A lot of people are not too excited about holidays, with added stress and expenses and family drama.
And I’ve noticed that a lot of people don’t seem to enjoy or care about Thanksgiving. It gets kind of overshadowed by the heavy hitters of Halloween and Christmas, but it has always been my favorite holiday. Maybe it’s because I’m a former fat kid who loves food! Just kidding (but the food really is awesome)!
I actually love Thanksgiving because I love gratitude. I think that showing gratitude and taking time to really appreciate all the blessings in your life and in our crazy world is so important, and it’s one of my top values with our family. And in our family, we definitely use Thanksgiving to do that. We don’t get too much into all the historical stuff, we just genuinely want to think about all the things we are grateful for.
One of our favorite traditions is having everyone who is at our celebration write down at least one thing they are grateful for, and we go around the table and read them out loud. I absolutely love hearing what my boys have to say, because gratitude can be a little confusing to a 4- & 7-year-old. But every time, they come through and really show their appreciation for things. And then they get excited and want to add more things!
This year, I have actually been taking part in an online challenge called #last90days, put on by author/blogger/inspirational speaker Rachel Hollis and her husband, Dave Hollis. If you are involved in the personal development/self improvement world at all, then I’m sure you have heard of this little powerhouse of a woman. She has absolutely blown up this last year since her book “Girl Wash Your Face” was released. Anyway, the premise of this challenge is to finish the last three months of the year as strongly as you would start a new year. People seem to really slip up in their lives during the holidays, whether it’s with their health/mindset/goals, etc., because it’s the holidays. We start making excuses earlier every year, saying we will reset everything on that magical New Year’s Day. So this challenge has you really focus on the things you want to accomplish and rock during the #last90days of the year.
One of the things we are doing during this challenge is to write down 10 things we are grateful for — EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! I have always had a gratitude journal, but this is taking it to a whole new level for me. And it really spoke to me that after 90 days, I will have written down 900 (WOW!) things that I am grateful for. That is amazing! And it is already the favorite part of my day. I look forward to sitting down with my notebook and thinking about my day and really being thankful for the little things (and big things if they happen). It has already made a huge difference in my life. I’ve been in a better mood these past weeks, I have been more patient with my children and husband, and I am not sweating the small stuff.
I believe gratitude is one of the strongest forces of the universe. I believe it brings about wonderful things, things that might not have come into your life if you didn’t truly appreciate what you have already. I feel that we live in a world with so much negativity and complaining, and I want to teach my boys something different. I have started including them in this nightly ritual, having them write down (or tell me) at least one thing they are thankful for that day, and I’m telling you, they absolutely love it!
So, as this November rolls on, as this Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I hope you will try to be more mindful of the things that you might take for granted: Those laughs and giggles with your kids; those quick kisses with your significant other; maybe the extended family that might help you out when you need them; the fact that you have a home, your family is fed and you have clean drinking water; those bedtime routines that a lot of us dread every night; those times helping with homework; those few minutes in the morning before the house wakes up.
There are so many little things that you can appreciate and be thankful for. Try to start a new tradition with your kiddos, and I promise you will be amazed at how thoughtful they can be and what they truly pay attention to in their day-to-day lives.
I am grateful for this community — for having a village of online support that truly understands #momlife. I’m grateful to the contributors who take time out of their lives to feed our mom brains with so much awesome content. I’m grateful to Lynnette for running this community and doing so much in our actual city when she is a busy working mom.
So thank you, Reno Moms Blog readers, contributors and Facebook friends: I see you, I hear you and I am thankful!