My childhood was spent growing up in a three generation household. My grandmother, on my mother's side, lived with us. I was named after that grandmother's husband, my grandfather, and he died a few weeks before I was borne. Despite the fact I had never met him, his wisdom was prevalent throughout my upbringing. This particular set of grandparents grew up through their early adulthood during the Great Depression. At one point in time, they sold a cow for ten dollars to pay their property taxes and had no meat to eat for the winter.
We always had a garden. Everyone had to tend to it. Picking potato bugs and burning them to listen to them pop was entertainment in the summer. We, the children, received two pairs of jeans per year. School shopping and Christmas. The worst thing to have happen was to rip a hole in them in the first week of school. That meant you had a patch on your jeans until Christmas. My socks were darned when holes appeared. We probably didn't have to do some of these things as a family, however my family valued everything we had. Nothing was wasted. The value of things was lived throughout our lives. To this day, I have a very difficult problem throwing anything away.
I bought a push lawnmower fifteen years ago. Many things have broken on it. I continue to replace parts and fix it despite my children's objections. They want a new lawnmower. I can afford one. That isn't the point. I can fix it, therefore it doesn't need to be replaced. I have told them that I will put it in my will to the one that is least able to fix things. It has become a badge of honor to keep that piece of crap working.
How do we be thankful for what God has given us? I can think of no better way than valuing the things we do have and taking care of them. Not everything is worth repairing or darning. However, you can learn a lot about value while fixing the things God has given you and not just throwing out what you think is broke.