It is difficult to believe that Thanksgiving is next week. It is more difficult to believe it because there are ALREADY Christmas sales – yes, sales – going on at the different stores online and on-site. I try to save my holiday energy for Thanksgiving because I absolutely love that we have a day set aside to be Thankful. Unfortunately, as the intensity of our materialism has grown, the ability to overlook Thanksgiving has grown right along with it.
Sometimes we rush through Thanksgiving and then remember is as not so fun. With a little preparation, your day can be the fantastic Thanksgiving Day we all remember from “the good old days!” I have devised a set of tips to help you through this forgotten holiday enroute to the BIG EVENT that follows.
Watch your expectations. Sometimes we place a heavy burden on ourselves with our expectations. We expect certain people to come and act differently than they have in the past or we expect that all will be nice. We expect, once again, that we will not eat too much. We expect others not to drink too much or that young parents will watch their own children. Sometimes we expect miracles and that generally doesn’t happen. So, this year, enjoy your family and friends with no pre-conceived expectations, eat moderately, and expect to have a good time no matter what is said, broken, or served.
Live for the day. You can shop Friday or Saturday, but for Thursday, enjoy being thankful for what you have and WHO you have. Don’t spend precious time thinking about all the stuff you are going to buy in the future. Slow down and savor the food. Savor the relationships. Be Thankful for the day without planning for a future day
Listen, really listen. Help your younger ones listen to the stories of the old folks. Their history is being passed on to them through the stories and yarns of yesteryear. Listen to the stories and antics of the teens and younger ones. They are our future. Take time to sit by your grandmother, old uncle, or young child and listen, really listen to what they have to tell.
Our biggest connection to the world is through our families.
Help clean up! Most moms and grand moms, aunts, sisters, and a few guys love to cook for the family. They work for days shopping, preparing and planning so that the food for the day will be just perfect for everyone. When the feasting is over GO TO THEM and offer to help clean up. Many of us have changed to paper plates, but still the kitchen will need some help at the end of the meal. You can learn many things about your family while in the kitchen working together.
Be Thankful. Actually spend the day being thankful for those around you. For your health. For our country. Be thankful that we have plenty. Be prayerful for those who do not have enough. Be thankful that we have houses, cars, enough clothes to last an eternity, jewelry, animals, heat, light… Spend some time being thankful out loud. Let others know of your thanks. Teach your children to be thankful.
Be Mindful. Be mindful of those who are not as fortunate as you are. Be mindful of those who struggle through the holidays because of past memories or events. Be mindful of the elderly and the young. Holidays can mess up their schedules. Be mindful of the need to be kind and gentle with each other’s hearts. Not everybody thrives on holidays.
Have a great day! Have a wonderful day! Just get up and decide no matter what happens on Thanksgiving Day, it will be great – not perfect – just great!
You have nearly a week to prepare yourself. Much of life is due to preparation and the attitude we adopt on that day. Don’t get in a hurry to be finished with this wonderful holiday. I am thankful that we have adopted a day just to be thankful. May you have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving Day with your family and friends!