GRATITUDE DURING THE HOLIDAYS
With Thanksgiving behind us we are in full holiday season. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? For some, this is a challenging time generally, and this year it might be just that much more so.
I am personally in the wonderful time of the year camp. Even though I’ve had some less than stellar experiences during the holidays, I have chosen to remember what I love most.
One of the very best ways I do that is to count my blessings. When I land on the things I am grateful for, my heart opens, gets warm, and a power fills me like none else. It is heavenly. Really, it all comes straight from God.
What might the holidays look like if we approached them with gratitude as a guide? Let’s see.
- Anticipation. This is something that I do. I swear I am like a child getting so excited for the season. When I think of what I am grateful for as I look forward to this time of year, it absolutely ups the joy.
- Making what I want happen if possible. With gratitude leading the way, I can share my talents, skills, and the things I’ve learned to create a happy experience. It may not go how I want, but I can be so grateful for the effort, too. We all love effort, right? But, it’s important not to make yourself crazy with expectations – yours or others. Being grateful for what is, is a terrific way to avoid that stress.
- Set aside time to chill. Right? We need this for sure. Light a candle, play some soft music, sit by the tree, and just think. Remember goodness and laughter and love.
- Plan something fun. Be grateful for happiness that is available to us. Do the things you can do – sledding, charades, decorating cookies – and take advantage of abilities and talents we have.
- Keep budget in mind. When we start with what we are thankful for, it can be easier to set limits on our spending.
- Food. How grateful I am for plenty of food! Recognizing our abundance brings more enjoyment, and hopefully a desire to share it with those who don’t.
- Obligations. They exist, especially during the holidays. Leaning into them with thankfulness can change our hearts. They might just become something that isn’t quite so hard.
- After the holidays. Moving through the holidays in gratitude makes them a million times better. And when they are over, we have the best memories, and maybe fewer regrets of overdoing.
I will admit that I am not thinking about all that I am grateful for every minute. For me, it takes practice. But trust me, even finding little times to remember blessings can make a difference in a whole day. Trying to do that each day makes the whole season so much better.
And why stop with the season? Try to give thanks all through the year. I just might turn this wonderful time of year into a wonderful life.
What are you thankful for? Have you seen how showing gratitude makes a difference in your life? Let us know!