This holiday season I am going to focus on those two words: thanks and giving. So often this time of year turns into overeating, financial pressure, stress of traveling or visiting family that may drive you crazy and lead to one too many glasses of wine. Or it might bring up some somber memories of holidays past when certain loved ones were still with us. The last point is especially true for me since I lost my mother two years ago around Thanksgiving time.
This year I am going to mix it up a bit. Everything I do is going to be based on being thankful for all that I have, and I am going to practice giving as much as I can. When I say giving, I mean giving from my heart and not necessarily from my wallet. I find that living in this space of gratitude and selflessness is actually quite fulfilling and rewarding. It brings a sense of peace and calm to my life and helps me stay grounded.
Here are some ideas on how you can show gratitude and give back during this time of year:
- Write thank you cards to loved ones: Say “thank you” to them for being in your life, and tell them how much you appreciate them. Who doesn’t love getting a hand-written note in the mail?
- Express your gratitude to the people in your life who aren’t close friends or family, but still help you feel beautiful inside and out: Make some yummy and healthy treats for your manicurist, hair stylist, private trainer, mailman/woman, gardener, favorite bank teller or grocery clerk. People love to feel appreciated, so shower them with goodies to tell them how much their service means to you.
- Donate some of your time at an animal shelter or a soup kitchen: Spend some time helping others in any way you feel drawn to. Be careful though, you might come home with an adorable little four-legged friend.
- Go through your closets and pick out items to donate: Give away your lightly worn clothes that you aren’t going to wear anymore. Drop them off at a women’s shelter or a church so they go directly to those in need.
- Love Thy Neighbor: Buy some flower seeds or herbs, plant them in little eco-friendly containers and distribute one to each of your neighbors with a little note saying how nice it is to have them as a neighbor. This is a nice gesture to practice even if you have had conflicts in the past with a certain neighbor.
I encourage you to practice giving and thanking every day from now until Thanksgiving. Together we can spread the love and make people smile. I am excited to begin practicing my thanking and giving this year. For starters, I am thankful to you for taking the time to read my article.