Thanksgiving. Giving thanks. The root of this American holiday is in gratitude. The spirit of Thanksgiving was meant to remind us to take some time to look around and appreciate all there is to be grateful for, and to cherish in our lives.
However, like all holidays, the meaning of Thanksgiving can become overrun by the gift-buying craze or the foodie-centric demands of Thanksgiving feasting. What was once a serene time in fall to gather with loved ones often turns into another chaotic holiday running rampant with an overloaded to-do list, overindulgence and a huge mess to clean in the kitchen.
If you are dreading the thought of Thanksgiving and the holidays that come after, here are some practical ways to re-inject Thankfulness back into your Thanksgiving. Check out, save and re-pin our infographic.
6 Ways to Practice Gratitude This Thanksgiving
1.) Take a Long Loving Look at your Favorite Foods
The simplest way to begin cultivating more gratitude this Thanksgiving is to take a moment to learn a little about where your favorite Thanksgiving foods come from. Our farmers around the nation (and the world) work painstakingly, using methods that have evolved for thousands of years to bring you the variety of foods on your Thanksgiving table.
Now take a moment to recognize the beauty and functionality of the way your favorite foods are designed by nature:
Take the pomegranate for example. It’s this vibrant hue of purple-red, and when you break it open, there are little sweet, tart jewels called “arils.” Another fact to be grateful for: Pomegranates are rich in anti-oxidants that fight free radicals and slow down the aging process. All hail the pomegranate!
When you take a moment to appreciate:
- The Journey of your foods
- Their beauty and functionality of their design
- Their satisfying and uniquely delicious flavors
- Their nutritional impact on your health,
You’ll instantly feel more connected, centered and grateful. Bonus points if you can include the kids in this process.
2.) Volunteer to Aid in Hunger Relief
A sure-fire way to up your gratitude meter this Thanksgiving season is to donate a portion of your day to feeding hungry families in your area. In our busy, hectic lives, it can be easy to forget that hunger is not only a problem in faraway countries, but within the communities all over our nation, and in our own back yards. Best of all, you don’t necessarily have to donate your time on the actual Thanksgiving holiday itself. USA Today provides insights on when it’s best to contribute to needy families during the holidays here.
Our favorite way is with our Partner MoveForHunger. This organization fights food shortages and nationwide hunger by partnering with moving companies. Moving companies like ours will coordinate with MoveForHunger to deliver unwanted canned goods and pantry items to food pantries to be disbursed to people in need within the local community. There are many ways to get involved so start today.
3.) Donate to a Crowd Funding Site that Aligns with Your Values
Another way to practice gratitude this Thanksgiving season is to discover others in the community who are looking for help with their cause. Crowd-sourcing sites help to:
- raise awareness of various types of financial needs
- connect those individuals/groups who are raising money to others willing to donate
Of course you can search nationwide, but a great feature embedded into most of these sites is the ability to search for causes in your area. There is something powerful and empowering about connecting with your local community and this is a great way to do it. Furthermore, your donation doesn’t have to be very sizable to have an impact. The amount you give may be the last dollar a neighbor needs to pay for a surgery or for a struggling student to purchase books for their upcoming college semester.
4.) Subtract to Add Perspective
This practice of gratitude will cost you nothing this Thanksgiving, but you’ll stand a lot to gain. The next time you are feeling particularly out of whack with the perspective of your current situation, take something away from yourself that you may be taking for granted.
For instance, you could take a few minutes one night to sit outside in the growing chill—but without your coat and winter accessories. This will help to remind you that someone out there is trying to stay warm the same way you are. When you can’t stand it anymore, throw on your winter gear and take a moment to appreciate the coziness of those items. Go back inside your home and make yourself a cup of soothing tea. Relish on how it refreshes and warms you from the inside.
Realign yourself with the convenience of your everyday items because not everyone has them.
5.) Write a Love Letter
Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year to put your foot down and find the time to tell the people you love how much they mean to you. Furthermore, in this day and age there are plenty of ways to do this efficiently. When you are considering your list of people to thank or send a special message, consider your options for delivery, and what it would mean to the recipient. For instance, your college-aged neighbor who cuts your lawn while mowing his own, he might appreciate a simple text, while your grandmother would perhaps cherish a beautiful card to put on her mantle.
However, don’t assume that the younger the recipient is, the more likely they are to prefer electronic delivery. It’s still fun to open real mail and young children will enjoy finding a mystery card left under their pillow more than a silly Snap Chat or FaceBook Message.
6.) Gratitude Alphabet List
Another great exercise to increase your gratitude before Thanksgiving is to create a list of one item you are grateful for (or appreciate) to represent each letter of the alphabet. Again, this is a great practice to engage with your children. You could create this as a family while enjoying pumpkin pie or write your list before hand and share before you carve the Turkey. Bonus points for double letter items like Coffee Creamer or Furry Friends.
Pro-Tip: Younger children may not be able to complete the entire alphabet, but they can do the letters of their name as an alternative.
Gratitude is Served This Thanksgiving
The second half of the year seems to accelerate much faster than the first with school back in session, and holidays stacked up each month. The hustle and bustle of the season can overwhelm anyone trying to manage careers, a family, health and a variety of individual tasks. You owe it to yourself to have peace, serenity and happiness during these busy times. Furthermore, if you’ve recently completed a long-distance move or are coordinating one currently, you’ll need all the SERENITY you can get.
We hope these Thanksgiving practices can help you enjoy the season more, despite your busy to-do list. And we’re always here to assist you with your long-distance moving needs to make the season a little merrier while you move.