Managing work, home duties, and the relentless tide of kid activities? Step right up to the Parenthood Rodeo, where each day is like riding a bucking bronco with one hand, holding a cup of lukewarm coffee in the other, and occasionally, there’s a surprise clown car of emotions. Most days, it’s a miracle if we remember our own names, let alone have time to reflect and be grateful. After all, it’s way easier to tally the forgotten chores or count the minutes till bedtime than count our blessings.

But here’s the kicker: Gratitude isn’t just for Thanksgiving or those rare, quiet moments when no one’s having their fourth meltdown of the day. Studies (probably not conducted by parents on their fourth coffee) show that practicing gratitude can boost our mood, make us healthier, and maybe even help us sleep better. (Um, sold!) And hey, we owe it to our mini-mes to teach them the good habit of looking on the bright side. (Especially when the bright side is that the permanent marker they used on the wall is, at least, a pretty color.)

So, in the spirit of not letting the chaos completely take the wheel, I’m on a mission to up our family’s gratitude game. And believe me, I’m calling in some reinforcements!

Enter: the Gracious Gobbler.

Part story, part stuffed animal, the Gracious Gobbler is a sweet and charming family tradition that sparks a daily practice of giving thanks. At the beginning of November, the snuggly soft turkey shows up along with a beautifully illustrated story to introduce them. Each night, the turkey leaves a note, thanking someone for a kind gesture or a thoughtful action. Reading them together each day becomes a moment of connection that can help send everyone off feeling loved, appreciated and inspired to spread kindness to others. (No need to stage elaborate scenes where your turkey has gotten into the cupboards and stomped flour all around the countertops. Save that for the elves. Or not. You do you.)

For the littles, it’s an exciting and engaging way to learn the importance of gratitude. For older kiddos like mine (who clearly don’t believe a turkey is leaving them messages), it’s a spark of silliness and positivity that we can all take turns spreading the love through. And there’s nothing I’m more grateful for than that.

Check out the Gracious Gobbler bundle.

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The Gracious Gobbler Bundle

The Gracious Gobbler is a beautiful tradition that allows families to create a habit of kindness and gratitude over the holiday season or anytime throughout the year. The Gracious Gobbler Bundle includes a soft, plush turkey, a beautifully illustrated picture book and a pack of 28 note cards to be left from the Gracious Gobbler throughout a month.

A version of this article was published on October 25th, 2020. It has been updated.