Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you doing reading my blog today? How is your holiday going? Feeling stuffed like your turkey?

I find holidays to be filled with expectations that are rarely met. I once heard it said that an expectation is a premeditated grudge. With any holiday there are too many variables out of our control; for example, you never know what mood your relatives are in when they come versus that of when you first invited them. Some merely show up physically, but you wonder where they left their heart. They never fully invest in making a memory. A holiday is not like time cards with bonus points for clocking in for all of them. Holidays are about celebrations, people, conversations and discovery. So many holidays are centered on the food eaten and the games watched later. Rarely is there much development for depth of relationships, as you sit side by side with shallow talk interrupted with a few cheers here and there, never turning face to face. What could make the holidays different?

Take the time to fully show up. Ask your relatives questions about what has gone on this past year since you last saw them. Try asking, “Do you like what you do?” or “What was the highlight of your year?” If you have older, seasoned relatives around your table begin to ask the questions of yesterday that no one really knows. What about, “Tell me something about you I don’t know.” I personally love this question for any table at any time of year. For all ages it always opens up conversation with laughter and tears.  If you dig for gold you will find it.

Here are some tips to connect with others:

  • Ask to help.
  • Find someone to serve and then serve them their plate or something to drink.
  • Ask questions beyond, “How are you?”
  • Move around the group and not just stay with your normal comfort zone and age group.
  • Be all the way there. Don’t zone out or sleep. Enjoy the people connected to your life.
  • For one day, avoid the hot buttons of your family and find common ground.
  • Determine to include all and give yourself away as though the day depended on you.
  • Find some kind encouragement or compliment to give.
  • Do something outside the box just for fun.

My point is to simply give yourself  to the holidays. Thanksgiving is about taking the time to be grateful. Why not let everyone know specifically why you are grateful for them. Counting your blessings will take a long time if you realize the treasures surrounding you.  Try exchanging your expectations of the day for anticipating what gold can be found as you search for it in others.

Who said this year has to be like last year?

When you choose to look past the horizon… the sky is the limit!