Hard to believe, but the holidays are again upon us. Time for friends and family gatherings, tables of food, and various holiday traditions. It is easy to get swept up in the joy and planning and let’s be honest, often the stress of the season. The spirit of being thankful and grateful sometimes gets lost in the chaos. If you could incorporate just one or two traditions that focus on your blessings, it could round out your holidays with the feeling of a very thankful home. Here are a few ideas to consider.
Having your family volunteer together at say, a shelter serving meals or a food pantry to hand out groceries and supplies to those in need, will make you feel good about helping, as well as grateful for all that you have. A center such as Loaves and Fishes Community Services out of Naperville, will see an increase in meals that need to be distributed during the holidays as well as offer out more than 2,800 additional holiday meal boxes.
A blessings pumpkin or a blessings tree is a centerpiece you keep on a table during the holidays where each member of your family can often write down what they are thankful for, and put it in the pumpkin, or clip to the tree. On whichever day you choose, you sit with your family and read them all out loud.
Handwritten Notes or Cards
Are there friends or relatives that won’t be able to join you for the holidays this year? Or perhaps you are just thinking about them? Take the time to handwrite a note or a card to tell them why you are thankful they are in your life. Then drop it in the mail. Don’t forget to thank your holiday hostess as well, if you visited someone else’s home during the holidays.
Take some time to put together a few words of thankfulness and gratitude for the people you have around you at your holiday meals and events. Raise a glass and toast to them.
Have a No-Electronic Day
In this world of disconnection via many electronic devices, we start to lose the power of real communication and interaction. Pick a day when everyone is home and ban all cell phones, computers and gaming devices. Play board games together or just sit around and talk and tell stories. You will be grateful for the reconnection of relationships.
Living in the Moment
This one is hard to do because it means you have to actively take a breath in the middle of the hoopla to pay attention to what is happening. You can’t be thinking of what you still have to do, who you still need to call, where you need to get to tomorrow. Watch what your kids and spouse are doing, focus on what they are saying to you. Be present for them and encourage them to do the same. Nothing past this moment is guaranteed. Be thankful for this time. -Mindy Kyle