Let’s face it: Thanksgiving can be stressful. Between the preparation, cooking, traveling and hosting family, the holiday can put anyone on edge. Gathering your family together always has the potential to lead to awkward, confrontational or even hotly-debated topics of discussion at the table. Something can go wrong in the kitchen and jeopardize the entire meal. Really anything can go awry, and it’s likely that at least one thing will. However, it’s important to remember the reason we celebrate Thanksgiving in the first place. It’s right there in the name: we’re here to give thanks.
For the past two weeks, we’ve broken down a series of ways to avoid mistakes in the kitchen. Now, for our last Thanksgiving post, it’s important to talk about gratitude–both around the table at during the big meal and throughout the year.
To focus on gratitude, many families have an annual tradition of going around the table and having each person share what they are grateful for. Even if you’re not with your family, it’s the perfect activity to spark conversation and get you thinking about all the reasons you have to be thankful for your life, no matter what hardships or difficulties you’ve gone through lately.
Another way to keep gratitude central to the season is to start a gratitude journal – and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to start. Each day write down one thing you’re grateful for. It can be something good that happened to you that day, a special person in your life or something entirely internal. If you can come up with more than one thing, write down three…or five! This activity will help you look for things throughout each day to be grateful for, Thanksgiving dinner included.
Most of all, being grateful has a host of proven positive benefits – from improving personal relationships in your life and helping you achieve your goals to increasing your self-esteem, health and emotions. When in doubt, find a way to stream A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving! A holiday dose of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and company will put a smile on everyone’s face and serve as a good reminder to practice thankfulness by the time the turkey is carved.