I was researching quotes the other day, which is something I often times do, and I came across the following: “There is something in every season, in every day, to celebrate with thanksgiving.” –Unknown. Of course, the mention of thanksgiving made me think about the holiday, and Thanksgiving happens to be one of my favorites. I love every food item on the menu, along with the fun family gatherings and the knowledge that the Christmas season is just around the corner. I thought back to memories of Thanksgivings past, and was struck by one aspect of the Thanksgiving holiday my family celebrates. When my brother and I were little, my mom would have us (and everyone else at the table) go around and say at least one thing we were thankful for. I remember rattling off long lists, and how I enjoyed hearing what my family was thankful for.
Reflecting on this old Thanksgiving tradition got me thinking about the idea of giving thanks. I feel like gratitude is an often times under-expressed feeling. We go through life, and are given so much; yet how many times do we say thank you? This is something I’ve taken upon myself to do more; to say thank you to people for even the simplest of gestures. I’ve found that people are happier and more willing to do good when they are thanked for it; it’s that little bit of encouragement and validation that people need. It’s amazing to me that two simple words can make such a world of difference, and it’s such an easy act to do. Even though I try to say thank you all the time, I still miss opportunities, especially with God. Many of my prayers revolve around intentions, and asking for things. I usually give a general thank you for everything, but I know I should spend more time on that because God gives me so many good things. It’s the same way with my parents; they do so much for me, and yet I don’t give them the appreciation they deserve. When I read the quote I mentioned above, I started thinking about how we tend to reserve our immense gratitude to one holiday called Thanksgiving. While that’s a great time to give thanks, why don’t we make it a point to express our gratitude every day of the year? I had a theology teacher in high school, who every time we did prayer and intentions, would include one along the lines of “thanksgiving for all of our blessings.” It was always such a good reminder to be thankful for everything good in our lives that God has given us. Why can’t we be as grateful as we are on Thanksgiving all of the time? We definitely should be; wouldn’t you like it if every little thing you did earned you a thank you? You like to feel appreciated, and others do, too.
So as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I encourage you to spend some time each day thinking about what you are thankful for. Don’t hesitate to tell people thank you for things they’ve done for you. I know it may seem silly or awkward at times, but people really do appreciate those few words. Send a text to your mom or dad thanking them for their constant support, or tell a friend thank you for spending the evening with you. Thank God for the beautiful sunset, or for a successful day. See how happy it makes people, and see how happy you are to 1) make someone smile, and 2) realize all of your blessings.
I’ll start. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read this blog! It means a lot to me to see that people have read what I post; it makes me feel like I have something good to offer others.