Holiday Goals

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It’s my favorite holiday because it involves my favorite things: family, food and laughter.

But I know it also involves so much anxiety, emotion and angst for so many people. Millions travel back home, back to old habits and old family dramas. Others face changing families and situations, new additions or losses.

And too many people are alone for the holidays and come face to face with their loneliness.

We used to always visit my parents in Washington, D.C. for Thanksgiving. The experience was exactly what we wanted: big group of family and friends, big football games, big piles of leaves, and big, beautiful fall days.

Both of my parent have passed away in the past few years, but I always think of them — and those wonderful times together — this time of year.

I think of how they opened our home to not just immediate family but to anyone who was alone. I like opening up the idea of family to include people we care about.

So, in the spirit of my parents, I’ve decided to set some goals for this holiday season.

  • To be open instead of closed.
  • To be present instead of focusing on buying presents.
  • To be grateful instead of focusing on what’s not right.
  • To remain calm instead of stressed.
  • To focus on having capital “F” Fun.
  • And most of all, to focus on the real meaning of Thanksgiving: gratitude. Because I truly am so grateful to be celebrating with family and friends.

Tell me: What are your goals for the holiday season?

Image credit: bekahjennings on Etsy

About the Author

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Maria Shriver is a mother of four, a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, a six-time New York Times best-selling author, and an NBC News Special Anchor covering the shifting roles, emerging power and evolving needs of women in modern life. Since 2009, Shriver has produced a groundbreaking series of Shriver Reports that chronicle and explore seismic shifts in the American culture and society affecting women today. Shriver was California’s First Lady from 2003 to 2010 and, during that time, she spearheaded what became the nation's premier forum for women, The Women's Conference. Shriver's work is driven by her belief that all of us have the ability to be what she calls Architects of Change -- people who see a problem in their own life or the community around them, then step out of their comfort zone and do what it takes to create the solution. Like her page on Facebook or follow her on Instagram.

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