Holiday Gratitude Board: Having Fun During COVID-19

Mike Kraus
4 min readMar 23, 2021

Holiday Gratitude Board: Having Fun During COVID-19

1) What Is a Gratitude Board? — It’s easy. It’s just a poster board, cardboard, side of fridge, large concrete retaining wall, or anything that you can write what you’re grateful for. It can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like. It can be your wall with Post-It Notes. Or it can be ornately designed to complement your interior decor. It can be all photos!

2) What Am I Grateful For? — This is a moment to forget about the news media and nasty attitudes on social media. It’s a time to reflect on what really matters to you.

People: Think about your partner, kids, parents, grandparents and other loved ones. Who are your friends and why? A confidant at work.

Actions: Did someone do something nice for you today? Help you in a moment of need. Or just listened to you during a moment of difficulty?

Stuff: Do you appreciate the food, shelter, clothing, and your health? Say it.

The Small Things: Gratitude doesn’t have to be grand. In fact, beauty comes in small doses. It can be a sunny day. Maybe a smile during an absurd meeting. A funny moment while walking the dog.

3) Who Should Participate? — This is a personal choice and should not be forced on anyone. Your attitude is your decision. This can be done individually as a form of self-care. Or you can paint a piece of plywood and have the whole neighborhood take part in being happy.

4) When Should I Be Grateful? — Set aside a moment each day for a little reflection. Have a reminder on your phone if that helps. Some people find that it helps set the tone for the day if it’s the first activity they do after waking up. Others find it reassuring if it’s the last thing they do before bed. There’s no correct answer. Do what works best for you.

5) Where Should I Be Grateful? — It should be somewhere that will be viewed by all participants regularly. If it’s for you, it can be on your bedroom mirror or a daily used notebook. For a family, a kitchen or living room might be more appropriate. Create an online board with friends and others on social media. All contributors should see it frequently and be able to access at all times.

6) Why Am I Doing This? — I admit, when this was introduced to me I thought it was cheesy and just another unnecessary chore. But, I witnessed a moment when negative words and actions caused a loved one pain at a time that should have been very joyful. So, I decided to take it seriously and find ways for it to be personally meaningful.

Oddly enough, there was a science experiment about it. When soccer/football players were positively told to kick a ball to the top left corner of the goal, they were far more accurate because that’s what they focused on. But, when soccer/football players were negatively told to avoid kicking the ball to the bottom right of the goal, the ball ended up their the majority of the time because that’s what they focused on. (If you know of this study, please let me know so I can cite it). The lesson: If you focus on happiness you’re far more likely to be happy.

AND DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN! And, please feel free to contact if you have any questions or suggestions!

More Having Fun During Coronavirus

Health and Safety Considerations for gathering:
1) No indoor activities
2) No sharing bathrooms
3) Wash hands before and after gathering. Don’t touch your face.
4) Bring your own food, snacks, drinks, and utensils.
5) Do not attend if you have asthma, heart disease, diabetes, overweight, have/survived cancer, or 50+ year old.
6) Do not attend if you have or have had Coronavirus or showing symptoms (
7) Wear a mask and practice social distancing (
8) Limit attendance. Check local health department for guidelines and restrictions.
9) Talk with everyone about comfort levels. Expect and allow non-participation and last minute cancellations.

Mike Kraus was born on the industrial shoreline of Muskegon, Michigan. After earning his Fine Arts Degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he attended Grand Valley State University for his graduate degree. From there, he gained varied experiences from the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Art Institute of Chicago, Hauenstein Center For Presidential Studies, Lollypop Farm Humane Society, and the Children’s Memorial Foundation. And every place he worked, he had his sketchbook with him and found ways to be actively creative. In 2014, Kraus became a full-time artist by establishing Mike Kraus Art. Since then, he has sold hundreds of paintings that are displayed in nearly every state and dozens of countries. Currently, Kraus lives in Rochester, New York with his beautiful wife and goofy dog.

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