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The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

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The 12 Days of Thanksgiving
    Photo credit: jdolenga (CC BY 2.0)

    Nordstom’s is getting a lot of publicity this year for their stance on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Namely, they are going against the decorations trend and are choosing to wait on Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving is over. People everywhere are enjoying this and re-posting their signs.

    This past year, I saw Christmas decorations in WalMart before Halloween was over! It seems the New Deal stimulus idea of extending the Christmas buying season has worked all too well, and like many others, I feel it is time to fight back.

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    But how will we fight back?

    With gratitude, thanks and remembering why Thanksgiving comes before Christmas:

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    The Proposal – The 12 Days Of Thanksgiving

    Starting on Thanksgiving, post on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. something you are thankful for. For the next twelve days, continue to do this every day!

    The Concept:

    Every Thanksgiving families give thanks and show gratitude for something in their lives. There are many families who will even go around the table and have everyone name something. Then the day after Thanksgiving, they wait in long lines for those black Friday deals. They clamor to buy. They spend time worrying about costs, decorations and tinsel; they forget what they did at the start of the holiday season – give thanks.

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    I believe people see the nonsense in this insanity. I believe people truly are grateful that they can even stand in line for an hour for a gift. I think people are even more grateful when they don’t stand in line, and instead make hot chocolate with their families and loved ones at home. Let us all work together to remind each other of the small things in life and the big things. By spending 12 of the holiday season days giving thanks, we may find it is a habit to continue well past the 12 days of Christmas. We may find it isn’t the gifts, the lines, the perfection that matters. We may find it is OK to smile, and let someone go before you or maybe hold open a door for someone else. We may find the truly great thing about the holidays is the reminder of gratitude and love all humans are capable of showing.

    Some Ideas:

    Here are some ideas of what to look for and post about in your feeds. They are all things I am thankful for, though not in any particular order.

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    • I thank the farmers and ranchers who work to provide food for our nation. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I thank my wonderful family for putting up with me. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I am thankful for the roof over my head. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I thank the person who smiled back and said thank you. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I thank the teachers who teach my children. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I thank the bagger who bags my food at the store. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I am thankful for the air I breathe. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I am thankful for the sun at my back. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I am thankful for a cheerful smile. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I am thankful for the ability to share these gratitudes. #12daysofthanksgiving

    Needless to say, there are many things in the world to be thankful over, and I encourage us all to find one thing – every day – for twelve days.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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    Last Updated on November 22, 2021

    Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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    Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

    Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

    During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

    But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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    Simplify

    I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

    Absolutely.

    And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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    If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

    • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
    • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
    • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

    Be Mindful

    You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

    Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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    Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

    Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

    Reflect

    As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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    Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

    But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

    So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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    Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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