The holiday season is officially kicking off this week. It’s that wonderful time of year when family and friends come together and we give thanks for all the blessings in our lives. If you started rolling your eyes over that last sentence then you came to the right place. I feel you.
The holidays, while wonderful, can also be one of the most stressful and difficult time of the year. There’s all the planning and pressure for perfection and the awkward social interactions and the cooking (oh wait… some of you enjoy that part?)and any other myriad of stress inducing things. Needless to say, it can become very easy to just go through the motions of celebrating and grin and bear it until you slide through to the new year.
With Thanksgiving this week I wanted to take the opportunity to share three quick tips to help you truly celebrate this Thanksgiving.
1. Savor the moments (and not just the food).
Yes, my hope for you is that there are delicious treats galore, but it is also that in the midst of the cooking and the planning for Black Friday or whatever else it is that might be keeping you busy, that you take some time to just be. Take a break and snuggle up with your loved ones to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Let the dishes wait while you pull out the board games. Stick the timer on for the Turkey and head out to the yard to throw around the football. Engage in meaningful conversations with those around you (and NO that doesn’t mean you can/should ask your single relatives WHEN they’ll finally be settling down.) Take time to actually connect with the people around you. You’ll realize how much you have to give thanks for.
2. Be grateful
This holiday is NOT Turkey Day. Let me repeat. This is not Turkey Day, it is Thanksgiving. I have nothing against Tom the Turkey, but he doesn’t need an entire day dedicated to him. What we do need however, is the reminder to give thanks. It’s not just a nice formality to go through, but an actual practice that can change your life. Let the people in your world know that you are giving thanks for them. Take a minute and make the call or send the message. Reach across the table and say the words you’ve been meaning to say.
3. Have Grace for Yourself
In the age of Pinterest, it has become increasingly normal to strive for perfection and compare our offerings to every other man, woman or child on the planet. Whether is cooking the perfect meal or setting a tablescape that would make Martha Stewart sigh with envy; we set these often times unattainable goals for ourselves. If you’re anything like me, inevitably something won’t go exactly to plan and if I’m not careful I can find myself fixated on that one thing instead of the myriad of other things that went right. I’m here to say that the madness has to stop. This is your permission slip to have a less than perfect Thanksgiving.
Take the nap. Use the box mix. Wait to do the dishes. Most of all, have grace for yourself. Those around you won’t necessarily remember the perfectly polished silverware, but they will remember that you were present. They will remember how you made them feel. They will remember your laugh and your love.
So here’s to the wild and crazy thought that holidays are actually meant to be enjoyed and celebrated. I pray your Thanksgiving is filled to overflowing with joy and really, really yummy pie.