Tag Archives: thankful

6 Ways to Give Thanks this Thanksgiving

Five orange pumpkins sit in a row in front of a distressed, wooden background.

Thanksgiving is about expressing gratitude for the blessings we have in life. Gratitude puts everything in a fresh perspective and allows us to see and appreciate all of the things we grateful for.

The more you practice giving thanks, the better you’ll be at it over time. Like anything else, you can turn being grateful into a habit and a way of living. The fall and holiday seasons are an especially good time to practice being thankful.

Here are 6 ways you can get creative and give thanks this holiday season:

Invite others to your dinner
Many people are alone on Thanksgiving. If you know a neighbor, friend or someone at work will be by themselves during the holiday, welcome them to join your dinner. Your guests will appreciate the invitation and your gathering will be happier with a sense of fellowship and togetherness.

Share Thanksgiving memories
You can remember Thanksgiving’s past and ask family members to tell fond stories about Thanksgiving memories. You can invite your guests to join in and share their warmest Thanksgiving memories and family stories.

Create a thankful atmosphere
Decorating your home with lovely crafts can create a thankful and comfortable space for family and guests. You can incorporate organic materials, such as greenery, pine cones, stones, leaves or acorns, to create a festive atmosphere. Put out a platter of fruits, veggies, cheeses and nuts to embellish your table. You can even use scrapbook paper and have guests create Thanksgiving card placeholders, sharing the things that they are grateful for.

Do a good deed or volunteer
While Thanksgiving is considered a time for enjoying family and friends, it’s also an opportunity to share your blessings with others. You can do a good deed or volunteer to express your gratitude. Visit a hospital or nursing home. Put together gifts or treats to share with the patients. These small gifts can mean a lot to someone who may not have family to enjoy the holiday with them. You can also donate to a church or charitable organization to help provide for others at Thanksgiving.

Write handwritten notes to friends
When was the last time you received a real letter from a friend or family member? Or the last time you wrote one? You may have family and friends you’re unable to visit during the holidays. A handwritten note sent by mail is a precious way to show your appreciation and love.

Appreciate the little things
A kind word, heartfelt hug or peck on the cheek can express your gratefulness better than expensive gifts. Give compliments to your family and friends on Thanksgiving day. Hugs and kisses are a delight to the young and old alike.

Thanksgiving is a great time to share kindness, thankfulness and appreciation. Get your family involved in doing something good on this day. Teach the younger generous to be gracious and giving. Express your gratitude and say “thank you” to everyone you know!

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7 “Get Healthy” New Year’s Resolutions

new years resolutionIt’s that time of year again. Time to reflect on the past and look ahead to the future. And that means it’s time to make New Year’s resolutions. Every year, I say I won’t make any new resolutions, but then I do it anyway.

This year, I am focusing on what I want to become and how I want to “be” in 2013.

Here are 7 healthy, active, fit and proactive things we can “be” this year:

Be Active
Make a plan to be more active this year. Set goals for your exercise plans and get moving. If you are a couch or desk potato, start walking. From combating depression to preventing heart attacks, just adding three 10-minute walks a day can make a difference in your overall health. If you already exercise on a regular basis, challenge yourself. Sign up for a 5K run. Try something new – start hiking, mountain biking or rollerblading. Just get out there and do it!

Be a Healthy Eater
Take a hard look at your eating habits. Do you skip breakfast? Do you work through lunch with plans to eat more for dinner? Make it a point to eat three healthy meals a day. Eating consistent, well-balanced meals helps you maintain your energy throughout the day, have better concentration and have more regular digestion. And, eating several small snacks a day can help you control hunger and lose weight. Keep fresh or dried fruit, raw veggies, nuts (pistachios, cashews or walnuts), natural cheeses, or dark chocolate on hand. Snacking helps keep your metabolism in high gear, especially if the snacks are protein-rich.

Be Financially Fit
For many of us, money worries can be a major source of stress. Sit down and make a plan to get a handle on your finances. Create a budget and resolve to pay down any outstanding debt. You may need to take a hard look at this past year’s purchases and decide what you can cut down on and live without in 2013.

Be Social
Start a new tradition to go out with friends once a month. Have a family night every week. Do something fun. It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind and forget to nurture your relationships. Our friends and family make our lives more fulfilling. Relax, unwind and make some great memories.

Be Adventurous
Decide to try something new in 2013. It may be as simple as taking a class on something you’ve always wanted to learn about or as bold as making a career change. You can learn a new language, take up photography or go skydiving. The important thing is to push yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new.

Be Giving
Think about giving of yourself in the new year. You can draw upon your own unique talents or skills to help others. You can volunteer to feed the homeless, spend time with nursing home patients who don’t get visitors, clean up the environment, take meals to shut-ins, or read to children. Simply look around your community, and I bet you can quickly make a list of ways to help others. Think about doing more with your church. Or, look for ways to help your friends and family. It’s also a good time to donate clothes you no longer wear and any household items you don’t need.

Be Thankful
It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of everyday life and to want things we don’t need or can’t afford. Take time each day to be thankful for what you do have. Every night when I go to bed, I think about all the reasons I am thankful. Even if my kids have fought, whined and bickered all day long, I am so thankful they are mine and that they are healthy. I am thankful for my husband who is my best friend. I am thankful to have friends and family in my life. If I have been stressing over something silly, I can quickly put it into perspective when I focus on the good things.

Now, how do you keep those resolutions?
Be realistic. Choose things you know you can do. Be selective. I would only pick two or three resolutions. If you make too many, you will quickly become overwhelmed and give up on all your resolutions. Be positive! You can do it if you set your mind to it.

Do you typically make New Year’s resolutions? Do you have tips to help keep them? Share your 2013 New Year’s resolutions and advice with us!