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Thankfulness—It’s Not Just for Thanksgiving!

November in the United States is the month during which we celebrate Thanksgiving. While this is a great time of the year to practice gratitude, we don’t have to save all our thankfulness for one Thursday in November!

Did you know that the word Eucharist comes from the Greek word eucharistia, which means “thanksgiving”? Every time we participate in Mass, we are giving thanks to God for all that He has given us.

Do you have any special Thanksgiving traditions that help you remember to be thankful? Perhaps everyone shares what he or she is thankful for around the dinner table. Maybe you go to Mass on Thanksgiving Day.

What if you practiced gratitude all year round, though? How do you think that might affect your relationship with Christ? Some people like to keep a gratitude journal. Others keep a “blessings jar.” In this jar, they keep small pieces of paper on which they’ve written down their blessings throughout the year. Then, at the end of the year, they take them out and read over all of them again. Perhaps that can be a new tradition for you.

If nothing else, we should always make gratitude part of our prayer life. Try to begin your prayers by thanking God for the blessings of that day, even if it’s just little things like a friend who listened to your troubles, a good meal, or a pretty sunset. Even in our most challenging times, God reaches out to us to show us His love. Keep your eyes open, and you’ll see His “love notes” to you throughout the day. Don’t forget to thank Him for them!

Check out these titles for inspiration about thankfulness!

  • In 7 Riddles to Nowhere, seventh-grader Kameron Boyd is thankful for the opportunity to win a fortune that might help save his school! But first he must solve a series of seven riddles.

  • In Angelhood, seventeen-year-old theater geek Nanette makes a tragic decision but she gets a second chance that leaves her thankful to discover what living is really about.

  • In 6 Dates to Disaster (Bird Face Book 3), Wendy's plans for a trip to Alaska get messed up in a big way—and it's her own fault! From someone she least expected to ever want to help her, she receives the help she needs to follow her dream. She is filled with gratitude, and she understands how she misjudged that person.

  • In Elfling, young Serapia Ravena is thankful to find her father and not have to live on the streets any longer, but now she's discovered that he hides a dark secret that might threaten everything.

  • In The Perfect Blindside, while snowboarder Jake Taylor is good at what he does and has even won a silver medal, he is more thankful for the second chance he is given after Sophie rescues him from his captors.

  • Ten-year-old Benedict has moved from one foster home to another before reaching Sunshine Ranch. In The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch, he's thankful that this new foster family provides something he's secretly been yearning for, while at the same time he fears it's just too good to be true.

  • In Rightfully Ours, when sixteen-year-old Paul Porter receives devastating news, he's thankful for his friend and confidant, Rachel Mueller, who works with him to uncover what could be lost treasure.

  • In Saint Cloud of Gaul, young Prince Cloud, grandson of the mighty King Clovis, struggles to find anything to be thankful for as he's hurled into a life of danger, until he stumbles upon the only Kingdom worth fighting for.

  • In Standing Strong, while hoping to help his twin brother overcome his own personal obstacles to holiness, Keefe West is thankful for his growing relationship with God, but he's not sure he has the courage for where it will take him.

  • In Fight for Liberty, a young woman is thankful to have gained a deeper understanding of true freedom, but having it for herself is not enough. Prompted by an inner voice, she is compelled to bring this freedom to others in Aldonia.

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Great suggestions! Since I've made a semi-regular practice of naming 10 things I'm grateful for at night, I've seen my attitude generally became more appreciative.

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