30 Days of Thanks – 1st Day of Advent Starts with Thanksgiving

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Today is the 1st Sunday of Advent.

What are you doing to prepare for Christmas through this Advent season?

In our family, we read a special set of Scriptures throughout Advent, to refocus our attention on Christ during the holiday season.  This year, I’d like to try something new…connecting Thanksgiving to Advent & Christmas.

For most of us, Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is upon us.  Today I was struck by the idea that Thanksgiving should really be our preparation for Christmas.  Let me explain.

Many of us go around the table saying what we are thankful for this year as we gather together.  In our family, my mom added a twist to this tradition.  She had each person write on a paper feather what they are thankful for.  At the bottom of the feather, we put our initials.  Then, we inserted the feather into the pinecone turkey so our initials did not show.

After dinner, each person chose a feather. We took turns reading the feather and guessing who wrote it.  At first, I thought it might be a bit corny.  In the end, we had a great time reading, guessing & laughing.  Overall, it was a fun way to give thanks to God for what He has given us.

This year, I don’t want to stop at Thanksgiving.  Our “thanksgiving season” should continue into Christmas as we look to Christ and his birth.  Personally, I am going to keep a list of “things I am thankful for”.  We did this as a family about 7 years ago.

My list begins here:  “I am thankful for:”

  • my wonderful, patient and loving husband
  • my children whom I admire
  • my parents who raised me to follow God forever

 

This year, I plan to add one item to my list every day throughout Advent.  I will always tell God “thank you“.  Sometimes, I will call or write a note telling others “thank you.”  I believe that keeping this “thankful list” will keep me focused on God’s gifts to me, instead of the busy-ness of the Christmas season.

I did not include this idea in my  Advent Calendar Countdown  but plan to send this idea to everyone who is getting my free Advent Calendar Countdown.  I think it can be so helpful to our kids as they refocus on thanks-giving and move away from getting.

What else will my thankful list do?

(Tomorrow, I’ll continue other reasons for keeping a thankful list, especially when your life appears to have NOTHING going for you.)

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© Kerry Beck, 2011
You have permission to reprint this article, as long as you don’t make any changes and include the bio below.
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Kerry Beck wants to give you a free Advent Calendar Countdown to use in your Christmas & Advent celebration this year. You can also get a free webinar, “6 Clues to Put Christ Back in Christmas” at http://budurl.com/tspk

30 Days of Thanks Challenge-Thank You Card Ideas

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How are you doing on your thank you cards for our 30 Days of Thanks Challenge?

I must confess I got a little behind this week, but I’m playing catch up.  So, here are a few ideas you might use in your thank you cards this week.

Who cooked food for your Thanksgiving feast?
Who opened their home for your Thanksgiving yesterday?
Who did you visit with yesterday?  What are you thankful for about that person?
Who made you laugh around the table yesterday?  Thank them for making you laugh.
Who shared something meaningful yesterday?  Thanks them for what was meaningful to you.

Thank you cards can be written for the simplest things.  Those things are usually the most meaningful to the recipient.

30 Days of Thanks Challenge-Day 17-Thanks You’s from anywhere in the world

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I was in San Francisco since last Wednesday, which seems like it would be hard to keep up with my 30 Day Challenge of Thanks.  However, I was still able to send thank you cards while we were out of town.

How did I do it?

I used our sponsor, Couple Next Door Cards.  I can send a card from any computer around the world.  When I was in Ireland, I uploaded vacation pics and sent a card to all our business clients…BEFORE I left Ireland.  In fact, the card arrived before we flew back across the pond.

 

When we were on family vacation in Costa Rica, I found a coffee shop and sent a vacation card back to family & friends.

And for THANK YOU CARDS…

I sent thank you cards from the coffee shop in Sausalito & hotel in San Francisco.  I thanked the hotel sales manager where we had coaching clients.

