Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.William Arthur Ward, American Author
Of all the things in life to be grateful for, fall reminds me of all the gifts of good food. Even if your plate is not topped with some crisp apple tart or pumpkin cheesecake (though I can’t see why it shouldn’t be), there are so many autumnal flavors to enjoy. From cranberries to collard greens, the seasonal fall fruit and vegetable section is truly something for which to give thanks. There is also something to be said about the fact that this time of harvest hosts two huge holidays devoted to consuming culinary treats with friends and family. The feeling of coziness isn’t just due to the colder temps and darker days; autumn is utterly focused on returning to the simple joys of partaking in homemade meals with the ones we love most.
To paraphrase an old saying, let food be the music of love this fall. Make a point to try new recipes with your relatives or baking with some good friends. Infuse your life with the rich teachings of appreciation and you’ll find the season of gratitude can last far beyond Thanksgiving!
The heat of autumn is different than the heat of summer. One ripens apples; the other turns them to cider.”Jane Hirschfield, The Heat of Autumn
Few things are more satisfying than the effervescent crispness of cider on a fragrant fall evening. The simple glorious fact that there is a single beverage containing multitudes of magnificent sweet spices of the season is enough to make anyone sing their thanks. So why not try your hand at some homemade hard cider this year?
Creating cuisines from scratch is definitely in the spirit of the season, but brewing is a practice that beguiles many and is braved by few. Return to tradition this Thanksgiving, and treat your loved ones to that fizzy, fermented firewater; you’ll need to plan about three weeks ahead to give your yeast enough time to . . . well, burp enough bubbles into your booze. The result will be a blissfully ambrosial beverage that will bring the whole family together.
Another fall, another turned page . . . .Wallace Stegner
For many, autumn marks the return to a season of serious study and contemplation; the beginnings of new school years and burgeoning business ventures can flourish like fall flowers in a time of increased acknowledgement and appreciation for the world around us.
It is no secret that we are at our most productive when peace and pacification are the centerpoints of our focus. And the subtle but steady drop in temperature is a serious incentive to slow down and really see all there is to be grateful for.
Remember that mindfulness is the key to true efficiency, so be thoughtful about how you spend your time this season. Keep these two tried and true tips at the top of your to-do lists to combat cold weather burnout.
- Get enough sleep! With less daylight comes longer nights. Prioritize and plan ahead so you’re not playing catch-up late in the evening. Burning the midnight oil should be strictly reserved for jack-o-lanterns, not your job.
- Commute effectively! While many folks spent last fall holed up in their home offices, this year is bringing some back to the train rides and travels of yore. Books are as much a part of the fall landscape as changing leaves and loves of pumpkin bread. Instead of falling asleep on a stranger’s shoulder, start bringing your autumnal reads, even if its an audible book during a long drive.
Fall Playing & Thoughts of Gratitude
Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.Emily Bronte
These months mean far more than mere moments of making pie and turkey. They make us fall in love with the magic and mystery of life.
Halloween may come and go, but the sweet memories (and candy!) it leaves behind endure. When we allow ourselves to once again engage our inner children, and play becomes part of our daily lives in ways we usually cannot anticipate, but learn to appreciate for seasons to come.
Feeling grateful is sometimes a conscious ritual. It doesn’t always come naturally in our fast-paced world. Yet, feeling grateful will help relieve stress and instill thoughtful reminders for our children. There are a lot of good reasons to help kids experience and express gratitude. Try these tips from medical professionals to help your kids feel more grateful.
- Teach your child to say “thank you” on a regular basis. Verbally expressing appreciation could be an important learning tool for genuine gratitude over the years. Encourage them to write thank you notes to people who give them gifts or show them kindness. And likewise, praise them with positive attention when they express gratitude without any prompting from you.
- Create a family gratitude project. Design a bulletin board or whiteboard where everyone puts up notes or writes items for which they are grateful. Or create a gratitude jar where everyone writes a note on a daily basis and drops it into the jar. You can all read them together at your Sunday dinner.
- Look for the silver lining. If one of your children’s soccer games was cancelled, for example, look for the positivity instead. “Well, now we can go to the grocery store and make cookies for tonight’s dessert.”