Norton: The only thing better than gratitude |

Norton: The only thing better than gratitude

Who in your circle of family and friends really prefers the Thanksgiving leftovers over the actual Thanksgiving Day dinner or meal? Well, you can count me as one of those who loves leftovers in that group. Whether it’s a late-night Thanksgiving snack or sandwich, or just heating up a plate of turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy the next day, I really love the way the flavors come together after sitting for a few hours or a day or two.

I mean, we no sooner finish the first round of desserts on Thanksgiving when the leftover clock starts to tick for me, and all five senses come alive. And that’s when I question myself, “Does having second helpings count as the start of the leftovers?”

Leftover gratitude works the same way. The more we allow the initial feelings of gratitude and appreciation to settle in and get soaked up, and the more we share with others just how thankful we are for the people, places, and opportunities in our life, the more we will find that we are grateful for.

There is something special that happens when we do that too, and the sweeter, stronger, better, deeper, and more enjoyable our gratitude becomes. I mean just like those delicious and succulent Thanksgiving leftovers and morsels — we can almost taste the gratitude leftovers too, can’t we?

That’s right, we can taste the gratitude leftovers too. We can see the gratitude on the faces of those gathered around us. We can feel the gratitude in every tug on our hearts. We can hear the gratitude in each shared word of love and appreciation. And we can touch the gratitude with every warm embrace and hug. 

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As we drift in and out of napping between courses, watching football, and debating whether or not a second helping counts as a leftover, we pay more attention to the gratitude and appreciation we just shared with one another. We can replay the sincere, loving, and meaningful words that we all used to show our love and gratitude, our love and thankfulness. And as we do, we begin to wonder, just like with the meal leftovers, “Do I get to take any of this gratitude home with me?”

It would be so easy if all we had to do was take some of those glass food storage containers, the ones we use for packing up our meal leftovers, and instead pack them full of gratitude, love, and appreciation. Then we take them home, let them sit for a day or two, and open them up again and enjoy the amazing and wonderful feelings we experienced on Thanksgiving Day. Only now, they taste even better, they feel even more wonderful, and the words we hear again sound even so much more beautiful the second time around.

I really do believe everything tastes better with a little time to settle and rest. A little time for full flavor absorption. There is not one part of the meal I don’t enjoy again at some point, and yes, even the desserts. And what I have grown to appreciate most of all, is how much more I am grateful for in the days that follow Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving holiday sets the stage for our expression of gratitude and appreciation, but the leftovers cement those feelings in our hearts.

How about you? Are you in the leftovers camp, loving the way everything tastes after a little more time and flavor absorption? Will you also enjoy some leftover gratitude and appreciation after Thanksgiving? I would love to hear all about your Thanksgiving at and when we enjoy all of the leftovers, the meal and the gratitude, it really will be a better than good Thanksgiving holiday.

Michael Norton is the grateful CEO of, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager, and motivator to businesses of all sizes.

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