I said it last year, and I’ll say it again this year: Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. In fact, Thanksgiving week is my favorite week of the year.
To me, even the few days before it and afterwards feel different than the rest of the year. People seem to be in better moods.
Work takes on a slower tempo. My kids get along better, and they are excited to see friends who come back home for the holidays.
Thanksgiving is about family, food, friends and yes, I know, football. Lots of football! But above all else, to me this holiday is all about gratitude.
I believe strongly in the power of gratitude. And the research backs that up. It shows that if you can have a daily practice of gratitude, you will in turn be a happier, more hopeful person. Some people are lucky enough to be born grateful, happy and optimistic. But most of us have to work at staying positive, and I’ve found that the best way to do that is by having a gratitude practice.
So every morning when I open my eyes, and before my feet touch the ground, I thank God for the gift of my life. I give thanks for my health, my family, my friends and for the country I’m lucky enough to live in. I’ve found It makes for a better day, and in turn, I believe, a better life.
I seek out people who have a gratitude practice. I love talking, listening and learning from them. They just look at the world through a bright lens. They bounce back faster. They are more joyful. They know and feel that they have a good thing going. And they do.
The truth is, you can never be gratfeul enough or kind enough. So it’s worth seeking out people who are like this and asking them about their practices, their principles and how they put those into action.
One of my holiday practices is to go to our church and serve Thanksgiving meals. This tradition always makes me feel tied to my community, and it reminds me how blessed I am. The people who wait in line for food and clothing are always so grateful, so humble. Many are there year after year. They remember you and are so happy to see you. It makes me feel happy.
Their reaction to getting a new pair of socks, a plate of hot food and some new clothes always makes me stop, check in with myself and express gratitude. To these people, to my church, to my community.
The power of gratitude.
It can turn a bad day into a good one. It can make you look at your life in a different way. It can make the difference in how thankful you are, not just during the holidays, but every day.
Happy Thanksgiving. And thank you for allowing me into your Sundays.
That’s what I’ve Been Thinking this holiday week, how about you?