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Give Thanks Meaningfully

What do you think of first when you turn your calendar to November and note that it’s just a few weeks until Thanksgiving Day? Turkey? Pumpkin Pie? A family get-together?

It won’t be long until your children bring home pictures of Pilgrims dressed in black and white and sitting around an outdoor feast with several American Indians in the background—a result of their lesson on the “First Thanksgiving” held in Nov. of 1621. On that day, the Pilgrims were giving thanks for a bountiful autumn harvest. But a day of thanksgiving wasn’t held regularly until, on Oct. 3, 1863, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln declared the fourth Thursday of Nov. a National Holiday. In the midst of one of our Nation’s most troubled times, Americans were asked to remember that they still had much to be thankful for.


In the midst of today’s troubled times, your Thanksgiving Day could be just a day of feasting and football, or it could be a day to purposefully give thanks and resolve to meaningfully show gratitude for everything we have, not just on that one day, but throughout the year.


Here are some tips to help you remember to feel grateful and to meaningfully give thanks this Thanksgiving Day and throughout the year:


  1. Appreciate the little things. A common way to say this is, “Take time to smell the roses.” We often don’t notice and feel grateful for things like the beauty around us, the laughter of children, a clear blue sky or much-needed rain. A neighbor who goes out of the way to greet us, a boss who praises a job well done, or a good night’s sleep can all be things to be thankful for.


  1. Look on the bright side.  Instead of focusing on our trials or what we don’t have, we can change our mindset to be grateful for all that we do have—those who are helping us through dark times, what we are learning from our challenges, the things we take for granted that many others don’t have, the hope that there are sure to be better days ahead.


  1. Count your blessings. Sometimes it takes a specific time and activity to help us notice and remember all of the good things in our lives. Studies have shown that people who regularly give thanks and express gratitude are not only happier, but more successful. Some keep a Gratitude Journal that they write in every night or every week. Others have a gratitude jar. When they notice something they have to be thankful for, they write it on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. When they’re having a bad day, they lift their spirits by getting a piece of paper out of the jar and read what they wrote only a few days ago.


  1. Volunteer. Helping someone else is often the best way to forget our own troubles and give thanks for what we have. A feeling of warmth and self-worth can come from making life easier for someone else. Just noticing the needs of those around you and trying to meet one or 2 of them, can be very uplifting. If you need ideas, you can ask a church leader or look on line for organizations that need volunteers.


  1. Show appreciation for others.  Remembering to say “thank you” for even small kindnesses or acts of service right when they happen will help you to notice the people in your life who love and support you. You might try thinking of someone, like a teacher, who helped you in the past and made a difference in your life. By write a note, sending a text or an email giving thanks for their service to you can make someone else’s day as well as your own.


The team at Citywide Home Loans wants you to know how much we appreciate our association with you. We are thankful every day for your trust in us, and that we can help you get into a home that you and your family will love and appreciate for a lifetime. We wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving Day and many things to be grateful for all year long.