It’s the Monday before Thanksgiving, and in a few days we will gather with family and celebrate. On Thursday we will pause to give thanks for what we have. We will enjoy each other’s company as we eat turkey, and watch football, but the picture will look different for thousands of other people. While we are celebrating, thousands of others will struggle because they are alone on Thanksgiving. Many people don’t have family to celebrate with. Some people can’t go home because of work, others are too far away. This is a holiday where there is a particular focus on family, and this day can be especially hard for people who fall into this category…
So what does that have to do with you? What if this doesn’t apply to you? If you are fortunate enough to have family I want to challenge you to count your blessings. The holidays can be a period marked with increased stress. During this season our calenders are filled with work, and parties, and last minute errands, and the stress can be overwhelming. Sometimes our emotions boil over and we lash out at those closest to us. This is a week where children are off of school, and we are in close quarters with family members. You probably don’t spend this much time with your family on a regular basis, and people can start to annoy, and irritate you after awhile. Sooo, I want to challenge you to be patient with your family members. Think before speak. If your brother says something that upsets you, stop and take a quick breath. Imagine what life would be like without him. I am sure there are times when family members annoy or irritate you, but life would be a lot different without your family. There are thousands of people who would love to be with family, and give anything to have them around this holiday season.
If you are alone this holiday season I want to challenge you to look out, and instead of inwards. If you have to be alone consider volunteering at a homeless shelter, or a soup kitchen. If you have friends, call them and see about planning something. If that isn’t possible go somewhere, and enjoy yourself. If you stay home catch up on something you’ve been putting off. Whatever you do, find something to enjoy. If you cannot enjoy this day because it reminds you of people you have lost reflect on their lives, and remember what they taught you. Get out old photo albums and reminisce. Know that it is okay to be sad from time to time. Anniversaries and holidays can be hard, and Thanksgiving is no exception.
Everyone falls into some category, and I want to challenge you to be thankful for what you have. If you are with your family during the holiday season realize how blessed you are. If you don’t have family be thankful for your friends, and other people who have influenced you most. This day may be hard but it will pass, and then the next day will start. Winter will eventually turn into spring, and things will better in time.