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What Kids Can Teach Us About Celebrating Thanksgiving

What Kids Can Teach Us About Celebrating Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I would bet my bottom dollar that you are freaking out about the family coming together and the food you need to cook. As grown-ups, we have gotten so caught up with having the “right place setting” or the “right crowd” around the Thanksgiving table that we must ask: have we completely forgotten the true meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday? If you are dreading Thanksgiving this year, or if you are feeling completely overwhelmed about it, perhaps you should explore what kids can teach us about Thanksgiving. After all, kids have this wonderful gift of truly knowing how to simply live in the moment without scrutinizing everything. Maybe by looking to the little ones, we will be inspired and reminded of the things that truly matter when it comes to this beautiful holiday.

Thanksgiving: A day for giving thanks 

Yes, this one is quite obvious but as grownups we tend to forget that Thanksgiving is about giving thanks and not piling on more food and waiting for black Friday sales. Kids, on the other hand, fully understand the meaning behind this holiday. Kids are so dependent on everyone to fulfill their basic needs that sometimes they have a special view on what it means to be thankful, even if it’s just for the trivial things in life such as having a roof over their heads. Being thankful and showing it may be the single most important thing we do on Thanksgiving day!

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Thanksgiving meals are memorable

“Mashed potatoes and gravy anyone?” Kids love the Thanksgiving meal, and, really, who can blame them! Most grown-ups have a childhood memory of the mashed potatoes grandma used to make or of how mom use to cook the Thanksgiving meal filling the house with yummy aromas. Thanksgiving is your opportunity to create a meal that will be remembered for generations to come! Don’t stress over the menu, just cook with simplicity and love. Remember, more than cooking a massive meal, you are creating a memory.

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Thanksgiving family gatherings are fun (maybe)

This one is a bit difficult to accept. Yes, you may be dreading your mother-in-law’s visit but, remember the feeling of family gatherings when you were a kid? Oh! The joy of getting together with cousins, aunts and uncles, and running around the house building forts made out of pillows! OK, so, maybe you are not exactly going to be building pillow forts with your mother-in-law, but perhaps you can remind your heart of that feeling of honesty and acceptance that you once displayed towards your family when you were a kid. Live and enjoy the blessing of having family around you and be open to the possibility of being silly and having the childlike attitude of cheer. Who knows, the family gathering may actually turn fun!

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Thanksgiving is all about simplicity

Kids love Thanksgiving for the simple things this holiday brings: the yummy pumpkin pie, the turkey coloring sheets, and the family gathering around the table. As grown-ups, we get stuck with creating the right menu, having the house spotless, and making sure the bar is well stocked to put up with family. Perhaps we should learn from kids and realize that Thanksgiving should be about the simple things in life: having a warm and cozy home, food on the table and people to share it with.

Don’t over analyze Thanksgiving

Kids have this incredible capacity to act without over analyzing every little detail. While sometimes it gets them in trouble, sometimes acting without over analyzing allows them to experience life to the fullest. This Thanksgiving, don’t over analyze your life, your feelings, the menu, or your family. Simply enjoy the holiday for what it is: a time to eat, give thanks, and be merry!

Featured photo credit: Two little boys having fun with pumpkins on pumpkin patch on farm. Selective focus on one boy. via shutterstock.com

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Sarita King

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Truly Fulfilling Life?

Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Truly Fulfilling Life?

In Personal Development-speak, we are always talking about goals, outcomes, success, desires and dreams. In other words, all the stuff we want to do, achieve and create in our world.

And while it’s important for us to know what we want to achieve (our goal), it’s also important for us to understand why we want to achieve it; the reason behind the goal or some would say, our real goal.

Why is goal setting important?

1. Your needs and desire will be fulfilled.

Sometimes when we explore our “why”, (why we want to achieve a certain thing) we realize that our “what” (our goal) might not actually deliver us the thing (feeling, emotion, internal state) we’re really seeking.

For example, the person who has a goal to lose weight in the belief that weight loss will bring them happiness, security, fulfillment, attention, popularity and the partner of their dreams. In this instance, their “what” is weight-loss and their “why” is happiness (etc.) and a partner.

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Six months later, they have lost the weight (achieved their goal) but as is often the case, they’re not happier, not more secure, not more confident, not more fulfilled and in keeping with their miserable state, they have failed to attract their dream partner.

After all, who wants to be with someone who’s miserable? They achieved their practical goal but still failed to have their needs met.

So they set a goal to lose another ten pounds. And then another. And maybe just ten more. With the destructive and erroneous belief that if they can get thin enough, they’ll find their own personal nirvana. And we all know how that story ends.

2. You’ll find out what truly motivates you

The important thing in the process of constructing our best life is not necessarily what goals we set (what we think we want) but what motivates us towards those goals (what we really want).

The sooner we begin to explore, identify and understand what motivates us towards certain achievements, acquisitions or outcomes (that is, we begin moving towards greater consciousness and self awareness), the sooner we will make better decisions for our life, set more intelligent (and dare I say, enlightened) goals and experience more fulfilment and less frustration.

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We all know people who have achieved what they set out to, only to end up in the same place or worse (emotionally, psychologically, sociologically) because what they were chasing wasn’t really what they were needing.

What we think we want will rarely provide us with what we actually need.

3. Your state of mind will be a lot healthier

We all set specific goals to achieve/acquire certain things (a job, a car, a partner, a better body, a bank balance, a title, a victory) because at some level, most of us believe (consciously or not) that the achievement of those goals will bring us what we really seek; joy, fulfilment, happiness, safety, peace, recognition, love, acceptance, respect, connection.

Of course, setting practical, material and financial goals is an intelligent thing to do considering the world we live in and how that world works.

But setting goals with an expectation that the achievement of certain things in our external, physical world will automatically create an internal state of peace, contentment, joy and total happiness is an unhealthy and unrealistic mindset to inhabit.

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What you truly want and need

Sometimes we need to look beyond the obvious (superficial) goals to discover and secure what we really want.

Sadly, we live in a collective mindset which teaches that the prettiest and the wealthiest are the most successful.

Some self-help frauds even teach this message. If you’re rich or pretty, you’re happy. If you’re both, you’re very happy. Pretty isn’t what we really want; it’s what we believe pretty will bring us. Same goes with money.

When we cut through the hype, the jargon and the self-help mumbo jumbo, we all have the same basic goals, desires and needs:

Joy, fulfilment, happiness, safety, peace, recognition, love, acceptance, respect, connection.

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Nobody needs a mansion or a sport’s car but we all need love.

Nobody needs massive pecs, six percent body-fat, a face lift or bigger breasts but we all need connection, acceptance and understanding.

Nobody needs to be famous but we all need peace, calm, balance and happiness.

The problem is, we live in a culture which teaches that one equals the other. If only we lived in a culture which taught that real success is far more about what’s happening in our internal environment, than our external one.

It’s a commonly-held belief that we’re all very different and we all have different goals — whether short term or long term goals. But in many ways we’re not, and we don’t; we all want essentially the same things.

Now all you have to do is see past the fraud and deception and find the right path.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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