Shirin Yadegar shares her father’s morning gratitude practice that you might want to adopt.

Thanksgiving is the time of year we gather with family and friends to be grateful for one another and the abundance of food and freedom. My dad used to always baste the turkey. He would marinate the turkey with the same attention and love he led his life with.

My father sadly won’t be basting a turkey or sharing in our thanksgiving meal this year. I’m sure he has other plans as an angel in heaven; but the lessons of gratitude he taught my brother and I will always be present not just on thanksgiving but every morning.

Here’s what he taught us that I have passed on to my children and many of you may choose to adopt in your family rituals.

  1. Wake up each morning in gratitude. He taught me the Model Ani which in hebrew means “I give thanks”. This is the prayer we recite each morning before making coffee, waking up our kids or checking emails. You don’t have to be Jewish to adopt this prayer of thanks.

    “I thank You, living and enduring King, for You have graciously returned my soul within me. Great is Your faithfulness.”
    That is the exact translation of the prayer and then we add: Thank you for giving me the ability to use my legs to get out of bed, to see, to smell, to hear and feel the love in the universe.

  2. Show gratitude each day by thanking everyone you encounter with a smile or a simple thank you.
  3. Show loving acts of kindness to people by holding the door open, helping someone in need or visiting a loved one.

Practicing gratitude has always been a way of life in our family; not an annual thanksgiving tradition of making food for the less fortunate or gathering with family and friends. We should be helping the needy daily and gathering with family and friends often.

I hope this short article has inspired you to wake up in gratitude, be conscious of your daily blessings, show loving acts of kindness and gather more often with the people you love. Wishing you all a happy and healthy thanksgiving surrounded by love and goodness.

Shirin Yadegar is the CEO and creator of