Vail Daily column: Giving thanks after Thanksgiving
Every year, it seems as though the Christmas music starts earlier and the holiday promotions and advertising start even earlier. I mean, we barely get past Halloween and we are quickly immersed in the chaos of the Christmas holiday. Now don’t get me wrong — I truly love Christmas and I give thanks for the true meaning of the holiday, I simply wish that somehow we could minimize the commercialization of the holiday and get back to what it is really all about.
With that said, how many of us fall victim to that same rush and crush of the holiday? Has Thanksgiving become only another holiday sandwiched in somewhere between the Fourth of July and Christmas? Maybe we allow it to happen or we simply don’t know how to stop the wave of promotions and hype that have taken over the holidays. I mean, here we are today, giving thanks and then waking up at 3 in the morning to tackle Black Friday.
For me, Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite holidays. Not only because we get to be with family and friends and enjoy the amazing meals and desserts, but also because we are intentionally put in a position to give thanks for all we have and to express gratitude for all of those people who are so very near and dear to us.
And for many of us, our favorite part of the holiday is the access to those scrumptious leftovers. Turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey salad and not to mention all of the extra apple, pumpkin and chocolate cream pie. Some of us get only a couple of days of leftovers and others stretch it out over a week or more. So if we can enjoy the benefits of the leftover turkey, why can’t we seem to remember to enjoy the benefits of appreciation and giving thanks after Thanksgiving has come and gone? Leftover gratitude, I love it.
We have our routines, and as we get closer to the big holidays, our routines sometimes get compromised as we are trying to squeeze everything into an abbreviated window of time. Our daily routines might include our morning cup of coffee, a workout, maybe a little Bible study, getting to work, handling our tasks and to do’s, stopping by our favorite lunch place or enjoying our lunch made at home. What if we built in time to our daily routine to recognize and appreciate what we have been blessed with in this life including all of the wonderful people in our lives?
I love being at the dinner table at Thanksgiving and hearing what everyone has to share regarding what they are most thankful for. I too get caught up in the ceremony of the day and maybe get a little too amped up about what I am thankful for.
But more than the holiday, I enjoy the halo effect of Thanksgiving. I love to be re-inspired to give thanks and show gratitude wherever and whenever possible. To me, the Thanksgiving Holiday is kind of like New Year’s Eve. New Year’s Eve most of us get inspired to set new goals, drop bad habits, and renew our interests in meaningful work or activities. Thanksgiving is the same in that it should inspire us to maintain the spirit of gratitude for the next 365 days.
And you see, just like New Year’s Eve, when some people establish goals and quickly lose interest within a few days, people who celebrate Thanksgiving and share their appreciation on that day seem to quickly forget their blessings as they rush into the end of year priorities and holidays. Staying committed to an attitude of gratitude takes work. We must build it into our daily routines and internalize the importance of showing gratitude and appreciation.
So how about you? Is Thanksgiving a one-and-done holiday for you or do you use it as a time of year to renew your passion and intent around being grateful for everyone and all things in your life? Either way, I would love to hear all about it at firstname.lastname@example.org. And when we can give thanks after Thanksgiving, it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.