Building Gratitude Around The Holidays

by | Nov 15, 2022 | Family, Tips

Please share!

Are you worried about your child feeling spoiled, or ungrateful around the holidays?  It is the season of giving, but also a season of “gimme”.  Here are 25 activities you can do to start building gratitude this holiday season.  

Why Gratitude is Important for Children

Gratitude is deeper than just saying thank you.  It is a mindset.  There are many benefits to practicing gratitude such as reducing stress and anxiety, along with building resilience which helps with overcoming trauma.  

Gratitude changes everything note and cup of coffee - building gratitude

In the Raising Grateful Children project at UNC Chapel Hill, they identify gratitude as having four different parts.  Adults may be able to experience all four different levels independently, but you may need to help guide children through all of the parts.

Notice – Are you aware of what you appreciate?   Did someone do something nice for you?  What makes you happy?

Think – Why are you thankful for these things?  Why have you been given these things?  What does this mean for you?

Feel – What emotions are you experiencing because of this?  

Do – What can you do to express your gratitude?  

Children often struggle with the “do” part of gratitude.  You can involve them in many different activities to help practice and engage in gracious activities.

25 Activities for Building Gratitude

1. Model appreciation – say thank you to others (cashiers, servers, custodians, etc..) and to your children

2. Have them purchase presents with their own money

3. Make a giving list

4. Send thank you notes – (teach them how to write a good thank you note.)

5. Catch them being grateful and praise them for it. 

6. Sponsor a family in need – (Link here to Mission E4 – Helping children in Haiti)

7. Send a care package

8. Give experience gifts

9. Pay it forward at a drive thru

10. Create a gratitude chain – (write down things you’re thanksful for on strips of paper, glue them in a chain.)

11. Participate in random acts of kindness

12. Create a monthly calendar of service

13. Don’t give kids everything on their list

14. Have a gratitude jar

Collage of pics, thank you note, good things glass jar, Mission E4 logo

15. Share gratitude on social media

16. Write in a gratitude journal

17. Create a thankful rock – everytime you see it, or touch it you have to think of something you are grateful for.

18. Write what you love about your family members and give it to them.

19. Create a collage of things you are grateful for and post this in your room.

20. Read books that emphasize gratitude & empathy

21. Do a gratitude scavenger hunt 

22. Share a “Wow” moment of the day – each of you something awe inspiring for you

23. Find a positive in every situation

24. Create a gratitude time capsule 

25. Do gratitude yoga 

If you have other activities to help build gratitude, make sure to share them with us!

png time capsule jar
Gratitude Yoga cover

Building Gratitude Around The Holidays


Lisa Edwards, M.E., Parenting Coach


Other posts you may be interested in

Parent Reactions To Holiday Stress

Holiday stress is everywhere! Of course your stress increases at the holidays! You're a parent. You can find many articles, blogs, podcasts and...

Build Your Teen’s Self Esteem

Parenting teens is tough work. You want your teens to feel confident in their skin. The teenage years can be the most challenging for kids and their...

7 Easy Table Manners Every Kid Should Know

By Lisa Edwards, Parent Coach With any large celebration or holiday, you may find yourself, with your children seated around a large dinner table...

How To Handle Family Holidays With An Anxious Child

The holidays are just around the corner.  A time for joy and merriment.  But if your child struggles with anxiety, holidays or big family events can...

What’s The Importance of Family?

Do you want to be a mediocre parent? Of course not! You want to be the best parent possible. You want to be a champion at parenting. Which means...

Boundaries Are Good For Children!

Boundaries are good for children and parents.Boundaries create a loving family culture based on mutual respect, fairness, cooperation, and kindness.

What To Do When Siblings Fight

Do siblings fight at your house? Sibling arguing is totally normal. One moment they are playing together and having fun, the next moment they are...

What To Do When Your Teen Doesn’t Like You

We've all been there.  Feeling like your teen doesn't like you at all.  Maybe they are yelling at you?  Maybe they are ignoring you?  Maybe they are...

5 Simple Ways For Planning Quality Family Time

Are you feeling a little guilty that you don’t plan for enough quality family time together? Life gets so busy and time with kids seems to be...