Gratitude. We journal about it, meditate about it, pray about it, and read about it as we strive to be more grateful for and centered in what we have. It often feels like an uphill battle in today’s world of wanting more. We are constantly overwhelmed with suggestions of what we could or should have or do. It’s not always easy just to be content in the present and fulfilled with what surrounds us.

During this time of year when we are reminded more than ever to be grateful, it’s our children who teach us that lesson every day with the confidence of the most seasoned of teachers. Watch them at a park. They run happily from one slide to the next. They giggle as they swing from the monkey bars. They delight in a new friend they haven’t seen before. They don’t spend their time complaining that the slide isn’t fast enough or that there isn’t enough to do. They find the joy, the fun, and they are grateful for it.

We recently decorated our house for the holidays, and there was that moment where I looked around and wished I had more. It didn’t feel like enough, and I felt disappointed. Then I looked at my children. I watched them run from decoration to decoration delighting in what they saw. They were completely unconcerned with where it was placed or how many we had. To them it was joy, celebration, and gratitude for the holiday transformation of our house. It was and will always be enough.

I wish that for all of us as we enter this holiday season that we will look to our best little teachers to remind us how to be grateful. For everything. From the sun rising in the morning to sparkly lights on a Christmas tree at the end of the day. That we will continue to look to them to remember how to be content and how to be present. For them, there is no other place to be. They breathe in gratitude and happiness, and there is so much to be learned from that especially today. Especially this year.

May we always be grateful.

Find the joy,


Jessica McCauley, M.Ed. is a parenting coach/consultant. She draws on her background as a Montessori educator and Child Life Specialist to help families navigate the challenges of the early childhood years. Contact Jessica at for more information or to schedule a consultation.