I thanked the owners of the bed & breakfast in San Francisco. I thanked my kids for being wonderful (& I included some fun SF pictures).

If you want to send cards from anywhere in the world or the comfort of your own home….. anywhere there is internet, check out our sponsor:

Couple Next Door Cards

You can even test drive their system and send a couple of free cards.  Try it out here!

30 Days of Thanks Challenge – Day 15 Teach Your Kids How to Write Thank You Cards

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How do you teach your children to write thank you cards?

If you’ve never taught them how to write thank you cards, today is the perfect time to start.  By practicing right now, they will be experts at thank you cards by the time Christmas comes around.

I like to use the 1 paragraph outline (from IEW) for a thank you card.  Here’s a short synopsis of that outline.

1. Intro sentence stating what you are thanking recipient for
2.  Tell how you like that character quality/gift/item for which you are thankful.
3.  Tell recipient how you will use that gift or how that character quality impacts you
4.  Further explain why you are thankful
5.  Restate (clincher) why you are thankful

It’s perfectly okay for your kids to outline their thank you cards before they write them.  Start today and have your child choose one person to write a thank you.  Let them fill out the outline above.  Tomorrow, they can write their thank you draft.  Once you read their draft, you should lightly edit it.

The following day, they can rewrite their thank you in their best handwriting.

Finally, teach your child how to address an envelope with the return address & mailing address of the recipient.

OR…let your child send a free card with our sponsor, Couple Next Door CardsClick here to send your free card.

30 Days of Thanks Challenge – Day 12 – Say “Thank You” to your Kids!

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Yep, that’s right…tell your kids how thankful you are.  What’s the best way to tell them?  Send them a real card in the real mail.  Won’t they be surprised to get a card in the mail?

For each child, send a separate card. Think of one character quality for which you are thankful.  Now….send them a card and tell them why you are so thankful for them and that quality God gave them.

Your card will make a huge impact, as well as be a keepsake for life.  I still have cards my parents sent me.  My kids have collected all the cards I sent them.

If you want to add some cool photos of your kids (like I’m doing), use our Challenge Sponsor, Couple Next Door Cards.  Here’s the link and you can send 2 free cards at this website.

http://www.CoupleNextDoorCards.com

30 Days of Thanks Challenge – Day 11 Soldier Thank You’s for Veteran’s Day

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Last week I was having coffee with my good friend, Susan.  We were talking about my 30 Days of Thanks Challenge and she said she would try to send thank you cards this month.  From there she told me the story of Uncle Jim.  This is the perfect day to share Uncle Jim’s story because it is Veteran’s Day

Uncle Jim started sending care packages to soldiers in Afghanistan a few years ago.  Others saw what he was doing and started chipping in for the care packages.  Uncle Jim and his friends were sending “unexpected” packages of thanks to our soldiers.

A few weeks ago, Uncle Jim received an unexpected letter.  .  . from a colonel in Afghanistan.  This colonel took the time to write a thank you for all the packages Uncle Jim had sent to the soldiers.  He went on to say how the soldiers’ face changes when he receives a care package.  Uncle Jim was making a huge impact with his unexpected cards & gifts.

Can you believe it?

A colonel in the military took the time to send a civilian a thank you card.  If a colonel in Afghanistan can send a thank you card to a civilian and Uncle Jim can send thank you packages to soldiers he doesn’t even know, why can’t you & I send a thank you card to a soldier TODAY.

Ideas for Soldier Thank You Cards

1.  AnySoldier.com

Here’s what I found on the Any Soldier website.  Please send a thank you card to a soldier today.  That’s what I’m doing…even though I’m on a trip.

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There is not one thing on this site, or anywhere, that requires you to send stuff. Letters are THE MOST requested thing by these Soldiers. So, all you need do is send a normal letter in a normal envelope with a normal stamp.

