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A few years ago (I guess it's been almost 4, yikes), I decided to keep a gratitude journal for a year. I loved the entire experience, especially as it got me through Clark's 8 months of unemployment and our move to Illinois with a more grateful heart. I've decided to do it again.
Today we went to the Christkindlemarket over in Naperville. Prior to piling into the car, I think every single person in our family had a grumpy meltdown. Just the thing to add to the Christmas spirit! On the way over everyone cooled off a bit, and I kept thinking, "Must be grateful, not whiny; must be grateful, not whiny..." This could easily have gone a different way as the experience unfolded. The group behind us in the shuffling crowd was full of f-bombs, which is not my cup of tea, and certainly not something I want my KIDS hearing. So I kept talking to Ella, distracting her from the language going on behind us. Then they followed us into the market. Then we stopped so they could pass us. Then THEY stopped right where we did. We finally got them off our tail by walking away from the beerstein haus.
Now, maybe I'm doing this all wrong, but here is what I think about Christkindlemarkets: You can go get overpriced food, or drink lots of beer, or buy expensive German things. Those are your options. I am a cheapskate who doesn't drink, so....we walked around for a bit, saw the pretty lights, smelled lots of beer, and then left. This doesn't sound grateful, does it? But I promise, we had a good time! The lights were very lovely, it was fun being out in the crisp (but not below zero) weather, and we did end up buying two small ornaments for our tree. But you can see how this experience could have gone either way. I'm so glad I decided to have a grateful heart instead of a grumpy one - consciously making that decision made all the difference on how the night went.