Thanksgiving celebrations may look different in 2020 for many people. I have had many conversations with friends and family about whether to gather.
This year our attitude needs to be centered on giving people grace about their decisions and focus on expressing gratitude and thankfulness in a variety of ways, even if the holiday looks a little different this year.
How to Express Gratitude
Writing your feelings down is a great way to process emotions positively. The benefits of keeping a gratitude journal aren't instant; instead, they happen over time. Journaling with an attitude of gratitude may help you put away negative thoughts and experiences and build patience, humility, and wisdom as you shift from toxic emotions.
Center your arts on a gratitude theme. Use Pinterest or search the internet for activities and crafts that focus on gratitude. Also, taking suggestions from magazines are helpful as well. One of my favorite magazines is "Family Fun," which has several craft ideas, such as making a thankful silverware holder for the meal or decorating a door.
Reading Books or Quotations
Selecting books that emphasize heartfelt gratitude messages serves as a reminder of why we should count our blessings. Share the inspiration that your readings provide you. A friend of mine shared this quote on Facebook, "This is not the year to get everything you want. This is the year to appreciate everything you have."
Fun activities such as games are a great way to get everyone involved. It is also a reminder of the importance of showing others kindness. Have a virtual Thanksgiving scavenger hunt or Thanksgiving Bingo. Games can be fun for all ages.
Cultural traditions are passed on when families include everyone in all aspects of the meal preparation. When individuals choose the menu and ingredients, make food, talk, and eat together it creates lifelong knowledge and memories. This blog, Creating family home cooking memories with love and gratitude, explores how cooking together creates unity and promotes healthy families.
Listening to Music
Everyone in the family has an opportunity to select music that is positive and uplifting. Remember not to be critical of family members' selections.
Verbalizing Thankful Thoughts
Don't be superficial with what you say. Be sincere and detailed with your blessings. When we express what we're grateful for, we often find our thoughts focused on people instead of things. Take time to savor your thoughts instead of rushing.
More about gratitude journaling
- American Psychological Association, April 9, 2015 “A Grateful Heart is a Healthier Heart” by Mill, Paul J.
- Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, June 6, 2017 “How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain” by Wong, Joel; Brown, Joshua
- Positive Psychology, November 11, 2020. “14 Health Benefits of Practicing Gratitude According to Science" by Miller, Kori D.