Thankful for Celebrations

Do you ever forget to be thankful for holiday celebrations and special occasions? If you’re a busy parent, sometimes these events can seem more like a chore than a cherished time.

Truth be told, holidays and occasions can bring on more pressure than is really necessary. For one thing, stores tend to start hyping up holidays often a full two months ahead of the actual day of celebration.

Why is this? Well, it’s probably because with most parents working outside of the home these days and having little time to prepare, it makes sense to put make holiday items available in case people want to get a head start.

So, knowing this, we can think of the early advertising as a help, not a hindrance, in our busy lives.

Before you take on another holiday, with overbooked family occasions competing for your time and attention, try, this year, to approach the event with an attitude of gratitude — which is what holidays were meant for!

Try repeating these thoughts to yourself as the holidays grow nearer. They’re positive sentiments, meant to help you stay thankful, rather than letting holiday stress get the best of you.

“I’m thankful for the family and friends who will be together to make this occasion what it is. If some people aren’t able to attend, they will be thought of fondly.

If I’m unable to make it to someone else’s party for whatever reason, I will give thanks for the opportunity and go easy on myself for not being all things to all people, which is impossible.”

“I’m thankful that I have so many options and opportunities to make my holiday or special occasion the best ever. I know that I am free to pick and choose the traditions that resonate with me, while leaving the rest behind or for someone else to embrace and enjoy.”

“I’m thankful for the meal that we will all share around the holiday table this year. It does not matter if it’s a purchased meal, reheated meal, or who brought which sides even if no one did.

Somewhere else, someone may be hungry or suffering at this very moment. Let’s give thanks to the health and happiness of all present at our holiday table today.”

JOURNAL EXERCISE:
Reflecting on Celebrations

Reflect with gratitude on celebrations past and present.

What was your impression of holiday time as a child?

What are your feelings on holidays now that you’re a grown adult?

What parts of holidays and celebrations stress you out, and why?

How can you find workarounds to prevent the same holiday headaches from occurring year after year?

What can you do differently so that you’ll have more relaxation time during holidays and special occasions?

How can you “lower the bar” of your own expectations, both of yourself and others, so that you can remain fully present in the moment of occasions such as holidays, parties, birthdays, and such?

If perfectionism is a problem for you, how can you get over the mental block that holidays and occasions are not about performing… they’re about enjoying?

Day 20: Thankful for the Morning

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