The Book

Practicing gratitude through keeping a daily journal always struck me as more chore than joy. I realized that on Thanksgiving, many families added an element of fun by writing thankful thoughts on the feathers of a homemade turkey, and decided to take it a small step further by making a more tropical yarn bird on which the feathers reflected animals that made me smile – because aren’t we grateful for anything that makes us smile?

And thus, a book was hatched. Creating Delight: Connecting Gratitude, Humor, and Play offers dozens of ways you can create tangible displays of gratitude that are playful and often humorous, along with much more, such as:

  • Giving and receiving compliments effectively
  • Using template shapes for inspiration (The musical notes and piano keys on the wall of ivy can be used to highlight people or things that make your heart sing or the names of songs, genres, performers, or composers you enjoy.)
  • Long lists of topics that can be the focus of your smiles and gratitude
  • Rituals to encourage playful, joyful gratitude connections (including an early version of the idea of “awe walks”)
  • Creating giveaways like “Good Fortunes” and “Gratitude Letters” (Even unsent, the letters can have a positive effect.)

Whether you serve students/children, older adults, co-workers or family and friends, Creating Delight provides concrete ways you can bring delight to others and in doing so, to yourself.

Order it here.  And check out the ideas for gratitude/smile elements throughout the website.

Here's a delightful activity you can do with your friends and family.


Step 1: Make a spiral. Cut out a large circle on brightly colored construction paper. Then cut the circle into a winding series of smaller and smaller circles until you reach the center. Punch a hole there, so the spiral can be hung with yarn or string from a tree branch.

Step 2: Before you hang the spiral, lay it flat and following your cuts from outer edge to the center write your long or short message. Tell about a happy memory or list some of your favorite things or whatever else strikes your fancy.


Why connect gratitude, humor and play?

Because their benefits overlap. They all: 

  • Increase energy, refresh minds
  • Reduce stress
  • Boost the immune system
  • Enhance creativity
  • Facilitate communication, strengthen relationships
  • Change perspective and help us to see problems in new ways17
  • Foster greater happiness, a more hopeful outlook
  • Help us savor life and live in the present
  • Create a positive atmosphere in which to work/live/learn