Christmas thankfulness

As we come into the homestretch of the holiday season, addressing our holiday cards tends to be one of the first rituals we’ll partake in.  And though Thanksgiving is over, there’s no reason not to continue in the spirit of thankfulness right into Christmastime.

As I write my own Christmas messages this year, I’ll be telling each recipient why I’m thankful to have them in my life.  It’s usually easy to think of many reasons to be thankful for family and best friends.  Some deeper thoughtfulness is needed when we turn to those we see or speak to less often or those we don’t feel especially close to.   This is when words tend to fail many of us and can be a reason some choose not to send a holiday card at all.

It’s important at this time of year to explore our thankfulness for the people in our lives.  We create community with the people we know and we reap benefits by exploring our thankfulness for each one of them at the year’s end.  It’s the best way to increase the spirit of the season.  It strengthens our sense of connection with people, which in turns helps us find a sense of peace and real joy as the continuous hustle of the holidays becomes stressful.  By meditating on the role of even the bit players in our lives, we can find an increased sense of fulfillment.  These are wonderful notes on which to enter into the new year.

You can spend a minute or two thinking about each person and tap into the value of your connection with them by pondering the following questions:

1.  What is the nature of your relationship with this person?
2.  What are the first positive qualities that comes to mind when I think of them?
3.  What is it about this person that makes it not unpleasant to spend time around them?

The key to a nice holiday card is sincerity…don’t we all just want people to be real with us?  Find that one small thing they offer that adds a little something special the time you spend around them.  Anyone you are willing to send a card to must bring something positive into your life.  What is it they do that makes your life nicer than it would be without them there?  It can be simple things like a coworker having a bright smile for you every day.  Or the barista at the coffee house remembering your name and your ‘usual’ order whenever they see you.  Or your best friend’s boyfriend just being someone really pleasant to spend time around when you double date.  Thanking someone for even the smallest thing that makes them special creates huge waves of happiness…for both of you.

See more holiday letter writing tips.