While there are countless things that are awesome about this time of year, I think one of the best reminders of the holidays is that gratitude is important. Obviously, right? We have a full day dedicated to being thankful, and the Christmas/holiday season emphasizes giving & being grateful for what we receive. Gratitude is a fundamental part of the holidays.
So to honor this time of year and the theme of gratitude, I was originally going to write a list of the small things I’m thankful for. However, I consulted my best friend, Danielle (aka the queen of being grateful for all things, every day of the year), and she came up with a much better idea! When I asked her for her thoughts on gratitude, she shared with me this quote:
“Not what we say about our blessings, but what we do with them is the true measure of Thanksgiving.”
She explained that yes, being grateful for things is awesome, but if you’re just appreciative, what good does it really do? Sure, it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, but what if we turned our gratitude into action? Her example: she’s grateful to be graduating with a law degree in a few months, but if she doesn’t do anything good with that degree, is that really being grateful for it?
My discussion with Danielle really made me think. There are many, many wonderful things in my life that I’m thankful for, and yet I could probably be doing more with my gratitude for them. So this post is all about how to turn your gratitude into action. I’ve listed a few examples of things I’m thankful for & how I plan to use my gratitude to do something kind/good for others during the holidays. It’s the season of gratitude & giving, right?
Grateful for: My Family // Action: Offer my help
Listen, my family rocks. I sincerely lucked out in the family department. I’m talking about my immediate family (#famsquad) and my extended family alike. I’m extremely blessed to have such a warm & loving family who constantly supports and encourages me. But while I’m always the first to give a hug or say “I love you,” I could definitely do more to show my family that I appreciate them. So I’m going to make an effort to offer my time/help more often. Especially during the holidays when everyone is running around trying to get a million things done, calling your mom to see if she needs you to cook something for dinner or offering to pick something up from Target for your aunt would make a difference. Doesn’t have to be big–just a small gesture to let your family know that you appreciate them & have their back.
Grateful for: My Friends // Action: Send them a card
On a similar note, I’m ridiculously lucky to have my group of friends. I’m not sure what I did to deserve such amazing people in my life, but I truly have the best friends I could ever ask for. For those living in Philly, I attempt to see them often & for those living farther, I try to call and catch up every few weeks. But this holiday season, I want to send my friends handwritten cards. Not only are handwritten cards one of my simple joys, they show that I care. And who doesn’t love getting a random handwritten note in the mail? Find a cute card & take a few minutes to write them a note about how much you love them.
Grateful for: My Education // Action: Donate
Hi, if you know me, I am obsessed with Villanova. Legitimately obsessed. Beyond the incredible memories and friends, Villanova also gave me (and is continuing to give me) an amazing education. I don’t think I appreciated my education until after I graduated and started grad school. To ensure other students have the same amazing experience that I did, I plan to donate to Villanova/its programs. Of course, as a recent grad, donating to a place that you’re still paying off loans for doesn’t really seem fun, but even the smallest amount goes toward future students. Also, some schools will allow you to donate to specific schools/programs/groups that you’re passionate about. Not into giving your alma mater $$? Donate books to your local library. Volunteer to tutor elementary school students. Education is definitely a privilege–all the more reason to be grateful for it and give back.
Grateful for: Coffee // Action: Pay it forward
This is such a little one, but I’m really thankful for coffee. As a former barista & working twenty-something, nothing brings me more joy than my morning coffee. Again, so simple, but I’m grateful for it. At some point during the next month, I’m going to offer to buy someone’s coffee. I’m going to take a wild guess that all the people standing in the Starbucks line with me also love coffee, so might as well pay it forward with a small act of kindness.
Grateful for: Yoga // Action: Attend a donation class
Yoga has become a very big part of my life during the past couple years. After every class, right after savasana, most teachers will encourage you to take a moment to express gratitude to yourself for getting on you mat (the hardest part tbh) & for all the amazing things your body does on and off the mat. Yoga has definitely made me more mindful/thankful in general, so I’d like to attend a donation class at some point. A lot of studios offer donation classes where the cost of the class goes directly to a specific cause. I love practicing anyways, might as well help others out at the same time!
What are you grateful for? How do you want to turn it into action? Leave me a comment below–I’d love to hear from you! &.