Welcome To Gratitude Week! Decompress and Reconnect Before Holiday Hysteria Kicks In

November 25, 2013

Welcome to Day 1 of Week of Gratitude!  This week, you can look forward to posts to cultivate gratitude in your life before holiday hysteria kicks in- with free printables, activities and inspiration! Sound good? Read on:

 

Week Of Gratitude- reset your life before the crazy holidays with a week to decompress, get inspired and reconnect with gratitude (frugalbeautiful.com)

& Be Sure To Check Out Other Participating Bloggers For Great Content This Week!:

My Life Well Loved /  Empowered Dollar  / School of Moxie  / Frugal Portland /  Through Heather’s Looking Glass

 

The holiday season can be a time of stress, consumerism and emotional overwhelm as the pressure to buy, visit, decorate and travel non-stop from Thanksgiving until the end of December.  Needless to say, it’s a crazy month that leaves most of us with a social hangover that can be prevented with a quiet week of reflection, cultivation and gratitude.

So, why have a week of gratitude?

Nothing drives the point of having a week of gratitude more than thinking of Black Friday.  The day after we spend a day giving thanks and supposedly enjoying the company of our loved ones- as a nation, we rush out before the food has even digested and wait in lines to buy tons of stuff for a bargain.  Black Friday seems like a great day for frugality, but it’s a day for blind consumerism and the timing couldn’t feel more ironic to me.

When I was little, my Gram told me that when she was young, she looked forward to getting an apple and and orange on Christmas morning.  While I realize that she grew up in hard times, the idea of simplicity is more than a romanticized ideal for me.  Growing up, our family was in horrible consumer debt- Christmas was a time of masked shame for me.  We were actually dirt poor, well, worse than dirt poor- we were living in thousands of dollars of consumer debt in a trailer park and I remember my mother tried to hide that from everyone by buying lots of “Walmart junk” on credit.

We had lots of “stuff” but I remember even as a girl, there seemed to be a lot of waste.  After the holidays, reality always set in- none of the “stuff” was really ours, we owed it all to credit card companies and the financial stress brought more strain to the holidays than joy.

When I got older and started to contribute to the family during the holidays, my fondest memories were not of the shopping but of the simple times together.  I remember when I was 16 and my Gram went upstairs for her nap.  I’d sneak the decorations out and set them up as quickly as I could to surprise her before she woke up, just to see the look of joy on her face that “Christmas arrived.”  I remember our failed cooking attempts and writing holiday cards.  I remember the smells of holiday baking and the simple joy of getting that one thing I really wanted, not a hoard of “stuff,” that made an impact- thoughtfulness, it seems, still says with me.

So, before the craziness of the holidays kick in- let us take a week to simply hit “reset.”

It’s a sort of “fasting to appreciate the feast,” in order to appreciate what we already truly have, instead of perusing more.  This week, bloggers will be chiming in with their contributions to Gratitude Week on their respective blogs.

On FrugalBeautiful.com Tune In For:

–  Free Printables To Cultivate A Grateful Holiday Season

– Crafts & Easy Inspiration

– Ways To Have More & Spend Less

– How to Start A Gratitude Journal

 

In the meantime, enjoy this free printable! Just print it at home and pop it into an 8×10″ frame ($2.99 from Target)

Click below to download as an easy-to-print PDF:

Gratitude Turns What You Have Into Enough- Free Printable From FrugalBeautiful.com

{ Download The Gratitude Turns What You Have Into Enough- Free Printable From FrugalBeautiful.com }

 

 

9 comments so far.

9 responses to “Welcome To Gratitude Week! Decompress and Reconnect Before Holiday Hysteria Kicks In”

  1. E.M. says:

    As I have gotten older, family time has become more and more important to me. I’ve felt similarly about Christmas in the past – my parents always had consumer debt, and in the years where money was especially tight, I always felt extremely guilty when they got me something that wasn’t on my list or that I didn’t like. Even though I think Christmas is about much more than gift giving, I went all out last year and my parents were so happy upon seeing all the presents under the tree. The experience made it worth it to me, and I made sure to only get them things I knew they wanted. This year, I’m just grateful they’re visiting for a week, as they moved away earlier this year and I can’t imagine Christmas without them!

  2. So awesome, looking forward to this week’s posts!

  3. Mary Ann says:

    I am grateful for you. 🙂 Big ((HUGS)) to you!

  4. Ashleigh says:

    What a great idea. I had this thought a few weeks ago when beginning to see all of the ads for Thanksgiving as well as the constant parade of stores being open on Thanksgiving day. I think it a great idea to slow down and remind ourselves what this season is really about. Great post!

  5. I love the idea of having a whole week of gratitude rather than one day. It’s true that holiday season has become one of consumerism and spend, spend, spend. It’s a shame because as you point out, the best memories and moments are those spent surrounded by loved ones.

    Growing up, I actually had the exact opposite situation to yours. My family was incredibly wealthy when I was young. But I cannot remember for the life of me ever getting a holiday gift or realizing that we were well off… My family didn’t believe in allowing us to feel spoiled or ever take anything for granted. It made me into who I am today, but at the same time, it was never easy to see all my friends get dozens of gifts while I got nothing..

    Kudos to you Shannyn for this initiative!

  6. I love how we’re taking this week to pause and be grateful before the holiday mayhem. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  7. Great post! Thanks for including me. Mine is going up tomorrow!

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