Take time to give Thanks
Thanksgiving in America was first celebrated in 1621 when the Pilgrims gave thanks for the blessing of a bountiful harvest. It was attended by Native Americans and Pilgrims. It is a public holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. We had a laugh today when a friend realized that thanksgiving was just about ten days away and got very stressed out thinking about all the preparations she had to do before that. We all laughed but I realized that somewhere along the line we lost the real meaning of Thanksgiving.
1. Don’t get caught up in all the preparation
We spend so much time preparing for Thanksgiving Day, that we get forget to actually take time to give thanks. Don’t get caught up in all the preparation. By all means get the turkey and ham and prepare a delicious meal but don’t stress yourself out in the process. Ask other family members to help out. It’s okay if things aren’t done exactly the way you want. In the greater scheme of things what does it matter if you had cornbread stuffing versus dressing made from bread. Who will really remember in the years to come what was served at thanksgiving dinner. People will remember the good time they had, interacting with family and loving each other. That is what counts, the relationships we shared, instead of the perfection of the Thanksgiving meal.
2. Take time out to reflect and give thanks
Even as Thanksgiving Day approaches and we have tons of things to do before the day arrives, take time out to reflect and give thanks. Learn to sit and quiet yourself down and thank God for your blessings, like good health you and your family enjoy. Give thanks for all the people you will be spending the day with. Learn to destress by taking deep breaths and meditating. Learn to appreciate the beauty of the world around us. Thank God for providing for our needs for the entire year. Don’t give up on spending some quiet time with yourself, with your significant other and other important people in your life. Pay attention to what is important and take time to actually give thanks.
3. Enjoy family and friends.
As much as family and friends love each other and want to spend time with each other we sometimes rub each other off the wrong way. Some people remember hurts that they’ve suffered at the hands of other family members, whether real or perceived, and come into the gathering with a lot of baggage. It’s time to leave the baggage behind and create new memories. Life is too short to spend it living in the past. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t be so busy that you forget to give your children a hug. Enjoy their company especially those who have kids in other states or away in college. For once hold your tongue and don’t talk about how the dress does not fit right or the hairstyle you don’t like. See them, the delightful human beings you call your family and enjoy them. Kids grow up so fast. Enjoy them and overlook their little peculiarities. That after all is what makes each family member unique.
4. Determine to enjoy the day
Thanksgiving Day finally arrives. Determine to enjoy the day, no matter what. Remember we are making lasting memories and not focusing on perfection. Learn to laugh at yourself and with each other. Decide that you are not going to allow anyone to rub you off the wrong way and mess up your day. Though you have no control on how your guests may choose to behave, you have total control on how you choose to respond. Thanksgiving Day is about giving thanks for all our blessings and we must decide to make it so. Don’t allow anyone else to take away your joy. Teach your children to appreciate the abundant blessings they have and not to complain if they don’t get their favorite desert. Teach them that Thanksgiving Day is exactly what the name stands for, a day to stop and reflect on how exceedingly blessed we all are. We must determine to enjoy the day! Let’s create new and lasting joyful memories.
Thanksgiving Day is a day when we stop to give thanks for all the blessings that we take so much for granted the whole year. Don’t sweat the small stuff and get caught up in the preparation. Take time to appreciate the gift of family and friends. Reflect on your life and take time to give thanks and celebrate the abundant blessings we’ve been given. Create joy for you and your family by actually taking time to give thanks, on Thanksgiving Day!