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Make every day a thanks-giving day

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

A year-round holiday tradition

The winter holiday season is a pressure-filled time of year, both emotionally and physically. As a mom, it can be particularly intense. We are often are the super mulitaskers in the family -- add a major holiday and all the expectations thereof and it can be hard to feel thankful or even appreciative some days. Even if you love Thanksgiving, the traditions can take their toll on you. So don’t leave the thankfulness for November.

Woman with thank you sign

Most of us talk a good game about being thankful year-round. Some of us make an effort to think about what it means on a regular basis. But are you truly and deeply thankful on a daily basis? If you were, do you think it would make an impact on how you feel about Thanksgiving and this incredibly busy time of year? It might.

A good habit

Whether you do or don't think it would impact your Thanksgiving celebration is actually beside the point. Having an appreciation of our lives every single day is a good habit to get into as well as sending a terrific, optimistic message to our kids about life in general! Many people try to mention one thing for which they are thankful on Facebook or other social media every day in November leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday, but why not take that further?

Put it on your to do list

Even when our lives feel onerous and weighty, we have things for which to be thankful. It doesn't even have to be a big thing. In fact, noting some of the little things can help you get through the next five minutes of dealing with your hard things. Your health? Sure. The way the sun filters through the curtains late afternoon? Absolutely. Gummy bears? Yup. The smile of a stranger in the parking lot. Awesome.

When you write out or think out your daily to do list, add "thankful" to the list. Find one thing a day.

An example for your kids

The life of a mom can be wonderful and hard at the same time. If having children is the ultimate act of optimism, letting them know that you continue to believe the world should go on is an extension of that. Identifying and expressing thankfulness and appreciation every day of the year is an easy way to do that.

While making a point to be thankful every day will not erase the hard stuff from your life -- it will not erase financial difficulties, cure depression, make the rain go away or create world peace --  it can be a terrific reminder that even when it's tough, even when the day is bleak, there is reason to keep putting one foot in front of the other. It's a glimmer of hope -- and it's a holiday tradition worthy of year round attention.

How to you show gratitude every day? Share your ideas in the comments section!

Read more about gratitude:

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