Thanksgiving is the ultimate holiday for expressing gratitude. It can be very hard to find any reason for gratitude when you deal with mounting challenges of your stepfamily demands. I feel that it is important though to take inventory of your life and the people in it, and be grateful for having your beautiful children, your present spouse, your stepchildren, and even your former spouses that helped make having your children possible.

Gratitude helps us be humble and appreciative of the gifts of love, friendship, and faith that we are given. It helps us acknowledge someone else’s contribution to the quality of our lives. Additionally, gratitude helps us realize that it often takes more than one person to make our world a better place for us individually, for our families, and our society. Acknowledging it to the people in our lives will probably make them happy that their efforts go noticed. When they are happy, they will contribute to the happiness of the people they meet along the way, and thus you create a positive ripple effect with your gratitude.

Relationships seem to be stronger and healthier when gratitude is expressed. Some people have difficulties accepting gratitude expressed towards them. However, thanking them for their contributions to you will probably help keep the flow of heartfelt kindness coming your way. It helps the giver more than the receiver. Oftentimes, thanking someone for something they did for you tells the person that s/he matters, that s/he is making a difference in your life. People like to be acknowledged and noticed, especially in intimate relationships. Make sure that you celebrate your spouse’s presence in your life throughout the year, and you will experience a more emotionally intimate relationship.

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