Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day here in Canada. Many people get together to enjoy a special meal, make new memories and share old memories. It is a time of giving thanks for everything we have – our families, our faith, our friends and our freedom. Thanksgiving Day reminds us of how much we have to be thankful for. But what about the other 364 days of the year? Are you thankful everyday? Are you thankful today?
We shouldn’t really need a special day to remind us of all the things we should be thankful for. When you wake up the morning, what do you think about? Our minds tend to think about our problems and this just gets us in a miserable mood right away. Train your mind to be thankful as soon as you open your eyes and this will help get you in a good mood for the rest of the day. Think about everything you have to be thankful for – a roof over your head, a bed to sleep in, clean air, a loving family, the ability to see or hear, legs to walk with, arms to carry things, friends, food to eat and the list could go on forever. Even if you don’t have all these things to be thankful for, there is always something.
Living with a thankful attitude will make your life better. Don’t allow your negative thoughts to weigh you down. So, are you thankful today?
Now that Thanksgiving is over in Canada and in the States, are you still giving thanks for all the wonderful things that you have? From pictures I’ve seen of Black Friday sales, it appears that many people have quickly traded their thankfulness into greed. It is so sad that people can put so much emphasis on gaining material possessions, that they would stand in line for hours or push and shove people to get what they want.
Society has created a monster in people, one that has a deep desire to spend lots of money trying to find happiness in all the piles of stuff they buy, often resulting in huge debt. According to a Bank of Montreal report, the number of Canadians in debt grew from 74% in 2012 to 83% in 2013. In the States the total consumer debt is over $11 million. All of this debt is not creating more happiness, in fact it is creating more stress, anxiety and depression. Marriages are in trouble because of financial problems and relationships are struggling. People just can’t handle the pressure of being in debt, yet they keep spending because ‘THEY’ say it is okay. ‘THEY’ tell us that we need stuff to be happier, make more friends, have power and get better jobs. And who is ‘THEY’? It is all the companies who are making money causing people to overspend, get into deep debt and often end up filing for bankruptcy. So how does this make us happy. It doesn’t!
Happiness is found in being content with what we have. Instead of wishing we had a lot of things that we don’t really need and can’t afford to buy, spend time instead of money, giving thanks for the things you already have. Spend time with your family, especially your children. They would much rather have you spend time with them than go out and spend time looking for those toys and trinkets. If they would rather have ‘stuff’ than they have already learned to be greedy and this isn’t good because they will end up making poor choices with their money.
Learn to be thankful and teach your children to be thankful. Not just on Thanksgiving but every day of the year. Whether your family gathers around the table for a meal, have everyone think about something they are thankful for and share your thoughts. If you normally eat by yourself, ask yourself what you can be thankful for. Being thankful is a good way to become happy about everything in life and everyone around you. Here are some of the things that I’m thankful for:
- my wonderful family
- my two awesome girls
- my adorable grandson
- having a house to live in
- having enough food to eat
- having a comfortable bed to sleep in
- being warm
- my job
- enough money to pay bills
- good health
- being able to eat out sometimes
- taking vacations
- my writing skills
- my creativity
- being able to see, hear and smell
It is sometimes hard to be thankful in this materialistic world, but if you think with your heart, you can always find something to be thankful for.
What are you thankful for? Grab a pen and a piece of paper and start making your own list.
Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada. This is a national holiday where families gather to give thanks for our blessings. In other countries, such as United States, Germany and Japan, Thanksgiving is celebrated on various dates in October and November.
The Thanksgiving tradition has its roots in England during the Reformation where they held special Thanksgiving religious services. The first Canadian Thanksgiving is traced back to 1578 when Martin Frobisher, an explorer, held a Thanksgiving celebration to thank God for allowing him to survive the long, difficult journey from England. The early French settlers also celebrated Thanksgiving for their successful harvests. As more settlers came to Canada, Thanksgiving celebrations became very common in the late autumn.
Thanksgiving Day in Canada is a statutory holiday (except for the maritime provinces). Many families and friends gather together to share a special meal or take part in a family tradition which could include sports or a short vacation before winter sets in.
Thanksgiving is an opportunity for us to give thanks for all the blessings we have. There are so many people in the world that don’t have a house to live in, enough food to eat, nice clothing to wear, a bed to sleep in or even clean, running water. Even if we are lacking in some area, there is always something we can be thankful for. I’m thankful for my family, my friends, my good health, my ability to write and things as simple as being able to see, hear and smell.
What are you thankful for today?
Here is an awesome video by Josh Groban called Thankful. Enjoy and have a great Thanksgiving!
In our busy lives, we don’t always stop to think about what we should be thankful for, especially if we are having difficulties in our lives. However, there is always something that we can be thankful for if we look hard enough. Many people are so focused on their problems that they don’t see the good things in life and they miss out on some great experiences. I began to realize this in my own life and now I try to start every day thinking about what I have to be thankful for. This is a great way to focus on being positive about life. I wrote a list of things that I’m thankful for and I hope it gets your mind working.
- God’s love
- my family
- a hug
- eating pizza
- watching a good movie
- taking a walk
- reading a good book
- calling a friend
- a child’s laughter
- running water
- a gentle rain
- a rainbow
- getting a card
- looking at pictures
- nice clothes
- giving a gift
- getting a gift
- reaching a goal
- a friendly smile
- watching a sunrise or sunset
- feeling loved by someone
- good health
- the warmth of the sun
- a home
So now I ask you…..what are YOU thankful for?
I’ll be happy when…..
- I finish school
- I get a better job
- I have more money
- I get married
- I buy a new car or house
- I have kids
- I take a vacation
- I retire
Do you remember thinking any of these things? I sure do. We always believe that we will be happy when we get something we want or when something happens.
Then the wonderful moment comes when our dream comes true and we are extremely happy. But for how long? Only until we start wanting something else. Why? Because we are looking for happiness in the wrong places. Society leads us to believe that we will find happiness in other people and in possessions. However, the only thing that can make us happy is ourselves. If we always place our happiness in something else, we will continue to be disappointed.
Research has been done on what makes people happy. Money and possessions are important if they are meeting our basic needs and making our lives more comfortable, but beyond that, they do little to make us really happy. Here is a list of what can make you happy:
- loving yourself and others
- having good relationships (family and friends)
- having a purpose in life (setting goals)
- believing in yourself
- positive thinking
- personal freedom
- being thankful for what you have (not what you don’t have)
- attending worship services
- having good health
- being able to forgive others (not holding grudges, being angry)
- giving to others (time, talents, money)
When I listen to the news and hear about all the terrible things that are happening in the world, I stop and think about how much I have to be thankful for. I could be living in a war-torn country and wonder if I will be shot or tortured. I could be living in a poor country where I don’t get enough food to eat and I go to bed hungry at night. I might not even have a proper place to sleep and find myself lying on the cold, hard ground. Instead of looking around at the people who seem to have everything and wishing that we were just like them, we should look around at the majority of the world that lives in poverty and misery and thank God that we have so much.