Hudson Valley Parent

November 2013

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13 Go online to merchants who make or sell objects you love. Take 10 minutes to give ratings or write a review. The merchant (and the next shopper) will appreciate it. 14 Do date night with your significant other or one of the kids. Tune in to what makes you smile, laugh and sigh when you're together. 20 Post thankful expressions in visible locations at home and at work. Sneak one into your child's lunchbox while you're at it. 26 Practice random thankfulness. Pick simple cues — like common words — or set an alarm. Use them to trigger thankful thoughts. 21 Stop by the principal's office and tell her three things you appreciate about your child's teacher, coach or curriculum. Her job is (mostly) thankless. 22 15 Decorate your table with fall gourds or flowers to celebrate the beauty of nature. 16 Bake "thank you" bread using a monkey bread recipe. As kids pull off each piece, have them share something for which they are grateful. Grownups play (and eat), too. 17 Remember bad times, like frustrations, failures and In line at the coffee counter or drive-thru, pay for the drink of the patron behind you. Your generosity will boost their energy and their mood. 23 Speak up publicly (at work or at church) and highlight others' help and support. Your recognition might be just what someone needs today. 24 Write a letter of thanks to each of your children. Ex- things are right now. Focus on resiliency and renewal. 18 19 Inspire others. De- Rake leaves into piles. Before bagging, do a running leap into a leaf pile and shout "thank you!" Be grateful for silly, spontaneous fun. Optimism is gratitude to grow on. 28 Do a walking meditation focused on your own goodness. Be grateful for your health, for your mind, and for your talents. Affirm yourself. 29 Volunteer your time and talents to serve others. 30 plain how they've changed your life for the better. Give the notes now, or tuck them into kids' baby books. losses. Notice how much better scribe one unexpected blessing you've received today in a status update on Facebook or Twitter. 27 Uproot worn-out fall flowers and plant bulbs in their place. Anticipate spring. Take a picture of your family holding "thank you" Go to or serve. gov to find local opportunities by zip code. signs. Design an e-card or print 25 custom notes to send to holiday gift-givers. Appreciate animal affection. Pet your dog or cat for 10 minutes, and focus on times you've shared. Be grateful for your pet's unconditional love. Heidi Smith Luedtke, PhD, is a personality psychologist and mom of two who is grateful for coffee and knock-knock jokes. She is the author of "Detachment Parenting." Hudson Valley Parent 11 n

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