What Direction Are We “Thanking”? — Day 9 Blog Challenge

thank-you

As I began to write this blog for today – I found myself wanting to mix it up a little bit. Taking several sides to this upcoming Holiday – Thanksgiving.

I found some amazing silly quotes that will create a jovial chuckle and I also felt like showing different sides to Gratitude and being thankful.

Let’s start out with the Quotes to break the ice……

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Stress-free Thanksgiving

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This is the time of year when we are called upon to give thanks. To appreciate life and the people around us. To practice gratitude. Ironically, as you well know, the holidays can be tremendously stressful—a time of year when people focus on worries such as do we have enough money to buy all the gifts? Or how will I survive the 10-hour road trip with the kids and the subsequent 7 days with the in-laws without choking someone? And when we’re bombarded by hectic, taxing, and worrisome life-events, they become obstacles to true happiness.

It’s really hard, after all, to see the positive forces around us when we’re constantly preparing to jump the next hurdle or dodge the next bullet. I will spare you more mixed metaphors, but I will say that practicing gratitude requires effort. It’s easy to get caught up in daily/weekly chaos, especially during the holidays.

But I am here to tell you that if you shift your focus ever so slightly, and make just a few simple adjustments to your thinking, the benefits to you and those around you will be life changing. Here are a few tips on how to recognize the gifts we are given and practice gratitude during this Thanksgiving week and onward.

1. Begin each day by paying attention to the simple things in life. When you wake in the morning, think about the fact that you are given the gift of living another day

2. Put things into perspective. Realize that in the larger scheme of things, our time on this planet is very short.

3. Be explicit in your gratitude. Too often we assume that people know that we appreciate them or the things they do for us

4. Be good to yourself. You work hard every day. You struggle, stumble, and even fall, but you persist and this is not only a gift, it is a blessing. Be thankful for your abilities, your strength, wisdom, compassion, and all that you have to offer to others

5. Give at least one compliment each day

A GREAT STORY & A GREAT IDEA THIS THANKSGIVING

20 Questions to Ask

Thomas Jefferson seated all his guests at one table for dinner, where he asked each guest a single question for all to hear…no side conversations or small-talk allowed. Sounds rigid, but these sorts of dinners are FUN over the holidays. 

After researching this I was thinking of my own Thanksgiving dinners with my family & children growing up and this would’ve been a really great idea. I believe Thomas Jefferson had the right idea in mind after all conversations like the ones that ensue from the questions below help kids experience themselves as a part of something larger than themselves. This, in turn, is likely to make them more resilient, better adjusted, and more successful in school ).

So here’s an extra challenge: See if you can get the adults to weave their answers to the questions below into a narrative demonstrating that your family members have been through both good and bad times together, but through it all, you’ve stuck together. 

I only wish I had big Thanksgiving dinners with lots of family again! Everyone is at different ends of the globe and we’re down to just a few of us…but all the same…we can accomplish the same thing here!

You could even print these questions and put one under each person’s plate. Varying the questions — instead of having everyone answer the same question — tends to keep folks more engaged

1. What do you remember about previous houses you’ve lived in? Which one did you like the best?
 
2. For an adult: What did you have as a child that kids today don’t have? How was your life better? How was it worse? For a kid: What do you have that previous generations didn’t have? How would your life be better without it? How would it be worse?
 
3. Has anything ever happened at a family wedding or event that you’ll never forget?
 
4. Think of some relatives that have passed away in the last few years. What would they be likely to do tomorrow if they were still alive?
 
5. Which family member has been your greatest coach in life? How have they coached you? What has made them good at it?
 
6. For an adult: When you were a teenager, which family member did you go to for advice? Looking back, was it good advice? For a kid: Which family member have you recently received advice from? Was it good advice?
 
7. For adult: What was your favorite movie or book when you were my age? For kid: What was your favorite movie or book last year, and what is your favorite now?
 
8. Tell us a story about a family reunion or family party that you remember attending as a child.
 
9. What was the hardest thing you went through/have gone through as a child? How did you overcome it?
 
10. What are your favorite stories that grandpa/grandma told (or still tells)?
 
11. If you could know anything about our family history or about a relative who has passed away, what would you want to know?
 
12. What is the most embarrassing thing your mother or father ever did to you?
 
13. What are your best memories of holidays or family gatherings?
 
14. What three adjectives would your grandparents use to describe you?
 
15. Did your parents or grandparents ever lose their jobs? What happened? How did they start over?
 
16. What is the best thing that your grandparents ever cooked? What about your parents?
 
17. How did your parent and/or parents change after they retired?
 
18. If you could go back to one day in your childhood, which day would that be? Why?
 
19. How are you most different from your parents and grandparents? How are you the same?
 
20. What did/do your grandparents do with you that you loved? (For adults: What did they do that you didn’t enjoy so much?)

Please have a GREAT Holiday and remember to be GRATEFUL for Life!

Valerie

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