Sixth Day of Christmas -Christmas Count Down
Day 6 – Christmas Count Down
Christmas is a time of giving and giving thanks. This year, let your gratitude show.
When things are going well and the sun is shining on our faces it is easy to be be thankful for what we have and express gratitude. However, when we are facing personal challenges and life is like wading though treacle we often ask ourselves “why me?” We look across the fence and are envious of the ease with which our neighbour sails through life. Last year when my son died, I hated everyone. I wanted what they had – a healthy family gathered around the Christmas dinner table. I wanted others to share in my misery and feel my pain. Gratitude! Hardly something I thought I would ever feel again. A year on and while the pain of loss overwhelms many days I am grateful for the gift of his life ( despite it being cut short). My son, Nick, was a joy to be around and always tried to come home and celebrate Christmas with me. I am grateful for my extended family who have extended love and support at the time of the tragedy and throughout this year. At Christmas I am also reminded how deeply and completely God loves me – sending his only son to ensure our salvation.
Gratitude is the simple act of being thankful. Showing appreciation for something someone has done or given to you. Or even gratitude for the opportunities that have come you way, the right to attend church and worship freely or the health and wealth that you enjoy. Taking time to appreciate the small things like someone making you a cup of coffee or a bird song in the morning. The art of Gratitude At Christmas (www.rewireme.com) offer a number of suggestions on how you might sow gratitude to those closest to you at the festive time of year. My pick from the list is writing a simple thank you note (posted or left on the fridge door) that acknowledges what you appreciate about that person. A written letter/card is something the recipient can take away and treasure or bring out when feeling down.
This week I am especially grateful for the opportunity to spend time in nature. I am an avid bird watcher having joined a bird anatomy and bird watching group late this year. Yesterday, I was thrilled when I was fortunate enough to see two Tawny Frogmouth Owls perched in a tree just above my car. They are vey secretive birds and their brown colouring camouflaged them well in the foliage of the tree. I took a photo with my phone but it did not turn out too well. Today, Isabel and I went to the beach and we found a couple of Hermit Crabs. Cute little creature who tickles your hand as he comes out of his shell. What aspects of the natural environment bring a smile to your face?
# Gratitude at Christmas
- List 5 people in your life who are difficult to get along with – write down at least one quality for each that you are grateful for.
- Who has done something this week to help you or make you life easier? How can you show your appreciation?
- What elements of nature are you grateful for and why?
- Write a letter to someone who has positively impacted your life, however big or small.
- When is the last time you laughed uncontrollably – relive that memory.
- In the United States of America they celebrate Thanks Giving Day. I would love to hear from someone about this tradition, how it came about, how it is celebrated and weather it is celebrated universally in the country.
Today was beach day. The temperature was a very warm 34 degrees Celsius. Not a cloud in the sky and only a slight breeze. By the time Isabel and I got to the beach the tide was out but not enough to stop us from doing a bit of snorkelling. The water temperature was a refreshing and clear enough to allow us to see the many small fish swimming in the rock enclosure called the basin. The colourful tropical fish were not afraid of us and swam around in schools nipping at our toes as we floated across the lagoon. We spotted several Hermit crabs which we collected up on our hands and teased out of their shells. Of course we put them back when we left. As the tide turned and the cool water came back over the wall we decided it was time to make tracks and go home. I love the beach. It soothes my soul and mind.
Letter writing is a tired and true technique for recording the context of your life (what you have done) and the feelings that life evokes. Letters can to be to a future self or past self; to friend or foe; to pet or object. The letter does not have to be sent. It is just a way of getting words out of your head and on to the page. So the Prompt suggesting you write to someone who has positively impacted your life does not have to leave you journal. The action of writing thank you will fill your heart with gratitude and the associated benefits.
Goodbye Bagara Beach. We are on the road again tomorrow, travelling up the Queensland coast to Mackay It's about 800 km so a big day in the car. Writing is going to be a late nigh activity I think. Hope you are writing your own Christmas story this year in your journal. thanks for joining me over this December.
Cheers till tomorrow.