30 Ways to Give Thanks


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You've probably heard gratitude is an attitude, but it's more than that. When we practice gratitude, we react to unexpected events with delight instead of disappointment. We savor positive experiences, making them richer and more fulfilling. A thankful heart also prevents us from overlooking everyday blessings such as a delicious dinner or a warm bed.

Gratitude is an active process of acknowledging goodness and recognizing its source, according to Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, and author of "Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier." "While gratitude is pleasant, it is not easy," Emmons says. "We have to work at it."

Counting (and recounting) blessings has benefits. Research shows people who practice gratitude feel greater joy and connectedness, cope better with stress, and experience less illness and depression. Put these prompts on your family calendar now. In 30 days, thankful thoughts and pay-it-forward actions will be almost automatic.

1. Start a gratitude journal. List three things you're grateful for today. Do it again tomorrow. Gratitude journals focus emotional energy on what's right, not what's wrong.

2. Rock out to "I Thank You" by rhythm and blues legends Sam and Dave while you clean or cook dinner. Get the kids in on the act. It's impossible to be ungrateful when you boogie to this beat.

3. Acknowledge your partner's financial, practical and emotional contributions to the household. Look him or her in the eye and say "Thank you for working to support our family" or "Thank you for doing the laundry."

4. Write a traditional thank-you note to someone who doesn't expect it such as the bus driver, your babysitter or a crossing guard. Seal it with a smiley-face sticker.

5. Give a bouquet of fall flowers to someone you appreciate. Mums speak volumes.

6. Set a grateful example. Say "thank you" for kids' help with table-setting or toy-room cleanup. Go global - say "Gracias," "Danke" or "Merci" - to make it more memorable.

7. Light a candle and spend three minutes focused on one recent blessing. Can't light up? Go to gratefulness.org/candles and light a virtual version instead.

8. Be grateful for financial resources. Make a microloan to someone who needs it to get back on their feet. Learn more at worldvisionmicro.org or kiva.org.

9. Bring a comforting dinner to someone who nurtures the good in others. Fall food doesn't need to be fussy. Soup and bread are perfect for sharing.

10. Make collages of the people, places and opportunities for which you're most grateful. Cut out pictures from magazines or make a word cloud at Wordle.net. Laminate your creations to use as a placemats.

11. Bake "thankful pie" using your family's favorite ingredients (apples, pears or sugar pumpkins). Savor the bounty of this year's local harvest.

12. Take a walk through the woods. Notice the color and texture of the leaves, the cool dampness of the air. Be thankful for the changing seasons.

13. Go online to merchants who make or sell objects you love. Take 10 minutes to give ratings or write a review. The merchant (and the next shopper) will appreciate it.

14. Have a date night with your significant other or one of the kids. Tune in to what makes you smile, laugh and sigh when you're together.

15. Decorate your table for fall. Use gourds or flowers to celebrate the beauty of nature.

16. Bake "thank you" bread using a monkey bread recipe (Allrecipes.com has easy, delicious ones). As kids pull off each piece, have them share something for which they are grateful. Grownups play (and eat), too.

17. Remember bad times like frustrations, failures and losses. Notice how much better things are right now. Focus on resiliency and renewal.

18. Inspire others. Describe one unexpected blessing you've received today in a status update on Facebook or Twitter.

19. Rake leaves into piles. Before bagging, do a running leap into a leaf pile and shout "thank you!" Be grateful for silly, spontaneous fun.

20. Post thankful expressions in visible locations at home and at work. Sneak one into your child's lunchbox while you're at it.

21. Stop by the principal's office and tell him or her three things you appreciate about your child's teacher, coach or curriculum. The job is (mostly) thankless.

22. In line at the coffee counter or drive thru, pay for the drink of the patron behind you. Your generosity will boost their energy and their mood.

23. Speak up publicly (at work or at church) and highlight others' help and support. Your recognition might be just what someone needs today.

24. Write a letter of thanks to each of your children. Explain how they've changed your life for the better. Give the notes now, or tuck them into kids' baby books.

25. Appreciate animal affection. Pet your dog or cat for 10 minutes, and focus on times you've shared. Be grateful for your pet's unconditional love.

26. Practice random thankfulness. Pick simple cues - like common words - or set an alarm. Use them to trigger thankful thoughts.

27. Uproot worn-out fall flowers and plant bulbs in their place. Anticipate spring. Optimism is gratitude to grow on.

28. Do a walking meditation focused on your own goodness. Be grateful for your health, for your mind and for your talents. Affirm yourself.

29. Volunteer your time and talents to serve others. Go to volunteermatch.org or serve.gov to find local opportunities by zip code.

30. Take a picture of your family holding "thank you" signs. Design an e-card or print custom notes to send to holiday gift-givers.

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May 2017

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Pilot Mountain State Park
1792 Pilot Knob Park Road
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445 Patterson Ave
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208 N. Davie St.
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220 N. Church St.
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Vietnam Veteran Memorial Wall & Downtown Thomasville
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Greensboro Children's Museum
220 N. Church St.
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Cost: Free

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Rural Hall Library
7125 Broad St.
Rural Hall, NC  27045
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Cost: Free

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Triad Park
9652 West Market Street
Kernersville, NC
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Cost: Free

Where:
Kernersville YMCA
1113 W Mountain St
Kernersville, NC  27284
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Telephone: 336-669-3062
Contact Name: Victoria Harley
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One of spring's most highly anticipated events is back! Gears & Guitars music festival - a series of concerts at Bailey Park performed in conjunction with the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic...

