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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 January 3, 2020

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

 I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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