“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward
Thanksgiving. Turkey Day. A Day of Football. Gobble-Gobble! Based on one’s personal experiences, emotions, memories, and so on, the meaning of Thanksgiving Day differs from person to person. To some people, Thanksgiving is a day to enjoy delicious foods and take a good nap afterwards. Others may look forward to football games or watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade on TV. Or, spending time with family may be the highlight for another person. Some may look forward to a day of shopping the following day, on Black Friday. For others, it may be a day of reflection and prayer. On the other hand, Thanksgiving Day may elicit feelings of sadness, for family members lost and nostalgic memories of a time or two long past. Past experiences color the perception of the true meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday.
In her speech at Classy Living Society’s recent 5th Annual Red Dress Gala, Founder LaShanda Pitts spoke about creating a gratitude board and encouraged each person in attendance to create one for themselves. Much like a vision board, a gratitude board chronicles those things – ordinary and extraordinary – to be grateful for in our lives. Wouldn’t it be special to spend a portion of Thanksgiving Day creating such a board, or even a handwritten list – outlining all of the things we are grateful for? What’s more, wouldn’t it be even more special if we could share the contents of that board or list with family or friends?
Thanksgiving. Blending the two words “thanks” and “giving” to name this special holiday connotes that being thankful is a gift to share and sharing that gift holds awesome potential. Sharing could mean we brighten another person’s day with our revelations. It could serve as a reminder for those with whom we share our list of the things they could also be grateful for. It may even demonstrate strength in our ability to be thankful for the situations and events that make us sad today. To be able to acknowledge that although we may have lost a loved one, for example, the bittersweet memories of that person make us grateful to have loved them. Maybe in our triumphs and tribulations, the gratefulness of it all can inspire others to #keepgoing, even if they perceive their future to look dark and cloudy today.
No matter what Thanksgiving means to you, this year, take a moment to share the gift of thankfulness and gratitude. Share words of appreciation and love and kindness for family and friends, neighbors and co-workers, the mailman, the bagger at the grocery store, the barista at the coffee shop. Acknowledging your own gratitude will uplift you, but the invincible power of sharing gratitude with another will speak volumes.
Join CLS in a charitable effort called “Love Thy Neighbor” on #GivingTuesday, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving Day. It is a global day of giving largely driven by the power of social media and collaboration. Find out more by clicking on the link: https://cls-volunteer.org/clsonthemove/givingtuesday-a-global-giving-movement/?mc_cid=578bf20643&mc_eid=eac76aa3f6
Happy Thanksgiving from Classy Living Society! Let this day begin a season of radical giving as we usher in a joyful Holiday Season!
Written by: Janine Lattimore, Editor in Chief