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Winning Words

Moving forward from Thanksgiving, a gratitude challenge can be rewarding


This year there are exactly 32 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I know I just stated the obvious and probably upset those who are never quite ready for Christmas, regardless if we were 32 days away or three days away.

With our Thanksgiving leftovers almost finished, Black Friday behind us, and now well on our way into the Christmas holiday zone, it’s time to gear up and step up our pace to meet the oncoming Christmas train head-on.

I mean the Christmas music seems like it has already been playing for months, sales are everywhere, parking lots are jam-packed, so I guess it is time to shop. By the way, did you ever wonder why the stores do not play Thanksgiving music?

And as much as we shared our gratitude just last week and vowed to spend more quality time with our friends and family, maybe all of those nice words and best of Thanksgiving intentions have been swept up in the madness of the December Dash.

Now I know we are all working crazy hours to try and finish the year. Some of us are even working two or more jobs to fulfill Christmas wish lists.

So throwing anything else into the mix may be too much to ask, right? Maybe, but then again maybe not, as what I am suggesting is just one small gesture of gratitude each day as we go into December and into the New Year. Who knows, it may be something that we can actually turn into a positive habit as well.

The challenge I am putting forth is to express just as much love and gratitude as we felt during Thanksgiving, and to carry those feelings and that philosophy into Christmas and beyond.

What if every day we found something to be grateful for? What if we shared with someone else just how much we appreciate them during the holiday season?

We can thank the cashiers, we can share our appreciation with the valet parking attendants, we can give up our close parking spot for someone who may need it more than we do, and we can be grateful for the mail carriers and delivery drivers who make sure our gifts arrive on time and who deliver our packages to us.

Thanksgiving the holiday may have ended last week, but the spirit of Thanksgiving should be a positive habit we strive to live by. It is so easy to get angry or caught up in the holiday mayhem, this is true.

But I have found that people who maintain the attitude of gratitude tend to have a much more pleasant holiday season, and their stress levels are reduced dramatically.

The reason for the season is not about how many gifts we buy and give away, or how many gifts we receive. The real reason for the season is found in the Christmas story.

It is found in the Hanukkah story. The real reason for the season is summed up in love and gratitude.

Do you have it in you to extend your gratitude and appreciation bucket beyond Thanksgiving?

Can we all try and walk with the halo effect of Thanksgiving as we enter into the season where we should naturally experience gratitude and appreciation, love and kindness, and goodwill towards all men and women? Will you personally accept this gratitude challenge?

Either way, I would love to hear all about your own December Dash between Thanksgiving and Christmas or Hanukkah at gotonorton@gmail.com.

And when we can extend the spirit of gratitude and appreciation and make it a habit to live by, it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a resident of Castle Rock, the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation, a strategic consultant and a business and personal coach.


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