My Family's Gratitude Box

We are launching a new tradition in our home this year. Not only are we taking on this new tradition in our home, but I am giving it as a gift to several other families in our life.

As I reflect on this past year, I can recognize that one of the greatest themes in my life over this past year has been learning to be more thankful. I am learning to stop, to pause, to reflect, to meditate on the lovely. It has been a powerful thing in my life.

So, in an effort to create space for reflection and focused gratitude in our family, I have put together a "Gratitude Box". I took shipping tags from Office Depot and numbered them 1 -10, one for every year of our marriage (we just celebrated our 10 year anniversary in August - woo hoo!). And, over the last few weeks my husband and I have gone through the years of our marriage together and have chosen something significant from each year to mark that year. We have tried to attach an object or photo to each of the tags that is connected to the year's memory, but we also write a brief description of what and why it is significant. We have our babies' hospital ID bracelets attached to the years that they entered our lives. We have the key from our first house, among other objects and tokens that help tell the story of our life as a family. It was such a powerful thing for Drew and I to sit and reflect on how blessed we are, and also on the highs and lows that we have weathered together. We are going to make this the last "gift" that we open on Christmas, and as a family we will unpack the box and look at the concrete examples of favor and blessing and peace and joy that we have been blessed with. I hope that this will become a highlight of my children's Christmas traditions, and that in the years to come, we will choose our year's marker together. I hope that one day when my kids get married, that this will be a gift that I can give to them - an empty box that is theirs to fill with treasured momentos that help them reflect on God's gifts to them.

I think that this could also be a lovely Thanksgiving or New Year's tradition. I plan on making it a gift that I give to couples who are getting married. I just know in my own life, that if I do not deliberately open my eyes wide enough to see the beauty in my history, and to purposefully choose to respond with gratitude, that I am missing out. As a gift, I put together a collection of shipping tags, with numbers to mark their years. I like the metal boxes from IKEA, or the fabric covered boxes from Waverly that are sold at Target or TJ Maxx stores. I embellished the tags with some scrapbooking scraps to add a little flair and then fastened them together with D-rings.

I also printed this to go in the box:

Do you have any Christmas traditions that are focused on gratitude? What Christmas traditions are you hoping that your children will continue once they are off in families of their own?


  1. I love this idea. I started a journal like that (for us and then 1 for each of the kids) but this is more tangiable and obviously more family orientated.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I love this idea, we are doing something similar with the photo books you can create online. We're making a small photo book for each year of our lives together and revisiting them each year. Thank you for sharing. :)

  4. Wow! I absolutely love this idea. Thanks for sharing!

    Merry Christmas!

  5. Love it, love it, love it! We are starting it this year and on Christmas day next year we will many wonderful blessings in our lives I think we may need to moe than one thing in the box per year!:)

  6. My Grandmother died 5 years ago, and since my Granfather has been lost without her and is very depressed, he keeps reading the sympathy cards that he still has. So we built him a gratitude box, we have a large family, and we all put a letter in. We are hoping he will read this when he is sad rather than the sympathy cards.

  7. I'm putting this together for my sister's wedding anniversary but I'm wondering how you attach the cards to the D-ring? I'm creatively handicapped and need step by step instructions. :)

  8. Hi Sarah-

    I used shipping tags for the cards and they have a hole in the top that i just slipped the d ring through. :)


We love comments! No need to log in, just talk to us . . .

Enter your email here to sign up for our weekly recap, the Mama Memo.
Related Posts with Thumbnails