mood. Music is my happy place where I can forget about my worries, etc.

Reading my favorite book. For as long as I can remember, I have always been a reader. I grew up reading Nancy Drew Mysteries over and over.

Family days. Whether it’s hanging out at home or going somewhere for the day, I always enjoy having a good time with my family.

Vacations. I don’t know what I would do without vacations. It is the perfect time for relaxation and fun.

Heated seats. Personally, I really enjoy blasting the heat in the seats of our car. It is a blessing on cold wintery days.

Technology. I grew up in a world full of technology and I can’t imagine it any other way. We are very blessed to have such easy access to everything we could possibly need.

I could go on and on, but that is just a glimpse into some of the things I am grateful for.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

-William Arthur Ward

Since the very beginning of October, I started writing down 5 things that I’m grateful for. I have been doing this every day since (almost two months). That’s almost 60 days worth of what I’m grateful for — 300 things. They’re all different things. Some are big like going to SeaWorld, and others are as simple as something funny that happened at school or sleeping in. Even something you ate; anything and everything works! I’ve found that I actually look forward to this at the end of every day. Surprisingly, it excites me and I pay more attention to and appreciate the little things that happen on a daily basis. Just find a notebook (I know I have several empty ones around the house) and write down 5 things you are grateful for at the end of every day. Try doing this for one month straight. If you want, you can start December 1 for the beginning of the month or even start tonight! Habits are created after 30 days so, that was my goal when I started this. Now, it is a habit for me and I never forget to write my 5 things down.

Rachel Hollis has a perfect gratitude journal for this with a layout that you can buy at: (find the items labeled START TODAY JOURNAL)

Target has some really cute ones, but honestly any notebook or journal works. I do use Rachel Hollis’ Start Today Journal and it really helps, but I’d be completely fine with using a blank journal/notebook.

Happy Thanksgiving!