Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Forgotten Holiday

I love Thanksgiving and what it represents. I do get frustrated though when it seems we go straight into Christmas from Halloween and it gets forgotten. For that reason, I refuse to celebrate any Christmas festivities before Thanksgiving has come and gone. It is one of those holidays where you can spend time with family, eat a delicious meal, and express gratitude for all that we have. I think we forget sometimes, myself included, that gratitude is so much more than just saying "thank you" to those we love. It is also giving to and serving them. It is really an opportunity to do things we should be doing everyday of the year. Today in church, one of the speakers spoke of gifts that we give. She  received advice to give three gifts during the holiday season. Give a gift to a stranger, to someone who doesn't like you, and give a gift to your Savior. I loved the thought of this. It is sometimes easy to give to those we care about most or those who are closest to us. How much harder is to to give to someone you know doesn't like you? It is so much more of a sacrifice. So many times during the holidays, we forget our Savior and all that he has given us. It is diluted into who is getting what and what present I should get for so and so. We forget that the best gift we can give to our Savior and those around us is a gift of service and a Christlike life. I am committing myself now to do better at serving those around me. I heard a quote last week on Music and the Spoken Word that has stuck with me.
"True Gratitude manifests itself in how we choose to give to others. When we truly feel grateful, we feel a compelling desire to help other people. Perhaps that's why "thanks" and "giving" so often go together."
I am committing myself now to do better at living everyday full of "Thanks" and "Giving". Who wants to join me? Here is a quote I found that puts things into perspective on what true gratitude represents and why I think Thanksgiving should not become a forgotten holiday.
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

 Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.

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