Beginning November 1st, my family and I started keeping a Thanksgiving journal. We have written something we’re thankful for in this journal every day. On Friday, I’ll post some of my favorites. For today, I want to challenge you to consider doing some sort of thankfulness activity with your family.

They key to a meaningful thankfulness activity is getting past the usual “I’m thankful for my family” kind of general comment that most people say when under pressure on such occasions. While being thankful for one’s family is important, getting into the details of life with the deliberate intent to be thankful can truly change a person’s heart.

Here are some suggestions you can try to help facilitate a more in-depth atmosphere of thankfulness in your home:

  1. Have every person write down 10 or more “I am thankful for…” statements. The more, the better. This exhausts the usual “I’m thankful for my family” type of statements and forces a look into the details of life.
  2. Make a list of all the usual “I am thankful for…” statements ahead of time (hint: they are usually the first five that most people think of) and make these off limits when having everyone come up with their own thankfulness statement.
  3. Focus the thankfulness activity on the people in the room. Have each person write three “I am thankful for…” statements about each person participating.

A thankful heart doesn’t come naturally for most people, if truly for anyone. A thankful heart must be cultivated.

This Thanksgiving, challenge yourself and your family to be more thankful in the days, months and years ahead. Consider making one of the above or another thankfulness activity a part of your Thanksgiving family tradition. Choose to cultivate thankfulness.

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