We know, we know, it's beginning to look a lot like December out there already, what with Hanukkah fast approaching and Christmas countdowns waiting in the wings—but we love Thanksgiving here at WCS and wanted to feature a few more inspired ideas you can tackle before Thanksgiving Day from some of our favorite creatives on the internet (and a few home-grown ideas, too). Today we welcome designer/memory keeper/author/blogger/wife + mama Ali Edwards to share her thoughts about preparing a home for gratitude. Enjoy!
As we prepare for Thanksgiving next week I’m busy thinking about the organizational details: planning a grocery list, deciding what and how much I’m going to cook, thinking about the atmosphere I want to create in our home, wondering what time family are arriving, remembering that our knives need to be sharpened, etc.
In the midst of all those logistical details there’s another thing on my list: establishing my attitude of gratitude.
For me, establishing an attitude of gratitude begins with a simple choice: a choice to wake up on Thanksgiving morning (or any day) and greet it with a long, deep breath and a short “thank you” for all the blessings in my life. Taking just a few moments to center and focus myself and set my attitude before anything has gone right or wrong can make a huge difference in the atmosphere of my day.
It’s a little like an old-fashioned clock that needs to be wound; we all need to be reset from time to time.
As many of us know all too well, the chaos of the holidays, the anticipation, and the dynamics of family can add up to one big overwhelming mess of expectations packed into however many hours of non-stop fun.
It’s your attitude towards that mess that potentially makes all the difference.
My thought for you this weekend: establish an attitude of simple gratitude as you begin your day and then again anytime throughout the day when you need it most.
When it all gets too chaotic, too noisy (my personal issue), too rambunctious, or you look around and see all those things you wish you’d done in advance…in those very moments where your attitude may be heading downhill make the choice to turn it around and be thankful for those very things you dislike the most. Reframe the situation for yourself and rather than get frustrated, get thankful.
In my own house when things get off-kilter I plan to close my eyes and…
- Choose to be thankful for the noise because it’s often a sign of celebration.
- Choose to be thankful for any awkward or uncomfortable family moments as those are signs that we are all so very, very human.
- Choose to be thankful for the rambunctiousness and wrestling because that’s a sign of life.
- Choose to be thankful for all the things left undone because in letting that expectation go I free myself up to be more present in the celebration with my family.
I think one of the things I’m most thankful for is that I have a choice in terms of my attitude. I get to control it for better or worse. So here’s to low-stress holidays, good food, and peaceful interactions. May your day be infused with the spirit of thankfulness and may you not need too many attitude adjustments.
Ali Edwards believes in capturing everyday life with photos and words and creating scrapbooks from those moments that often pass by in an instant. Author of four books about scrapbooking, she currently designs digital scrapbooking products for Designer Digitals and stamps for Technique Tuesday, and teaches workshops for Big Picture Classes. She invites you to participate in her signature annual project, December Daily, this holiday season. Read more about Ali at her website, Ali Edwards Design.