Today begins the fourth year of my Thirty Days of Gratitude. I started this series/tradition in 2012 (and, actually, before that on Facebook) because I was annoyed by the Christmas advertising and store displays that appeared before Halloween. I think that such promotion encourages us to think past November to Christmas and gift-giving, and we overlook or give short shrift to Thanksgiving.
I have always loved Thanksgiving. When I was a kid, we always had two Thanksgiving dinners: one the night before Thanksgiving at my great aunt and great uncle’s house (my great aunt was like a grandmother to me) with the big family crowd, and then one with my mom, brother, aunt, uncle, and two cousins. The food was amazing, and we always laughed a lot.
In addition, Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude for the wonderful lives we have. Even when facing adversity, there is comfort in being with family and friends. I try to always express gratitude for the blessings in my life, but Thanksgiving is a day specifically set aside for just that.
And, maybe especially this year, I feel like expressing gratitude is important. This has been a dark, long election “season” (I hesitate to use that term because it’s been going on forever) and there’s been a lot of rhetoric about how bad everything is. Regardless of your political bent (which I do NOT want to get into here), I think we can all agree that we have much to be thankful for, and it’d be nice to focus on THAT for a while.
So, when I started this many years ago, I thought: what if we didn’t succumb to the Christmas promotions yet? What if we took a breath after Halloween and focused on being thankful for a whole month? I was encouraged when I saw this ad:
And, with that, the Thirty Days of Gratitude Project began.
Please join me, starting today. Each day, I will talk about something I am thankful for – small or large, silly or serious. Think about what you are grateful for in your lives and feel free to share in the comments today or any time during the month of November.