I cringe every time I see that stupid sign outside the mall, counting down the “shopping days” until Christmas. As if spending money we don’t have on stuff we don’t need was the entire reason for the season.
Yes, it’s easy to be caught up in the frenzy — the hustle-bustle-wrapping-trapping-shopping chaos of it all. That’s why we need constant reminders of what it really means to be a human during the holiday season. Mostly, grateful.
Since most of us will have at least a day or two of free time coming up over the next month, we decided to gather up a list of must-read stories about gratitude. This holiday, instead of loading up the e-reader with murder mysteries, download a few of these inspirational tales. Most are short, and will leave you feeling inspired and humbled by all there is to be thankful for.
1. The Secret Gratitude Book: Written by author and filmmaker Rhonda Byrne, this offers a framework for practicing the power of gratitude each day, enabling you to attract every magnificent thing you want into your life.
2. What Makes You Grateful?: Voices from Around the World: In 2011, author Anne Kubitsky began asking, “What makes you grateful?” and invited people to write or draw a glimmer of gladness on a postcard and mail it back to her. This book represents just a portion of the thousands of responses that came pouring in.
3. Gratitude Soup: In this children’s book Violet the Purple Fairy learns how to make Gratitude Soup by thinking of all the things, people, places and experiences that she is grateful for. Perfect for teaching your children about gratitude with fun and play, this rhyming, colorful 8×10 picture book combines collage and watercolors as Violet the Purple Fairy tells her own story of cooking with gratitude.
4. Gratitude: Affirming One Another Through Stories: Written by Len Froyen, this book is a monograph of essays on the origins, practice and results of gratitude in all phases of daily life.
5. Gratitude: A Thanksgiving Tale: This is the story of a family and their new friends, working at a soup kitchen one Thanksgiving. It’s not as boring as they expect, and in the end they all understand what they have to truly be thankful for.
6. Choosing Gratitude: Learning To Love The Life You Have: In a society consumed by fears of not having “enough” — money, possessions, security and so on— author James Autry suggests that if we cultivate gratitude as a way of being, we may not change the world and its ills, but we can change our response to the world. If we fill our lives with moments of gratitude, we will indeed love the life we have.
7. Thanksgiving: A Collection of Essays, Prayers and Toasts: Three essays on grace, thankfulness and joy help you remember the things in life worth appreciating, set the mood for the day and help you reflect on the real meaning of the holiday. Plus a collection of prayers and toasts give you words to say at the table.
8. A Book of Miracles: Inspiring True Stories of Healing, Gratitude, and Love: Compiled during Dr. Bernie Siegel’s more than thirty years of practice, speaking and teaching, the stories in these pages are riveting, warm and belief expanding. The book has a foreward from Deepak Chopra.
9. Gratitude Nuggets To Chew On: It is so important to feed our mind with positive thoughts to counter the effects of living in a very negative world. Every page of this ebook by David Brooke will give you pause to think how you can better navigate the day by planting encouraging seeds in your mind.
10. Gratitude – Gardens of the Heart: In today’s fast-paced world we all need a simple way to quickly step out of our day-to-day experiences and into a place that will renew and inspire us. This book features gratitude quotes from Elizabeth Clare Prophet that can lift your spirit, open your understanding and gently guide you to the garden within your own heart.
11. 21 Stories of Gratitude: The Power of Living Life With a Grateful Heart: In this book, author Shelley Hitz shares 21 stories of gratitude to give you encouragement and hope in your own journey. Even though many times we cannot change our circumstances, we can change the way we see them.
Do you know of an inspirational story or book that belongs on this list? Share it in the comments!
image via Thinkstock
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