Good ideas: If you want, put your email address in your letter, many Soldiers can and prefer to reply that way. What to write? Too easy: like you are talking to a friend, because that is what that Soldier is going to be real quick. It is also VERY helpful if you leave your full return address as part of your letter, envelopes tend to get trashed quickly.

 

If your letter is for a Soldier other then the contact you address it to, PLEASE start your letter “Dear Soldier” not “Dear SGT Smith” as on the address. The contact passes the mail out to folks around him or her and when that servicemember opens the letter it will feel better without the contact’s name on it.

taken from:   http://anysoldier.com/howtosend.cfm

2. Adopt A Soldier Website

Why adopt?  Read this…

I want to start out by telling you what a great feeling it is to open a letter from someone you have never met before and feel so loved by a complete stranger…Thank you for all that you do. Alpha troop 6/17 CAV sends their most heartfelt appreciation to all. – Tracy

You can read the guidelines for adopting a soldier here:

http://soldiersangels.org/adopt-a-soldier.html

Basically, you agree to sending a card/letter each week and a package each month.

30 Days of Thanks Challenge – Day 10 Thank the Starbucks Gal

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…or whoever helped you yesterday.

If you were in Starbucks, send a thank you card to the barista.

If you were in Denny’s for breakfast, send a thank you card to your server.

If you were at Target and received good service, send a thank you card to the store manager.

If you had your hair cut, send a thank you card to your barber.

Think outside yourself…

I was in the Hyatt Place for a local meeting and had several people help us.  I took a photo of our group and am sending a thank you card to the Sales Manager for all her staff did to make our event smooth.

If you want to know how you can send an inexpensive photo thank you card (less than $1.50), check this out http://www.CoupleNextDoorCards (sponsor of 30 Days Thanks Challenge).  You can test drive Couple Next Door Cards and send a photo thank you card.

30 Days of Thanks Challenge – Day 9 Have you thanked your neighbor?

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How are you doing with the 30 days of thanks challenge?

Are you sending your daily thank you card?

If you are, I guarantee you will receive abundance in your life both personally and professionally.

I am thankful for my neighbors.  Do you know your neighbors?  Too often, we take our neighbors for granted, but this is the perfect time to say “thanks” to them.  Thank them for their friendship.  Thank them for getting the newspaper or mail when you are out of town.  Thank them for taking the trash to the street when you forget.  There are so many things you can thank your neighbor for.

This is also a great thank you for your kids.  Let them send a thank you card to your neighbors for their friendship.

30 Days Thanks Challenge Day 7 – 2 S’s

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I hope you are enjoying our 30 Days of Thank You Challenge.  Once your cards are received, please let me know what impact the cards are having.

Today I want to remind you 2 components of a well-written thank you card.

1.  Be specific

When you write thank you cards, be specific about what you are thanking your recipient.  If your recipient did something for you, tell them specifically how their action impacted you.  If your recipient gave you something, tell them specifically how that gift impacted you.

2.  Be sincere

Being sincere should be obvious, but not everyone follows the sincerity rule.  Thank you cards should be sincere, not a lot of fluff.  A good thank you card is a heartfelt card, telling that person what you feel from the heart.

If you have children sending taking our 30 Days of Thanks Challenge, you will need to teach them how to write a good thank you card.  I’ll share some ideas later, but these 2 S’s are a good place to start.

30 Days of Thanks Challenge- FREE Thank You Cards this weekend

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Why should Christmas have all the fun? Send someone a Thank You Card telling them why you are thankful for them. I’ve always wanted to be prepared enough to send Thanksgiving cards, instead of Christmas ones. Unfortunately, just the opposite happens and I end up sending New Years cards because I’m running late.

This year that won’t happen because I’m using a new resource to send Thank You cards & Thanksgiving cards.  You can send a free card and try it out here:
Couple Next Door Cards

On another note, if you send Christmas cards from your business, why not stand out from the crowd and send a card when your competitors aren’t? Send a Thanksgiving card this year!

Couple Next Door Cards

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