"What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude." -Brene Brown
I don’t know about you, but my kids fight the entitlement trap. They are constantly asking for more, for the next new thing, for whatever their friend has. Quite frankly, it’s exhausting and pisses me off. They’re all good boys with beautiful hearts, but they have grown up in an affluence bubble surrounded by privilege. I know it’s easy for little people to get caught up in the “I wants” and “I needs.” It’s easy for me too.
That’s why our gratitude pumpkin is my favorite fall tradition.
Our gratitude pumpkin is a beautiful, fresh pumpkin that sits on our kitchen table for the months of October and November. Every night at dinner, everyone picks one thing they are grateful for, and it gets written on the pumpkin in silver or gold sharpie. Black marker works too; it’s just a little prettier with some added sparkle. There’s only one rule to the gratitude pumpkin: no repeats.
Every year, my boys start with the usual things they are grateful for: food, house, clothes, clean water. As the weeks begin to unfold, my little men get deep. They begin to be thankful for small random acts of kindness, for a soft pillow, for the smell of cinnamon, for freshly laundered clothes, and even for cars that start. They’re boys so of course even the gratitude pumpkin becomes a competition. They start to go through their day searching for the best, smallest, oddest or most beautiful blessing to add to the pumpkin at night. I’ve been moved to tears by some of the things my kids are grateful for, and we’ve had our laugh out loud moments too. Farts, poop, and toilet paper have all found their way onto our pumpkins.
A grateful heart is a happy heart.
I really think we are all happier during the months we have our gratitude pumpkin. We are counting our blessings and consciously searching for the good in our day and in each other. I want my sons to be men of gratitude; men who see the good and celebrate it. I pray they will notice the tiny, insignificant miracles of every day life and cherish them. I wish joy and blessing for them, and in the darkest, hardest moments of life, I pray they still seek the good and have joy.
Gratitude Pumpkin Tips
The bigger the better. Bigger pumpkins are easier for little people to write on.
If you can refrigerate your pumpkin, do. Since AZ is so warm, our pumpkins tend to rot. If yours rots or you don’t have any leftover fridge space, just buy a second one and rewrite all the blessings on it and keep going.
White pumpkins are a little more expensive, but look so GOOD!
Sharpie Metallic Permanent Markers work the best for this.