The Grateful Bowl

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, even though the celebration is much different this year.

Still, so much to be grateful for.

Start With A Big Bowl:

Put a big bowl in the center of the table. Give everyone a piece of typing paper or notebook paper and instruct them to write down what they’re grateful for in 2020. Then have them cut the words out, fold them up and place them in the bowl.

This year, 2020, has definitely been a hard one. But there are always little things that give you joy. Simple things. Enjoying the simple things give us a little lift during difficult times.

Like spying a red cardinal outside your window.

Seeing the colorful fall leaves have been a sight to behold this fall season.

A good book that keeps you reading past your bedtime.

The way a tree looks in winter, stark and bare in the moonlight.

Read What Everyone Is Grateful For Out Loud:

Then let everyone reach into the bowl and take out one slip of paper at a time and read it. Just reading it aloud seems to make it even more real. Your brain will note the pleasure it gives you to read it.

I am grateful for my cozy little apartment. It isn’t all that much from the outside. But inside it is just what I want. All that I want.

Come spring the tulips and other bulbs will still push through the soil, regardless of the pandemic. Some of life will remain the same.

If you’re spending the day alone, still participate in this exercise. Write down what you’re grateful for. When you read these things back to yourself, it will give you an emotional lift. Positivity always does.

Enjoy Your Own Company If You’re Alone:

Read a good book. Maybe do a crossword puzzle. Snuggle up with your pet under a quilt and find a good movie to lose yourself in.

When you eat your meal, whatever it may be, set the table and light a candle. Make it special just for you.

Then, after the dishes are done, watch nature outside your window. Take time to savor it. Mother Nature never takes a vacation.

And next time you go out, smile underneath your mask. No one will see it. But they will possibly see the softening of your eyes that comes along with that smile. And that smile makes you feel better.

Did you know that each time you smile, you throw a little feel-good party in your brain? The act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness.

Be grateful for what you have. You may have lost an awful lot this year. That’s all the more reason to be grateful for what you still have.


Similar Posts


  1. A very wonderful and positive upbeat post today. Thank you Brenda for bringing sunshine to our days.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving Brenda. Well said! I couldn’t agree more. I think I’ll print this out and read it to my husband. He is being an old grump.. and when I asked him this morning what he was thankful for, he couldn’t think of a thing! He has no positivity.. and I know being positive helps so much! Even for the little little littlest of things, like you said…. a leaf falling, a rain drop on a branch, the fact that we CAN see, smell, touch and walk… those are wonderful things to be grateful for! Have a nice day! Marilyn

  3. I am thankful for this blog and I am also thankful for the readers who leave wise, generous, helpful and encouraging comments. Sisterhood rocks.

  4. Happy Thanksgiving Brenda, Charlie and Ivy!! Thank you for each one of your blog post, but especially this one. We all need to be reminded that we do have so much to be thankful for.

  5. Happy Thanksgiving, Brenda. It’ll be just me and Brian at home today, but we have much to be thankful for. Good health, a warm home, an abundance of food, our son (even though he’s in CA), our two kitties, two vehicles that work, and of course, our extended family and friends.


  6. Happy Thanksgiving Brenda!
    Very lovely post. Just two of us here today, but still cooking a traditional Thanksgiving turkey meal. We love leftovers and will have plenty of turkey for another hot meal tomorrow, then turkey sandwiches with stuffing and cranberry sauce. The remaining meat will be chopped up to make turkey tetrazzini ( usually
    2 pans) for later meals. I am so thankful that we have enough income to pay our bills and buy groceries, and for our good health. Love your blog and look foward to reading it everyday. Sending love and good wishes to you, Charlie and Ivy!

  7. Happy Thanksgiving to you Brenda and Charlie and Ivy! We all have something to be grateful for this day and thank you for this beautiful and thoughtful post today!

  8. Thankful for the simple things in life, nature, and the beautiful community your blog brings together.
    Have a lovely Thanksgiving, Brenda, Charlie, and Ivy.

  9. Happy Thanksgiving Brenda hope you have a wonderful day thank you for reminding us we still have so much to be thankful for this season

  10. Happy Thanksgiving to you and to your fur babies. May the day be blessed with peace and good feelings of contentment.

  11. Blessed Thanksgiving Brenda. All good advice. Today I fed and walked my dogs about 6 AM. Then I made my coffee and got my one square of dark chocolate and let the pugs sit on me while I enjoyed my morning ritual. Now I’m settling the dogs in and getting ready to go up to the hospital to spend most of the day with my adult son who has been there already a week. He is only allowed one visitor a day. The one has to be the same one all day. About 2 O’clock I’ll come home, cook five Cornish game hens and a couple of side dishes and then deliver them to my granddaughter’s and grandson’s apartment (also adult) on my way back up to the hospital. I am so thankful today that the rain let up and the squirrels and birds are flitting around. I’m thankful that my son is alive and in a place that will take care of him in case of another emergency. I’m so thankful for all the texts and calls from my family and friends wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving and sending love to John (son). I’m thankful for my old car that starts every time I turn the key, so I can get to and from the hospital. God is good and His mercies are new every morning. This too shall pass. Nothing lasts forever. Blessings on you and your furbabies and all your loyal followers this wonderful Thanksgiving Day. Sandra

  12. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! This year, I am so thankful for friends like you, my family, my job, my home and my health. Thankful for being a nurse and a chance to make a difference in the lives of other. Thankful for loving pets! Thankful for more than I can list! Thank you for being here! You make such a difference in the lives of others. You are a blessing to all of us!

  13. Happy Thanksgiving an inspiring piece, as always thought provoking.
    So grateful I found your blog. I will be curling up with candles and a glass of wine this afternoon after dinner with my fur babies and a Santa Claus movie marathon. Enjoy your blessed day!

  14. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your fur babies, Brenda. Thank you so much for the delightful message this morning.
    I decided to cook a traditional meal for myself and I’m excited. Putting my turkey in the oven in a just a bit. If I have to be alone then I’m going to make the best of it. While my turkey is cooking I’ll spend my day with my needle and thread stitching and watching Hallmark movies.
    And, I’m sitting here in the corner of my couch/sofa with my fur baby, Cooper by my side with a smile on my face.

    Again, thank you!

  15. It is important to be thankful for the little things in life. I hope you have a great day and your fur babies too

  16. As usual you have a great note to all of us. Our health, our family and our friends like you are what make our days happy. Happy Thanksgiving.

  17. Beautiful post again. It is a blessing to appreciate the simple things in life. Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. Prayers for John and Sandra today that John will recover quickly. He is blessed to have such a good Mom and family.
      Thank you, Brenda, for a wonderful and uplifting post on this day of/for THANKS. May your life and your family be blessed today and always.

Comments are closed.