Christmas means many things to each of us. For many it is exhaustion and excitement, preparation and cooking, family, friends, joy and celebration. However for just as many it is a time of reflection and nostalgia, sadness and loss, loneliness and isolation. How we choose to celebrate is as individual as we are unique.
Christmas is such a busy time of year and for many an incredibly stressful time. We set such high expectations trying to create the most magical and perfect experience, that sometimes we forget to take the moment to enjoy the experience.
At work we push ourselves to get everything done…with the imposing deadline of Christmas Day? The world will still exist on the 26th!
We try so hard to find the perfect gift that often we are too exhausted to enjoy the pleasure of giving it.
We are so determined to produce a Christmas feast that qualifies us for MasterChef status – that we forget that the people who are sitting around our Christmas table won’t care, or remember that the Turkey was just a little overcooked.
Is it any wonder that by the time Christmas actually comes around we are struggling to cling to that last thread of Christmas spirit?
So this festive season, I urge you all to stop, breath, and remember to identify the moments that define what Christmas means to you.
At Christmas we can feel comfortable smiling warmly at strangers we pass in the street, we express messages of Christmas cheeriness to strangers and the shop assistants who help us buy the perfect gift. We show compassion and acknowledge those less fortunate than ourselves and we don’t hesitate to donate our time or money to help them. We take joy in the smiling faces of those around us, and are enchanted by the innocence and excitement of children. Christmas provides us with an excuse to acknowledge who and what we are Thankful for and we openly express it. These are the moments that define the Christmas spirit – these are Thankful Moments.
By recognizing our own Thankful Moments, we can create Thankful Moments for those around us – and this is the magic of Thankful.
So don’t wait to hug your children, or pick up the phone to call a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to recently, help a stranger, forgive or apologize, tell the people who mean the most to you just how much you love them, and this Christmas be Thankful for the small Christmas miracles that we can all create.
And when you are looking toward the New Year, and you start thinking about of the wonderful things you want to achieve, don’t forget to remember all of the wonderful things you have and you have already achieved.
Many of us will put losing weight or getting fit and healthy on our New Year to do lists, but perhaps next to it we could include being Thankful for our healthy bodies when we look in the mirror.
I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t have big dreams and big goals, but remember to enjoy the journey, to stop and acknowledge & reflect on your success. The small wins as well as the big, because sometimes it is the small wins that are the sweetest.
Being Thankful is not always easy, it is all about perspective and some days it is easy to lose that perspective.
But I encourage you to add it to your New Year resolution list, help us to spread the Thankful message and with one Thankful at a time we can change the world and create Thankful moments for those around us.