This past weekend, I made a concerted effort to focus on what Thanksgiving is really about—giving thanks.
It was not easy and I have a feeling many feel the same way every holiday season.
Between travel issues, family relations and gift buying, it seems the real point of Thanksgiving is lost on many people.
My boyfriend and I decided to avoid the airports this year and, instead, drive the 10+ hours to Michigan where his family lives. I tried so hard to ignore the obnoxious road warriors and, instead, made a concerted effort to smile at everyone I encountered and wish each one a happy Thanksgiving. I took great pleasure in watching the gas station attendant, the rest stop cleaner and the grocery store clerks react to my random (small) act of kindness.
Instead of letting myself get stressed out over spending time with the boyfriend’s family, I tried to focus on enjoying each moment I spent with each one of them. Without focusing on my nerves, I was able to truly experience the special little moments that occurred that day, like singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with a 3-year-old and his 90 year old great-grandfather.
And then there’s Black Friday, which seems to start earlier and earlier each year, emphasizing how important giving is while at the same time managing to distract us from giving thanks. It was hard to miss those early bird deals that began right after dinner time on Thanksgiving, but I thoroughly enjoyed the long walk with the dogs, the late-night leftovers and family-time watching Lady Gaga perform.
So, I encourage you to make the effort to remember what this season is all about. Take the time to enjoy the lights, the music, the kids’ laughter and excitement, the smells, the food and drink (in moderation!) and, most importantly, relish each moment you spend with family and friends.
And, for some added stress relief… here is something for everyone on your holiday gift list.