Thursday, March 2, 2017

Plan a Family Member Appreciation Week!

Are you missing some gratitude in your day? Does life seem a little hum drum? Try a family member appreciation week!

This post is not meant to drag you down and make you feel like you're not doing enough. I'm hoping to show you that with very little effort and a tiny bit of planning, you can make a difference in somebody's life. You may not be perfect at showing appreciation all the time (neither am I) but here's one idea to help you add some gratitude into your regular day.

I posted this video on my Facebook page yesterday. It goes over what having an appreciation week can add to your life (which I only touch on briefly in this blog).

What is an appreciation week?

I originally got the idea for appreciation weeks from this website, and we threw our very first one last year for my husband. Appreciation weeks are not tied to birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, or any other big event. The point of them is that they are totally random and unexpected, and come from the heart! Appreciation weeks have one goal and that is to make it apparent to the person how grateful you are for them.

What would an appreciation week look like?

Here is the key to an appreciation week: Don't make it a monumental task! Don't go out and buy anything extra, plan lavish activities, or wait until your life slows down a little bit. The point of an appreciation week is to add gratitude for somebody you love into your daily grind. There should be nothing pinterest-worthy about it, just do it. Don't let gratitude end up on your "someday" list-- these people are the most important thing in the world to you (and they grow up and move away, your time is limited)!

Appreciation weeks can include anything you like. The essential element is that you express often and throughout the week real things you love and appreciate about somebody, and that you make time for them.

What's an example of an appreciation week schedule?

Here is what we did for our daughter 6-year-old daughter Cheyenne.

5 days seemed like a good amount (this should NOT be a stressful thing! Make it however long you want).

Monday For Family Home Evening we had a lesson about the important role Cheyenne plays in our family, and how much she adds to our family. Then we each went around and said one thing we liked about Cheyenne.

Tuesday while she was gone at school the kids and I heart attacked her bedroom door with words that described things we loved about her. Then we made her cards and I asked her what her what a favorite treat of hers was and made that for her when she came home from school (I didn't buy any special ingredients). This took about 10-20 minutes out of my day, and actually allowed me to spend time with and connect with my other kids. Since we are cutting back a little on tv time, the time came from that. Nothing better than cutting back tv time to serve someone you love! Since Ben was gone at work, he wrote her a quick card when he got home. She loved it!

Wednesday Cheyenne and I had an "at home date" after the other kids go to bed. My husband helps out with our church youth group on Wednesdays, so I wanted to make it something that worked with our already existing schedule (see? not elaborate!). We watched a 20-minute kid show on Netflix first. While we watched the show, I put my arm around her and told her how much I loved her. She got an extra pack of fruit snacks for the movie, and then we played Bingo while we talked.  She thought it was the coolest night ever!

Thursday Cheyenne went on a date with her dad. We used a giftcard we already had for some free ice cream, and they went out to Culver's.

Friday we went out to Chuck E Cheese's as a family. The last few years Cheyenne's been asking to go to Chuck E Cheese for her birthday, but it's never quite worked out since she was born near Thanksgiving and we're always traveling. So! When I asked her what she wanted to do for her appreciation week, this was it, and now was a perfect time to do it! It turned out to be a really memorable and fun memory for our family, and I never would have thought of it by myself!

How can you appreciate someone today?

I don't want you to read this post and think, "Oh she's so creative" or "she's such a good mom." I don't want you to save this as something you want to do later. What's stopping you from showing appreciation for someone you love right now, today? Maybe you've done some of these activities in the past, but it's been awhile. Pull one out today! It doesn't have to be a week long-- you could do an "at home date" with one of your kids tonight, you could heart attack someone's room today, you could whip up a thank you card for someone you love in five minutes. I'm sharing this here to get you motivated to appreciate the people around you today, right now. You'll be surprised how much sunshine it colors your day with, and how much power you have in your own two hands.


  1. I loooooooove this, Ashley! Keep the ideas coming :)

    1. It was a fun week. I try to write the ideas that come to me. I know they at least help you Carly!! :) :)