Sunday, December 05, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude


I've been busy making memories for which to be grateful and have neglected my blog lately. I hope y'all have been having wonderful Thanksgiving times, as well.

This year, we had all our children and children-in-law at home for Thanksgiving. Since we now share holiday times with in-laws, we alternate between Thanksgiving and Christmas as being the time when we have everyone under one roof.

Thanksgiving is my daughter's favorite holiday. She actually prefers it to Christmas. So, I work hard to keep our Thanksgivings focused on a traditional Thanksgiving celebration and wait start Christmas preparations until after our family Thanksgiving celebrations are over.

It seems that Thanksgiving gets pushed aside these days. Many of our neighbors decorate for Christmas well before Thanksgiving day arrives, and I confess to letting that make me feel a little anxious that I need to be keeping up with the rush. However, our daughter's love of Thanksgiving reminds me of what a wonderful holiday that it is in its own right.

Most of us enjoy November and December because of the extra opportunities we have to spend time with our families. This is especially true if we have loved ones who live far from us and who can be brought nearer via holiday travel. Yet, as much as our culture celebrates holiday togetherness, it also recognizes the pain of family tensions that can arise during holidays. There are a number of comic movies that derive their humor from the depressing failure a particular family encounters when it falls short of holiday expectations.

Just as many holiday recipes depend on a secret ingredient for flavor and sweetness, there is a secret ingredient that can ease any holiday disappointment, lessen any family conflict, and reduce any unexpected feelings of December blues or loneliness.

That ingredient is gratitude. If every member of the family maintains a thankful spirit, everyone will enjoy each other no matter what little annoyances might arise. Family members will have no motivation to quarrel over selfish wishes. Even if things do not go as each one might wish, each person will be grateful for the important things: family, love, faith, and time together.

Gratitude is like a sweet, fragrant oil. Applied liberally, it helps the "gears" of the household turn smoothly, without catches, groans, or friction. Best of all, this essential oil is free and if the bottle should run empty, you can always fill it up again.



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