On Gratitude During the Holidays

I’m going to be honest here:

I have a love/hate relationship with this time of year.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the busiest.

There’s tradition and joy and happiness and family and friends and wonderful food and scents and giving … and all the hustle and bustle and scheduling and madness that goes with it.

I usually take one of two approaches to the holidays: I either try to do everything and drive myself crazy, or I try to do as little as possible and feel like I’m missing out. I haven’t found a balance. I’m not sure there is one. If I ever find it, I’ll let you know. This year, I’m going to try something a little different:


I know, Thanksgiving is over. Christmas season is in full swing now. Every November I see a few people on Facebook do a Thanksgiving challenge where they post something they’re thankful for every day. I know it feels like I’m late to the party, like the Thanksgiving ship (or gravy boat?) has sailed, but stick with me here for a second. Why stop being thankful after Thanksgiving?

Christmas is a celebration of giving, and by the very nature of giving, it is also a celebration of receiving. I was taught to be thankful for my gifts. I was even taught to write thank you notes, although I have to admit, I never do. I do enjoy gifts, however, and I am thankful for them. My life is full of gifts, not just the ones that come wrapped with pretty paper and bows. My relationships with the people in my life are great gifts. And of course, there is no greater gift than the one we celebrate every Christmas: God’s gift of eternal life in Christ. I want to celebrate all those gifts by living in a spirit of gratitude this December.

I can already feel the busy spirit of Christmas creeping in on me. There are so many decisions to make. Which gifts to buy? Which events to attend? Which goodies to bake? I fill my life and my schedule full of good things, but when it’s too full, they start to feel like annoying obligations. I stop enjoying them for what they are, and start resenting them for what they represent to me: My failure, once again, to be that perfect Christmas sugar plum fairy, full of sweetness and spices and the spirit of Christmas. I put too much pressure on myself and if I’m not careful I can end up sounding more like Scrooge than Tiny Tim.

I don’t want to go through another holiday season feeling grumpy. Instead, I want to feel grateful. And I invite you to come along. In my 30 Day Challenge Facebook group, we’ll be posting about something we’re thankful for every day.

And God bless us, every one!”

Have you joined my Facebook group yet? If not, what are you waiting for? It’s great! If you’re not on Facebook, please feel free to leave comments here about what you are thankful for.