Creating space for mindfulness during the hectic holiday season can be challenging, but it is also one of the most important things we can do this time of year. The season surrounding Thanksgiving is hopefully a time for us to take a step back from our daily routine to reflect and be grateful. And what better way to do that than to spend time with family and friends?
Follow along for some fresh ideas on how to fill your plate with gratitude this week.
Begin the week of Thanksgiving by volunteering at a local food bank. Helping those in need get prepped for turkey day will help you adjust your mindset and remember the season for the season. I guarantee you'll leave the shelter, or wherever you choose to volunteer, appreciating what's in your pantry and on your plate that evening.
Next, consider hosting a Friendsgiving to celebrate those who may not have family nearby. Begin your feast with a signature cocktail and request that friends bring their families favorite dish to share with the group. This will not only help take some of the work off of your plate, but it will also allow friends to pass their traditions onto a new group of people. Recreating family recipes and sharing them with someone new allows us to memorialize those who have passed and reflect on wonderful childhood memories. Who knows, you might even discover a new favorite dish to share with your family!
If you are attending someone else's Thanksgiving giving, think about how you can show gratitude for the host. In addition to your assigned dish, consider bringing a hostess gift to your turkey day feast (that isn't food or drink related). Think of something that they would enjoy relaxing with after a big day of hosting and toasting. Some of my favorite suggestions are a large, luxury candle, a new coffee table book, or a board game to spark some family fun!
If you are hosting Thanksgiving, elevate your place card holders this year. Write or print everyone's names on the front, and on the back, type out a conversation starter. Here are a few examples....One person I met this year that made a positive impact on my life is _____ , or I am proud of myself this year because _____, or I admire the person sitting to my right because _____ . This will certainly help facilitate great conversation and you might learn something new about your family members.
If you're like most families, there is always an abundance of leftovers after the big feast. Before you head over to the couch for football or take down another piece of pumpkin pie, consider boxing up your leftovers and dropping them off a local homeless shelter. Your leftovers could be the best meal in a while for somebody in need.
And lastly, be sure to write thank you cards for not just your hosts, but those who you are thankful for! Wouldn't it be nice to receive a thank you card in the mail? I think so too.
Hopefully, this has inspired you to fill your plate with more than just the usual fixings this year. I am looking forward to generating goodness for family, friends and those in need all week. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!