Gratitude - Be on the Watch and Make a Full Return

Idealized painting by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe, The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth, 1914
A kindness is like a flower that has bloomed upon you unawares, and to be on the watch for such flowers adds very much to our joy in other people, as well as to the happy sense of being loved and cared for. - Charlotte Mason, Vol. 4 p. 108
It is interesting to see that Mason was instructing students along the lines of an attitude of gratitude over 100 years ago. If you look at Ourselves, one of her sections is called "Love's Lords In Waiting: Gratitude." And since it is the season for Thanksgiving, I thought I would share some more book recommendations, paintings, and some of CM's own words.
Whatever the season, Mason wisely tells us that:
Gratitude spreads his feast of joy and thanksgiving for gifts that come to him without any special thought of him on the part of the giver, who indeed may himself have gone from the world hundreds of years ago.  Thus he says his grace for a delightful or helpful book, for a great picture, for a glorious day, for the face of a little child, for happy work, for pleasant places.(p. 110)
Never mind the students, are we practicing this? It can be awfully hard sometimes. It's a proactive choice to be on the watch for kindness and beauty where ever we may be and in whatever circumstances.

I have recommended this book in the past for Thanksgiving reading and here are three more gems from our collection. 

The first is Pilgrim Thanksgiving by Wilma Pitchford Hays, a favorite writer of holiday books.
Here is an excerpt:
Then across from her she saw Richard Moore. His head was bowed. His hands were folded properly.  There was a thankful look on his face. Damaris knew that Richard was an orphan who lived with Elder Brewster and helped with the work in return for his living. His two sisters and his little brother had died in the sickness of the first long winter.  Yet he was grateful, now, for food and good crops and friends.
Another good one is Naughty Little Pilgrim about "the most troublesome family", the Billingtons, who came over on the Mayflower.

Finally, Edna Miller gives us Mousekin's Thanksgiving which is simple and sweet with her beautiful pictures.

And here is a picture by an artist I look forward to getting to know better, Henry Ossawa Tanner.  It's called The Thankful Poor and is from 1894. 

Life would be dull and bare of flowers if we were not continually getting more than we can pay for either by money or our own good offices; but a grateful heart makes a full return, because it rejoices not only in the gift but in the giver. - Charlotte Mason, Vol. 4, p. 109

With Affection and Regard,

Ephesians 5:30
"Giving thanks always for all things unto God."

(For more Thanksgiving books, see The Pumpkin Pie Procession and Gratefulnesse.)


  1. I just love the SPIRIT of your posts, Nancy. They are calm. Beautiful words...and I love that tea cup in the photo!!! I just got a stand like the one your book rests on we have our art print on it right now, but I thought of using it also for a book!!! Good idea. I'm going to copy you. ;)

    1. Thank you, Amy. You always have a kind word to share.

  2. Lovely! You find such amazing jems

  3. I second what Bethany said. :) It amazes me at the wonderful things you are able to find and share. I wonder sometimes if maybe we see them but don't notice them. I probably have wonderful gems on our bookcases, but just haven't put the time into appreciating them. I always look forward to your posts!

    1. There is some truth in that, Channon! Sometimes things have been on my shelves for years before I "discover" them. Or my children do.