The Night Before
The night before Thanksgiving and we are...behind. This is the first year that I haven't started our thankfulness tree until the week of Thanksgiving. If there were any year we needed to have more time to catalog gratefulness, this is it. This year more than most needs to be stamped purposefully with thankfulness or it will leave a bitter taste in our mouth.
I can't get something my friend Louis Stenner said in response to my firmly believing in one holiday at a time (even this year with everyone putting their tree up early). My tree is not up. Thanksgiving is not over. There is no judgement here, I'm just telling you my bent on this. Anyway she said, "I think the order of Thanksgiving then Christmas is key - If we don't begin with being grateful we will never be satisfied and Christmas becomes another excuse to just add stuff."
It stuck with me. I know it is the eve before Thanksgiving, but it isn't too late. In fact, it's just in time to practice thankfulness as a ways to usher in Advent.
I have an idea for you. Our family does this every month. I keep a big mason jar in the open with a little basket that holds paper and pen beside it. We come up with things we are grateful for and write them down, fold them up, and into the mason jar they go. At the end of the month, during dinner one night, we read all the slips of paper. We just dump them right out on the table. It's so much fun, We usually end up reading each others and not our own, which makes it more fun. Now, to be honest saying "every moth" is an exaggeration because there are some months we don't fill the jar, but then we just tack those slips on to the next month and keep going. That's how you maintain a thankful heart. You keep at it.
If you want to cultivate gratefulness in the coming Christmas season, start your jar tonight. Read them all on Christmas Eve around the tree.
Enjoy Thanksgiving tomorrow and eat way too much. Then be thankful for stretchy pants.