Gratitude is a spirit that’s front and center for many people during the Christmas season. However, this time of year can also be hectic. In the midst of the holiday bustle, it can be easy to lose sight of what we’re thankful for.
As we approach this year’s Christmas celebration, Dr, Les & Leslie Parrott have listed five ways you can celebrate with thankfulness in your heart. We hope these ideas inspire you! Enjoy and Merry Christmas from your Marrige Family LIfe team!
There’s truly magic and wonder in the Christmas season when we take time to embrace childlike joy. So often, adults “grow out” of experiencing true gratitude during Christmas because of all the responsibilities on our shoulders. We’re concerned about creating a fun holiday for the kids, buying gifts, and navigating hectic work and event schedules. Sometimes that means that we lose our way a little bit, and we might find ourselves grumbling or feeling more negativity than we’d like to.
Was there a time in your childhood when Christmas was lively and you felt grateful for the season? Are there kids in your life–whether your children or extended family–who inspire you to take on that giddy anticipation of the holiday? Try to reconnect with that as Christmas approaches.
Having fun, engaging in play, and enjoying holiday events at Christmastime can help to cultivate joy in your heart. When you’re enjoying the season, it’s easier to feel grateful. So take some time to have fun together this Christmas, and savor the feeling you kindle when you do.
There are so many ways to bring extra joy into your holiday. Sing, laugh, exchange gifts, gather with your family, enjoy your favorite holiday meal or treat, play games, or take a ride through the Christmas lights. Being together and making time for play is a wonderful way to remind yourselves of how grateful you are for all you have.
Giving and receiving gifts can boost a spirit of gratitude at Christmas. That’s especially true if you’re giving gifts that have a deep or meaningful significance for your spouse. Likewise, giving gifts to your loved ones can help create a sense of warmth, love, and gratitude. Gift-giving doesn’t necessarily mean you should focus on gratitude based on what you receive, so take a little extra time when you select your gifts this year, choosing items that will convey your gratitude toward one another.
Holiday traditions can give us warm fuzzies, bringing us face-to-face with memories of past Christmases and gratitude for the experiences. If you and your spouse have traditions you like to observe–or perhaps, traditions you haven’t observed in a while–take some time to do so. Gather with family or take part in celebrations or activities that help you reconnect with your joy this Christmas.
If you don’t have past traditions that bring you joy, then create something new together. Whether it’s planning a new holiday meal, creating a craft or piece of art, making a gingerbread house, or baking cookies just for the occasion, there are limitless possibilities for new traditions.
Focusing on gratitude sometimes means simply talking about what you’re grateful for. You can spend time counting your blessings one-on-one with your spouse, share gratitude around the family table at Christmas dinner, or even write down what you’re thankful for and exchange notes. Bringing those memories and feelings to the surface will help you intentionally focus on the things you’re grateful for this Christmas.
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Your Marriage, Family and Life Team