This is something I did in my seminary classroom every year just before Thanksgiving, and I LOVED it every time.
Here is how it goes:
1. Give everyone in your family a piece of paper and have them number 1 – 100 (or give them this printable:Count Your Many Blessings PDF )
2. Explain that everyone is going to list 100 things that they are grateful for (and then listen to them moan and groan at the thought of coming up with THAT many!)
3. THEN explain that they are only to list those things as you instruct them
4. First, have them draw a line under number 10, and then have them list 10 THINGS they are grateful for (your house, their bike, books, etc)
5. Have each person go around and share from their list (they can share a few or all of them) – also, if there is time, have them share after each set of 10 blessings.
6. Next, draw a line under 20, and have them list 10 PEOPLE they are grateful for (by name, no grouping like “friends”)
7. Then draw a line under 30, and have them list 10 TEACHERS they are grateful for
8. Then draw a line under 40, and have them list 10 THINGS ABOUT THEMSELVES they are grateful for (that they are good at math, that they are a loyal friend, etc)
9. Then draw a line under 50, and have them list 10 TRIALS/STRUGGLES they are grateful they have had because they taught them important lessons
10. Then draw a line under 60, and have them list 10 PEOPLE WHO LIVED BEFORE THEM that have impacted their lives.
11. Then draw a line under 70, and have them list 10 things they have a TESTIMONY of that they are grateful for (so 10 Gospel Truths they know are true.
12. Then draw a line under 80, and have them list 10 THINGS THAT HAPPENED THIS PAST WEEK that they are grateful for
13. Then draw a line under 90, and have them list 10 things about TODAY that they are grateful for (that everyone was safe, that they had several options for breakfast, that their home was warm, that they had several pairs of shoes to choose from)
14. Then draw a line under 100, and have them list 10 things about their FAMILY that they are grateful for (that mom always has dinner ready, that dad makes sure we pray everyday, that Sara lets me borrow her clothes, etc.)
15. After you are done, discuss which parts of your list you needed more than 10 spaces in. Discuss with your family how blessed you are and how you could have filled out WAY more than 100!
16. Ask your family, out of all 100 things you listed, circle your top 10 blessings you never want to live without. (This will be hard to choose and you don’t have to be strict with only 10, but they will see how many things are important to them!)
17. Discuss how it makes them feel when they recognize all of their blessings and how it makes so many things that we get upset about seem so trivial. (No wonder President Hinckley’s first “Be” was “Be Grateful”!)
18. Challenge your family to say a prayer of gratitude this Thanksiving. They could even use this list.
*Think of keeping a Thanksgiving time capsule. You could put everyone’s list in there, repeat this activity again next Thanksgiving and the next, each time looking over their old lists. A GREAT way to see the hand of God in our lives.
OTHER SETS OF TEN you could replace with those above: 10 life lessons you have learned recently, 10 doctrines of the Gospel you are grateful to know, 10 standards you are grateful you are living, 10 family moments you are grateful have happened, etc…