Wash your hands. Pick up your toys. Wear your jacket. Remember please and thank you. These words have been shared with myself as well as countless other kids throughout the years. When I was only eight months old, I had already learned how to use sign language to say the words “please” and “thank you.” That was before I even knew how to talk. I would sign the words “thank you” to my Mom for giving me my favorite toy, but who would know that two simple words would be so important throughout life.
It was November. I was a preschooler and I was excited. This month was full of adventures. Not only did I get to make beautiful hand turkeys, but I also could rock the pilgrim hat. This was only the beginning, on one special day it was time to go to my Grandma’s house. I arrived and enjoyed some scrumptious food and great times at the kids table. Then came the tradition of sharing what we were thankful for. After listening to my family share about items that I did not understand at the time, it was my turn. I listed off the following items: Mommy, Daddy, pigs, cows, stuffed animals and my Bitty Baby doll. Here I was a little bit older, still using the words “thank you,” even if I chose some unique things to share my thanks for.
It was November. I was 19 years old and I was excited. Yet again, it was November and a month full of adventures. This time, I traded out the creative hand turkeys for flipcharts and the pilgrim hat for official dress. I still love the month of November, but the reasons why are slightly different. I love the chance to serve such incredible FFA members. I love the food we celebrate with and have a deeper appreciation because of the farmers who toil to provide it. I love the time spent in fellowship with friends and family because I am lucky to have the moments I spend with them. I love that the kids table has transitioned into a big kid table as I make memories with great teammates.
As I think about what I am thankful for, I realize how blessed I am. The words “thank you” are way more than words parents annoyingly reminded us to say. Saying thank you should be a way of life. What I appreciate should be appreciated in November, but also throughout the year. Let’s show an attitude of gratitude in all we do. It does not have to be a huge act. It can be as simple as sending a quick text telling friends they are appreciated or sending a thank you note to someone who does not hear it enough. Let’s not only celebrate this season of Thanksgiving, but instill a tradition of a life of Thanksliving.
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