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The Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving

The month of November serves as a reminder to give thanks.  We show our “gratitude “on the 4th Thursday of the month by taking a day off work, overeating, and watching football on TV.  REALLY?!? Instead, Thanksgiving should be an all day, every day mindset.   People who live with an “attitude of gratitude” are known to live longer, sleep better, and have increased productivity and happier lives. 

But not all days are good.  Are you thankful despite difficult circumstances that arise?  Perhaps you have lost your job recently, as the economy has continued to struggle.  Or you may have lost your health, or a loved one.  People with a genuinely thankful heart are grateful…..

ALWAYS.  On the difficult days and during bad weather, while getting a root canal or paying taxes. It seems that losing our health makes us more grateful when we gain some of it back. Losing money makes us thankful for a small savings account. The death of a family member causes us to relish the sweetness of the surviving members.

FOR SMALL THINGS. It’s not the major accomplishments; it’s the smallest, almost unnoticeable daily events that have the greatest impact.  It’s savoring the smell of a flower or a hug from a child.

AND EXPRESS IT. Instead of giving thanks as the end result, it’s the beginning.  We should give to others as a result of our thanks.  In other words, because of our thankfulness, we are to be giving. Thanksgiving is not only expressing appreciation but also about paying it forward.

Ingratitude and thanklessness are far too prevalent today. Common courtesy is ridiculed.  We forget to thank our family for all that they mean to us.  We take for granted the ways that others help us.  Above all, we fail to thank God for His daily blessings to us. Nothing turns us into bitter, selfish, dissatisfied people more quickly than an ungrateful heart.  And nothing will do more to restore contentment and joy than a true spirit of thankfulness.

As you gather for Thanksgiving this year, remember that it’s not about the turkey, the mashed potatoes, or the stuffing.  It’s about the two words:  THANKS and GIVING.  So…..give THANKS.  And then start GIVING. It’s the recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving all year long.


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