Where Did the Gratitude Go?


I wonder how many of us really focus on the people and blessings we’re grateful for at Thanksgiving? I would hope that most people think more about being grateful than not, but as Thanksgiving rolled to a close and the shopping frenzy began, I wondered where the gratitude went? 

Last night and this morning, the news reports rolled in about the people who used pepper spray to get to the merchandise they were after and the people who were shot by people trying to rob them of their purchases. What happened? Do you think these people shared Thanksgiving dinner with family and/or friends in gratitude? 

I cannot fathom wanting any material goods that would cause me to harm someone. I don’t understand this mindset or how things have gone so wrong in the season that is supposed to revolve around love, peace, joy and gratitude.

How do we turn back to a simpler holiday season when shopping and gifts took a backseat to what was really important: family, friends and time together? How did we allow retailers to twist our priorities and change our focus as a society?

As we approach Christmas and the New Year, I pray we can carry the gratitude of Thanksgiving forward. I pray we can remember the magnificence of our Lord and Savior’s birth, and keep our priorities straight. I pray that we take time daily to think about and spend time with the people in our lives who matter and what we can do to help, support and encourage them, rather than stressing and overspending on gifts that don’t really matter in the end.

I am not some humbug person who is against giving gifts. I love to be able to give gifts to those I love and see a smile, but to be completely honest I would much rather receive time with those I love than anything that can be wrapped in a box. If you also feel your family and friends are more important than something under the tree, really take the time in the next few weeks to make gratitude the focus. Share with those less fortunate, offer assistance and time to a loved one and give yourself permission to be released from the retail pressure, and you will experience the best holiday season ever.

About the Author

Angil Tarach-Ritchey RN, GCM is a national expert in senior care. With more than 30 years experience in senior care and advocacy, Angil is very passionate about eldercare and is well respected in her field.

Since 2002, Angil has owned Visiting Angels, a private duty homecare agency in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

For my readers

What are you most thankful for this holiday season?

How do you show your gratitude toward those who mean the most to you?

Have you fallen into the trap of being one of the shoppers at the mall on Black Friday?

What do the holidays mean to you and your family?

E-mail me at jcbourne@comcast.net and share your holiday memories, and I may just use them for a blog post!! 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Where Did the Gratitude Go?

  1. 1) I’m thankful my kids choose to spend so much time at home and that they’re comfortable enough to bring their friends here as well.
    2) I’ve always believed in telling people exactly how I feel, my friends and loved ones know I am grateful they are in my life.
    3) This year was the first time I’d joined Black Friday shopping in over 5 years. I did it because it started at midnight. I stood in line for 1.5 hours and probably won’t go out again next year. The savings are not worth the lack of sleep to me.
    4) Holidays mean time off that can be focused on my family. My kids still look forward to getting something special but that’s mostly because they only get things on their birthdays and Christmas. I’ve never been focused on material things, so they’re far from spoiled.

    Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

    • Thanks for your comments about what the holidays mean to you Pat. I always love hearing about people’s favorite holiday memories and stories they have. This year’s really special for our family because it may be the last Thanksgiving and Christmas my grandfather has left with the ones who love him the most. It breaks my heart seeing him dying, and I cried for ten minutes before we left their house Thursday night, and again for about five minutes yesterday morning talking to my mom. Cherish the time you have with your family, Pat. I’d really love to hear more about what the holidays mean to you and perhaps feature your thoughts on the blog. If you’re interested, shoot me an e-mail.

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