I’m sure you’ve noticed that stores start to showcase their Christmas décor in August nowadays. Listen, I love Christmas, but how can we just skip over Thanksgiving like that?! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it is the one time of the year we actually slow down and intentionally focus on all that we have to be thankful for.
Gratitude is powerful: not only does it help us become more positive individuals, but it truly brings healing to our souls. Here are a few practical things my family and I do during the month of November to practice giving thanks. And the good news is most of them won’t cost you a dime!
- Gratitude is remembering the good. Life is hard y’all, and we have a natural tendency to remember the challenges life brings our way. It can easily take us to a dark place, so we must intentionally remember the good. We write thank-you notes to help us remember those who’ve been kind. My 6-year-old daughter is making thank you notes for her teachers who have helped her love learning and her grandparents who spoil her rotten and pick her up from school daily. This not only helps those people feel appreciated but it helps my daughter see that she is loved, cared for and helps her remember the good things people have done for her.
- Gratitude is giving back. Even from a young age we all compare ourselves to people who have more than us, but what if we compared ourselves to those who have less? This helps us see that not only are we blessed but we can be a blessing, which brings us joy. So, this year we have chosen to put together packages for Angels Foster Family Network. My kids loved picking out little toys and accessories and putting the package together.
- Gratitude is creating happy moments. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to express our appreciation and gratitude for the people who love us most — our family — so we carve out time to have fun together and play at Scissortail Park or grab a hot chocolate and macarons at our favorite spot in Chisolm Creek, Ganache Patisserie. These little moments are what we will cherish for a long time. More than all the things we give other people, what they treasure most is the time we spend with them and how we made them feel.
Life can be busy, but don’t let this Thanksgiving pass you by without expressing and appreciating the virtue of gratitude. It will change your perspective by helping you focus on the positive things and open your eyes to the good around you. What tradition of gratitude will you begin today?
Simi John is a physical therapist, mother of two littles, pastor’s wife and a speaker. Simi is passionate about empowering women to walk confidently in their purpose. Connect with Simi on Instagram @simijohn.