Cultivating Gratitude This Holiday Season
It can be very easy to get caught up in the flashy sales and the “buy,
buy, buy” retail culture that surrounds this time of the year. But is that what
it’s really all about?
This holiday season, try slowing down and practice gratitude for what you
already have and less focus on what is on your wants list. Read on for some
simple tips to shift the focus on what really matters.
The easiest way to create a feeling of gratitude is to create a list. For
every day in December, write three things down that you are grateful for. Even
better is to get the whole family involved!
Ask the kids at bedtime to name 3 things that make their hearts happy.
Create a placeholder card at the dinner table on Christmas night where everyone
can list what they are grateful for. This small activity helps shift the
mindset towards realizing what you already have – it’s enough.
Less is More
Putting thought and detail into one gift is sure to be better received
than giving a bunch of generic, off the shelf gifts. Think about the person who
is receiving this present – what sparks joy for them? Was there a time you saw
them really light up while talking about something? Is there one special item
that they have been putting off buying for themselves that you can surprise
Gift Opening Mindfulness
Slow down the frenetic pace of opening all the gifts at once. Take turns
and open one gift at a time. This allows everyone to admire the thought that
went into the gift, and to appreciate and thank the gift-giver. For extra
mindfulness, create a thank you list as you go and have everyone write a nice
thank you note to mail out the week after Christmas.
Create Gift Experiences Outside of “Stuff”
Gifts don’t always have to come in the form of a wrapped present with a
toy inside. Think outside the box this holiday season – Give the gift of “time”
and create a fun date day for a loved one, consider making something or baking
cookies. Another thoughtful gift idea is to donate funds to your favourite, or
the gift recipients' favourite charity.
Giving Back & Serving the Community
There is nothing more humbling and eye-opening than serving those around
us who are not as fortunate over the holiday season. Getting out there and
volunteering your time at the local food bank or even bringing some hot
chocolate and cookies to your local senior home is sure to warm their hearts
Boxing day is a great opportunity to create a discussion with children
around giving back. Go through old toys and set some aside for donation, while
making room for new ones, and use it as a chance to explain how others may be
less fortunate and would love a gently used “gift” from your kids.