With Thanksgiving Day just a few days away, it’s my observation that for most people’s lives become more frantic and hectic. Whether its travel plans or planning the Thanksgiving Day meal, people have more to do and less time to do it. As you go through the hustle and bustle of this season and as you visit with family and friends, I urge you take a deep breath and consider this advice:
Count your blessings. Take a moment and recall all of the blessings you have received over the past year. I realize that many people continue to face difficult times as our economy continues to struggle. However, each of us has so many things to be thankful for. For one thing, we live in the greatest country on earth. A place where we enjoy freedom of speech; freedom to come and go as we please; freedom to seek and create success for ourselves and the people we love. You don’t have to look far to find millions who not only do not enjoy our freedoms, but who live in fear everyday of their lives such as those who live under ISIS rule.
Reach out to someone. There are so many people in need in our community, this is a wonderful time to reach out and help others. Consider getting your children involved and sharing the lesson of giving so that their lives can be enriched as well. Of course you can simply write a check but there are many other ways to give such as serving at a local shelter soup kitchen; you could have your children choose some of their clothing they’d be willing to donate; together, the family can go grocery shopping for food to donate…start in your own pantry! You’ll likely find that by taking the time to give to others, you’ll receive the biggest gift of all!
My associate, Beth Moody, had this idea, “Everyone loves to get handwritten notes, and the holidays are a great time to express your gratitude for someone. Whether it’s your postal worker, a work colleague, or neighbor, we are all positively impacted by others around us. Take a few minutes to write a short note to someone you know. It doesn’t have to be detailed. A simple, “Thanks for delivering my mail!” will suffice. Trust me, they’ll appreciate the thought!”
Play the Thanksgiving Day game. There’s a game we sometimes play at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Ask everyone to think about a few of their top blessings that occurred during this year as well as the one thing they are most thankful for. Then go around the table and have everyone share one blessing and that one thing they are most thankful for. I think you will be warmed by the stories and you may get a couple of surprises. You’ll help everyone get grounded in the true spirit of Thanksgiving.