Most of us have commenced our holiday preparations and with that in mind, I am going to invite you to gift yourself first with a very special item this year; something you might never put on a list or even ask Santa for. What is it? Well, it can’t be found in any store, not even in the most prestigious boutiques. And, the only way you can get it is if you give it to yourself. It’s the gift of Gratitude…
During this very hectic and pressure filled time of year, we don’t tend to take our own needs into consideration, not seriously enough, anyway. Let’s break that old mold and start a smart and savvy new tradition right now. We could adopt a whole new mantra of “Less is MORE!" Let’s consider all we have to be grateful for, especially living in this country.
Of course, for those of the families out there that Santa visits, there will be trimmings and trappings and toys, oh my. It wouldn’t be the holidays without children around. We know that. But, here’s the catch. Let’s each take stock of what really does make the holiday happy for us…we might just surprise ourselves and each other with the responses we come up with. Here are some ideas on how to have a very special holiday with our families.
Times are still tough out there. What about getting together with friends and loved ones and donate a full-out turkey dinner for a family in need? Let’s think about all the children who will be spending their holiday in the hospital. What if we took up a small collection to buy gifts and hand delivered them with our own healthy children? Clean out that hall closet and donate coats and jackets to any of the local shelters in Collin County. We need to remember that it still gets cold around here.
Or, what about volunteering to serve Christmas Dinner at one of those same places? There are so many different ways to enjoy the cheer without breaking the bank. And, your children will feel a sense of goodwill toward others while there is so much commercialization going on out there all around them. It’s also a way to cultivate awareness for what we already have. Being grateful really is an art…it takes time to foster a true appreciation for something we can choose to surround ourselves with any time we wish.
Let’s get a jump start on our New Year’s considerations now and beat the rush. What would happen if we decided to have a whole different kind of celebration, one that would go down in the family archives as possibly the best one ever? I’m on board, how about you?
I will leave you with this quote I happened to hear on Oprah the other day. “Perhaps the real heart within us is not just a pump. Perhaps the real heart within us is about love and faith.” Wishing you and yours a wonderful start to a holiday season…filled with gratitude.
Deborah Viapiana-Ricci is a freelance writer living in McKinney with her husband, Wil. She can be found counting the many blessings in her life. Write her with yours! Deborah@teresinas.com