Today, in the U.S. and Canada, many people are celebrating Thanksgiving. Have you baby boomers noticed how this holiday has changed over the past few decades?
Although it is considered a day designated for “giving thanks,” the focus seems to have shifted to eating copious amounts of turkey and stuffing, watching football games, Black Friday shopping, and enjoying time off work at large family gatherings.
Some are more serious about expressing thanks on this holiday, but, here’s the real question. Why is there only one day out of the year elected as time to be grateful and give thanks? What if we treated every day as an opportunity to give thanks?
I know a lot of us try to take time each day to be grateful. Nonetheless, it’s all too easy to get lost in our busy lives as the other 364 days of the year zip by in a blur. If we’re not careful, we’ll collapse into bed at the end of the day without a single utterance of thanks.
Why not strive to feel appreciative for at least one thing, one person, or one experience each and every day?
As I asked in a previous blog, Savor the Day, how many days do you only notice the negative, stressful events in your life? Why not start taking note of what went right during the day. Did your husband give you a loving kiss before he left for work? Did a friend give you a sincere compliment? Did you experience a small victory at work or a small gesture of support? Savor those moments, appreciate each one, and express your gratitude – yes, each and every day.
Be like Piglet in Winnie the Pooh, who A.A. Milne noted: “Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
Make it a goal to take a moment every single day to tell your spouse, children, and grandchildren how thankful you are to have them in your life. Mentally make a list of your blessings before praying and thank God each and every day. Call a friend and tell them how fortunate you are to have their support and love. Thank strangers for an act of kindness – not the automatic way we often do without thought, feeling, or real meaning – but with genuineness and sincerity.
For the next 364 days of the year, stop and notice the beauty in simple, ordinary moments that make a day special. Use all your senses to enjoy the beauty of a sunset, the laugh of a child, a hug from a friend, the sound of a bird singing, the smells after a rainstorm, or that first sip of coffee in the morning. Write down three things you are grateful for every day in a gratitude journal.
Imagine if we made every day a day of giving thanks. We will shift our perspective, draw closer to God, deepen our relationships, improve our lives, and make the world a better place to live.
As Zig Ziglar said, “Of all the attitudes we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important and by far the most life changing.”
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.