Whether you dress up a tree, light a menorah, have your own family tradition, or twiddle your thumbs all day, the season is upon us. A blanket of snow brings the promise of new beginnings underneath. The holidays can be a tough time for people and for good reason. To the people who may be grieving, anxious, trapped with the in-laws, or you’re feeling isolated and alone….you matter. For this reason, gratitude should be a staple of your holiday season and a staple to the end of your 2017.
Tips for Gift Giving and Receiving
Gifts shouldn’t be what this time is about but there’s no denying the stress it brings. If you’re like me, you’re awful at receiving gifts. Trust me, I try to be grateful! Unfortunately, there is an element of awkwardness I can never seem to escape. I would much rather give a gift than receive one and it becomes much easier for me to show gratitude. You don’t have to break the bank to give a good gift either. Reflect on what that person enjoys, why the two of you connect, and go from there! Sometimes something simple speaks the loudest.
Saying thank you can go a long way. If you’re feeling crafty; writing thank you notes, decorating candy canes, or constructing a gingerbread Taj Mahal are all easy ways you can show gratitude. Check out some of these ideas on Pinterest on how to say thank you without the uncomfortable hugging part.
However you spend this time, I hope you can take a moment to recognize and celebrate the people who matter most to you.
In an effort to reaffirm the holidays aren’t about the gifts, this list won’t include any of the incredibly nice things I’ve received from my friends and family. Today I’m grateful for…
1. Seeing my grandma light up as we bring in her brand new wheelchair
2. Leftover pizza from the night before
3. Tattoo stories
4. Vibrant sunrises
5. Living on the perfect hill for sledding
6. Game of Thrones Sundays
7. My journal
8. When my cat comes and says goodnight
9. Bacon burgers from Five Guys
10. Teachers and coaches of all kinds
11. Dancing in the rain
12. My family
13. Not having to set an alarm for the next day
14. Walks on the beach
15. My time in Cambodia and the people I connected with
16. Laughing with my siblings
17. Self-growth and how far I’ve come
18. The opportunity to be the commencement speaker for my graduating class
19. People who send me music they enjoy
20. My fraternity brothers
21. Learning new things
23. Frank and Holly, the people who taught me to love my process
24. The feeling after a long hard run
25. This. Present. Moment.
Tomorrow is a new day with new challenges and opportunities. Do your best to make the most of every breath before that. Love. Your. Process. Be patient with yourself and others as you take it one day at a time.
Happy holidays, internet!