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6 Worldwide Ways to Celebrate Gratitude #WorldGratitudeDay

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World Gratitude Day was started by the United Nations Mediation Group and it takes place on and offline every year on September 21st.

It is the perfect opportunity to remind us to step back and think about what we are thankful for.

No matter what corner of the earth you reside, feeling and expressing gratitude is universal.

History of World Gratitude Day

The celebration started in 1965 in Hawaii when an international gathering decided that it would be a good idea to have one day per year to formally express gratitude and appreciation for the many wonderful things to be found in the world. Following the meeting in Hawaii, many attendees marked Gratitude Day on 21st September 1966 when back in their own countries. Ever since then, the number of people celebrating Gratitude Day across the world has grown and grown.

Be thankful for your community: Whether you live in a community, a tribe or a village, the people who inhabit this space with you are vitally important to your life. Our communities support us, guide us, pick us up when we fall and applaud us when we are victorious. Who in your community has made an impact on your life? Then take your gratitude one step further and thank them for being a part of your life.

Meet Your World: As important as it is to know how the planet is laid out by countries, capitals, people, religions, languages etc, it’s also equally important to meet different people from a variety of people on our planet. Go to a celebration from another culture near you. Finding a pen-pal with someone from another country is another way to make a connection with someone else on the planet.

Give thanks and give back to Mother Earth: Plant a tree, pick up garbage, protect wildlife, join the #FeedABee Movement to help our pollinators, re-use, compost, skip the plastic bags and buy locally grown.


Appreciate Where You Came from: Your family tree may have a few nuts hanging in the branches, but they are all a part of your history. Pull your family close and hug them tight. Start a family ancestry project. Call a relative you haven’t spoken to in a while. Embrace all of their quirks and gifts.

Read books about gratitude with your children: Books about kindness are fairly easy to find. Books on gratitude are a little hard to come by. Great picture books that help young readers understand the message of gratitude include, TODAY I AM GRATEFUL: ADVENTURES IN GRATITUDE by Lorraine,  Miller, Grateful: A Song of Giving Thanks by John Bucchino (Author), Anna-Liisa Hakkarainen (Illustrator), and The Blessings Jar by Colleen Coble 

Make a Gratitude Tree: Reminders of how lucky we are in life is always a good thing. Create a Gratitude tree and challenge each family member or student to write down five “little things” they are grateful for (the sun, a snuggly pet, etc.) and five “big things” (food in the fridge, a roof over your heads, etc) and write them on the leaves of your Tree.

gratitude tree craft

The benefits of cultivating a life of appreciation and awareness are beyond measure. Trust me, if you look for the bad in life; you will find it.

Instead, work to raise your awareness about all the GOOD in your life and in the world. I promise it will help shift your perspective towards one of appreciation and positive reflection. And the best way to cultivate this in kids is to lead by example. If adults make a point to acknowledge and be grateful for the good in the world, young people will do the same.

The hope of the founders of Gratitude Day is that by taking time, one day a year, to reflect on the many amazing things we have in our lives, it would positively impact our well-being and make us happier, more contented people.

ways to celebrate gratitude

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