5 Easy Tips to Enjoy Thanksgiving Alone

  It’s just a couple days until our major autumn holiday of Thanksgiving.  Most folks will gather together with their families for plentiful food and festivities.  Gatherings, both small and large, will be celebrating the day we give thanks for the harvest.  Blessings will be counted and prayers said around a table full of enough food to feed many more.  Memories will be remembered and created for both young and old.

But what if you don’t have family to fill all the chairs at the dinner table?  What if by choice or circumstances you are spending Thanksgiving alone this year?  Over the years, I’ve gone from dreading holidays and crying in my Diet Coke, to embracing my time alone.  Here are 5 tips to help get you through the day.

  1. Know what makes you happy.  Forget about what everyone else is doing that day.  Let someone else drown their sorrows in the gravy boat.  What brings you joy?  What makes you happy?  What are your favorite foods, TV shows, movies, games, books, activities?  Foods?  Make a list of everything.
  2. Make a plan.  Narrow your list to the things you most want to do.  Make a menu of food you are going to prepare or go out to eat.  Pay attention to details.  If you’re cooking at home, make a list of all items you need from the grocery store.  Plan when you’re going to eat and what you’ll be doing before and after.  If you’re volunteering at a shelter to feed the homeless, know which one and contact them.  If you’re going to wrap up in a blanket and watch old Doris Day movies, have that blanket freshly washed and the popcorn and movies ready.  Be prepared.
  3. Act on your plan.  Go to the grocery store.  Line up the movies you want to rent, borrow, or check out at the library.  Download a book you’ve been wanting to read to your Kindle.  If you plan on crocheting or knitting, have your yarn, hooks, and needles ready and waiting.  Get all your craft supplies together for a crafty day, or all the pampering skin care products for a home spa day.   Prepare yourself for having an awesome day!
  4. Think positive.  Maybe you’d rather be with Prince Charming than a DVD of When Harry Met Sally, but Prince Charming didn’t show up so forget about him.  This is your day to take care of you.  Take advantage of this time alone to do something you love to do and brings you joy.
  5. Be grateful.  You may rather have had the day be different, but focus on the positive, all the great things you can do and maybe even a new tradition or two.  God has blessed you with this day.  Put joy in it and be thankful for all you do have.

How will you be spending Thanksgiving?  Do you have a plan?

Blessings

Today’s Gratitudes

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This month, I’ve been posting on Facebook each day something I am grateful for.  Having an attitude of gratitude is something that helps me keep focus on what’s important in my life.  It is way too easy to get off track this time of year.  It’s way too easy to succumb to “wants” instead of “needs.”  Today, I felt the need to write a longer gratitude list.

Today, I am grateful for:

  • The calming of the wind.  Strong winds feel so violent to me, they can wreak so much havoc and do so much damage.  I like to hear that there is peace in the air.
  • The mild temperatures we have been having here.  I have been enjoying these days of sunshine and temperatures well above freezing at night.  I know it will soon change, so I am enjoying every minute of it.
  • My little dog, Maggie.  She’s a bundle of energy when I get home, a sleepy head in the morning, and sometimes a little grouchy.  Her happiest moments are when she is eating and when she frightens away imaginary creatures of the night.  She is my cuddle kid.  I’m so thankful she saved me.
  • My Jonnie Katt.  I tell him he is my boy child and that he is very handsome, because he is.  He is a lover boy, and I am grateful to hear his purrs each and every day.
  • Waking up of a morning.  One day I may not wake up, then who’s going to feed and take care of my kids?
  • A peaceful lifestyle.  Truly, I am so thankful for the quiet atmosphere.  It is such a peace to not worry about whether another hole will be punched in the wall, if I will do something to set off someone’s anger, if I will have to endure the punishment of silence.  God heard my cries and He saved me.
  • Kind words during stressful times.  They can soothe nerves better than any drug.
  • When the mailman brings me “Happy Mail.”  And by that I mean something that is not a bill or catalog.  A card.  A note.  A postcard just saying hello, I thought of you.
  • Having necessities, like food, water, electricity.  We so often take these things for granted when there are so many who have to do without.
  • A soft pillow.  Oh, what sweet dreams a soft pillow beneath the head can bring.
  • Soft tissues to blow my nose with.
  • Lotions and creams to soothe dry, raw skin.
  • Books that entertain me and make me laugh.
  • People that entertain me and make me laugh.
  • The fresh smell of clean clothes right out of the dryer.
  • A message from a friend on Facebook or Twitter, just to check on me to see if I was ok.  It’s nice to be thought of in a nice way.
  • The ability to think for myself, to make decisions, and act on them.
  • Paper Mate ink pens.  Especially, the pink Flex Grips for Breast Cancer Awareness.  They write smooth and feel good in my hand.
  • Having more than one pair of shoes.
  • Smiling at a stranger, and they smile back.
  • Fruits & vegetables and canned garlic dill pickles.
  • Accepting Jesus as my Lord & Savior was the smartest thing I’ve ever done.  Without him, nothing else would matter.  I am grateful for being saved from my sins by his blood.

My list could go on, but I will stop for now.  It does my heart good to feel grateful.  What are you grateful for today?

Please feel free to share.

Blessings.

 

Gratitude

What are you grateful for?

It was on the Oprah show that I first heard of a Gratitude Journal.  Then everyone was talking about a Gratitude Journal.  Articles in magazines, YouTube videos, Pinterest. Put Gratitude Journal in your search engine and you can read all day on the benefits of keeping one.

I’m going to keep it pretty simple, because that’s what I do best.  A Gratitude Journal is a notebook, piece of paper, tablet, or anywhere else you record a list of all that you are grateful for.  It can be in your phone or computer.  Mine began in a $1 notebook from the Dollar Tree and has now progressed to a leather wrapped looseleaf notebook.

Each day, I jot down at least one thing I’m grateful for that day.  Oprah says she writes five things she’s grateful for.  You might like to list ten, the choice is yours.  What’s important is that you write it down so you can see it, so that it sticks in your mind.

Oprah said,

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

Oprah knew what she was talking about.  Focusing on what I have makes me realize how blessed I am.  I have a home with a roof on it.  There are many people in the world who do not.  I have enough food to eat today; many do not.  Things I’ve always taken for granted, I now see in a new light.  A pillow under my head at night.  A blanket to keep me warm.  Clean clothes to wear and shoes on my feet.  These are all blessings, and I am grateful.

Having gratitude for what I have helps keep me focused, and often a bit humble.  When I think I want something more, I realize I have enough.  When I read back over all the things I’m grateful for in my life, it makes me realize that God does provide what I need, not what I want.  I couldn’t ask for anything more.

I will be honest, there are some days I’m feeling out of sorts and grumpy and I may struggle to find one thing I’m grateful for that day.  But I write it down.  And often, once I start writing, I will think of another thing I’m grateful for, and another.  Soon, I will have the page filled with gratitude’s I didn’t even know I had.  It’s a nice surprise!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.                        ~ Philippians 4:6 NIV

To have an attitude of gratitude has made such a difference in my life.  It makes it easier to distinguish between my wants and needs.  When I’m upset over car trouble or a leaky faucet or the cost of electricity to heat my house, I get out my Gratitude Journal and pretty soon I’m thanking God that I have a car, a faucet, and electricity.

Being grateful has improved my mood, lessened anger, and quieted my nerves.  It can change my day from one that really stinks, into one that’s not so bad after all.

What are you thankful for?