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