With Gray in our lives, we’ve never been more aware of the importance of gratitude. The first few months of his life were rough. He barely slept, cried for hours on end and just didn’t seem very content in our home. The days were long and it was a real challenge to regain energy for the next day at times. We realized we had two choices: wallowing in the struggle or choosing daily positivity. A huge part of keeping positive spirits has been through gratitude. Making constant lists (big or small) in our minds about what we can be grateful for and sharing with one another has kept us afloat even with just a few moments of sleep in our systems and no real answers on how to care for our babe.
As time has marched on, Gray has turned so many corners! We spent so many days counting the small victories and expressing gratitude for them that these days full of big victories are major for us. Gratitude doesn’t just point you to the positives, it gives you perspective. And it can change from day to day. Every small thing builds on one another and as you look back, you can see how far you’ve grown when a few weeks ago you were thankful for four hours of sleep and this week you’re thankful for eight.
Something that was small but mighty for me while learning to weather the days at home with a baby was receiving mail. I’ve always loved getting mail and my family can attest to the sound of me running down the steps of my childhood home every afternoon at 3:30 to get to the mailbox before anyone else. That joy has carried on into adulthood and was amplified after pregnancy. I did almost all of my shopping online for the convenience but also for the small moment of running to the door at 11:30 for a small package with my name on it- even if it was just full of sponges and dish soap.
Of course during the holidays the package quota increases. Gifts for others start to pour in and let’s be honest, a few little bits for ourselves arrive as well. It seems as though I’m greeting my mailman or UPS lady almost daily for a parcel handoff which is likely pretty common for most people living around us. These days can be long for delivery workers spreading all that Christmas joy. The days are long and with the time change, they often begin and end in the dark for the drivers. While they’ve signed up for the gig and it’s all in a day’s work, they are working so much harder than usual and that fact should be noticed.
So every year I love putting a little basket of goodies by the door with a note for everyone delivering to help themselves to a little treat on their way out. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to experience that little flutter when my packages and envelopes arrive or know the convenience of online shopping with a fussy baby. Their time and their workmanship is valuable and should be noted.
This year I took Gray along with me to get supplies and sat him down next to me while I put these little packages together. We want to teach him from an early age the value of gratitude and also generosity. We want him to have a heart for others and a love for giving during the holidays and the earlier we can instill that in him, the better.
This project is just an example of what you can do, but there are so many variations, you can have a lot of fun putting ideas together and customizing it to your family. It’s a great little task for little hands and would be a lot of fun to have input on what to put together. For this project, I just put together a little set of hot cocoa mix, candy cane stirrer, ornament and a thank you note. Super simple, but something (hopefully) special to brighten a stranger’s day.
All I did was stamp the tags with this sweet “Thank You” stamp (it’s from the Target $1 section so grab one if you can) and tie everything else together in a little bunch. It’s as easy as that. Again, if you’re not a DIYer, this is just the project for you. Everything cost about $18 altogether so that works out to about $3.50 per gift which I think it’s pretty reasonable for a little packet of cheer.
Like I said, you can have a lot of fun mixing up what you put together! This time of year is so easy with aisles designed for stocking stuffers. The $1 section at Target and Michael’s are always good spots, but just think about cost effective ways of putting together little packages.
Whether your mailman or the staff at your coffee shop, don’t forget to love the people you interact with on a daily basis. And don’t forget to be thankful for them. When you’re struggling to come up with what to write on your gratitude list, remember the people around you that you may not notice. Because they could all use a little love and thank you during the holidays.
Until next time!
*This post contains affiliate links. For more info on that, check this out.