We set this day aside to be with family and friends, eat a lot of food, and enjoy a day or two or more relating, shopping, decorating, playing games, etc. It’s a time for several days of leisure. The main focus is to share a great meal and have wonderfully caring conversations.
I’m grateful the Pilgrims and nearby Indians had a harvest and successful hunt. I’m grateful we celebrate this event on a Thursday every year. I love that it opens the season of love.
Thanksgiving is a time to drop the old heavy hurts and unsuspecting slights by family members.
Repair some of the “regrettable events” by focusing on the positive. Dr. John Gottman, marital stability and relationship analysis expert says,
“Respect, gratitude, affection, friendship, and noticing what’s going right is a ‘habit of mind’ which creates a culture of appreciation.”
“Scan for things which go right, notice them more. This leads to more searching for positive things, to positive feedback, and therefore positive actions.”
It truly is a time to focus on the positive things about family members and what they have done for you. The times they helped you move, the times they baby sat, the times they fed you and your friends, the times they gave you a place to stay or live for awhile. Remember all the late night family stories? The eventful family holidays and gatherings? Times of celebrations—baptisms, confirmations, showers, weddings, funerals? All the cards and gifts they gave? The hugs and kisses? The tons and tons of love they have given throughout the years? Through the years of togetherness and absence, they thought about you. They called. And came to visit. They were there during your hospitalizations and surgeries and they stood by you through difficult times. And if you didn’t tell them about the challenges, they were praying anyway for your life of success and well being. Yes, its great to have the family you love and who loves you. Thanksgiving is a time to let them know how much you are grateful they are in your life.
I hope as you are sitting around the Thanksgiving table, you all take the opportunity to express the deepest gratitude for what each person has given you. Tell them how they have touched the most precious part of you. Be sure also to share the light moments of shared secrets, mistakes, and life flubs.
I love you Sis for ALWAYS being there for me, for being with Mom through so many years while I lived so far away, for you and Tim opening your hearts and home helping to take care of Dad those last precious months, for the childhood innocence and fun, sharing friends and schools, and stories into the night. Thanks for all the glorious venting of therapist bashing we shared, shopping trips, apple martinis, long phone calls and your smiling face and tough protection when I really needed to feel your love. I’m eternally appreciative for all the many ways you show your love. Thanks for being my “Sis”, Dorene. You are a most precious being God has given to me.
Your turn—make a phone call, write a card, prepare a little “Thank you” for your dinner or after-dinner conversation with family and friends. Create a meaningful experience with those you love.