Cost: $

Where:
Bailey Park
445 Patterson Ave
Winston-Salem, NC
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Cost: Free

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Wake Forest Innovation Quarter
Fifth Street between Patterson Avenue and Research Parkway
Winston-Salem, NC
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Cost: Free

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Carver Branch Library
4915 Lansing Drive
Winston-Salem, NC  27105
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Cost: Free

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Clemmons Library
3554 Clemmons Road
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Cost: Free

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Reynolda Manor Branch Library
2839 Fairlawn Drive
Winston-Salem, NC  27106
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Cost: $12 Residents/$15 Non-residents

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Robbins Recreation Center
512 S. Hargrave Street
Lexington, NC  27295
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Cost: Free

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Glenwood Recreation Center
2010 Coliseum Blvd.
GSO, NC
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Sponsor: CYI Worldwide
Telephone: 336-446-9067
Contact Name: Minister Bill Raupp
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Cost: Free

Where:
Salem Square
Academy & Main Streets
Old Salem
Winston Salem, NC  27101
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Cost: $5

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Reynolda House Museum of American Art
2250 Reynolda Road
Winston-Salem, NC  27106
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Telephone: 336-758-5150
Contact Name: Reynolda House Museum of American Art
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Cost: Free

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Reynolda Manor Branch Library
2839 Fairlawn Drive
Winston-Salem, NC  27106
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Asheboro Public Library
201 Worth St.
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Cost: Free

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LeBauer Park
208 N Davie St
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Greenhill
200 N. Davie St.
GSO, NC  27401
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Telephone: 336-333-7460
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Cost: Free

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GreenHill
200 N Davie Street
Greensboro, NC  27401
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Telephone: 336-333-7460
Contact Name: Lauren Gordon
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Join us at 11 a.m. on Thursday mornings for books, songs and fun! Call 336-703-2970 for more information.

Cost: Free

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Rural Hall Branch Library
7125 Broad St.
Rural Hall, NC  27045
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Cost: Free

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Glenn McNairy Branch
4860 Lake Jeanette Rd
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Cost: Free

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Carver School Road Branch Library
4915 Lansing Drive
Winston-Salem, NC  27105
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Leonard Recreational Center
6324 Ballinger Road
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Telephone: 336-644-1567
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Cost: Free

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Reynolda Manor Branch Library
2839 Fairlawn Drive NW
Winston-Salem, NC  27106
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Babies from birth to toddlers are welcome with their parents/caregivers. We sing songs, repeat chants and rhymes, and have a great time! Please join us.

Cost: Free

Where:
Reynolda Manor Branch Library
2839 Fairlawn Drive
Winston-Salem, NC  27106
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Cost: $4

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Greensboro Children's Museum
220 N. Church St.
Greensboro, NC  27401
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Sponsor: Greensboro Children's Museum
Telephone: 336-574-2898
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Cost: $10/member, $12/nonmember.

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390 S Liberty Street
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Cost: Free

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Winston-Salem, NC


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Center City Park
200 N Elm St
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Cost: Free

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Downtown Greensboro
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Cost: $20-$29+

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Greensboro Coliseum Complex
Special Events Center
1921 West Gate City Boulevard
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Cost: $2

Where:
Greensboro Children's Museum
220 N. Church St.
GSO, NC  27401
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Telephone: 336-574-2898
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Cost: $27.50

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Kaleideum
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Cost: Free

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Oak Ridge Park
6231 Lisa Drive
Oak Ridge, NC  27310
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Sponsor: The Original Made by Hand in the Triad
Telephone: 133-688-03060
Contact Name: Mary Thompson Jordahl

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Cost: Free

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LeBauer Park
208 N Davie St.
Greensboro, NC  27401
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if you see a poster that says "You Can Do Anything at the Library!," it is NOT giving you permission to put on a circus! But Magnolia doesn't see any problem with setting up her own...

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes and Noble (Burlington)
Alamance Crossing Shopping Center
3125 Waltham Blvd
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if you see a poster that says "You Can Do Anything at the Library!," it is NOT giving you permission to put on a circus! But Magnolia doesn't see any problem with setting up her own...

Cost: Free

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Barnes and Noble (Greensboro)
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Cost: Free

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Barnes and Noble (Winston-Salem)
1925 Hampton Inn Court
Winston-Salem, NC  27103
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Cost: Free

Where:
International Civil Rights Center & Museum
134 S. Elm St.
GSO, NC  27401
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Sponsor: International Civil Rights Center & Museum
Telephone: 336-274-9199
Contact Name: Nakia Hoskins
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Cost: Free

Where:
LeBauer Park
208 N. Davie St.
Greensboro, NC  27401
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Cost: Free

Where:
International Civil Rights Center & Museum
134 S. Elm St.
Greensboro, NC  27401
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Sponsor: International Civil Rights Center & Museum
Telephone: (336) 274-9199
Contact Name: Nakia Hoskins
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Cost: Free

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Cedarock Park
242 R. Dean Coleman Road
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Cost: Free

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Barnes and Noble (High Point)
906 Mall Loop Road
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Cost: Free

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LeBauer Park
208 N Davie St.
Greensboro, NC  27401
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Cost: $3

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128 E. Front Street
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Sponsor: Teen 2 Teen
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Contact Name: Maggie Massey
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Cost: Free

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Central Library
219 N Church St
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Cost: Free

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Glenn McNairy Branch
4860 Lake Jeanette Road
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Cost: Free

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More information

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Cost: $27.50

Where:
Hanesbrands Theatre
209 Spruce St N
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View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $20-$29+

Where:
Greensboro Coliseum Complex
Special Events Center
1921 West Gate City Boulevard
Greensboro, NC  27403
View map »


Website »

More information

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