You know what’s really unfortunate? Once the cold weather hits, it’s like everyone is in the Christmas mood. Stores are decorated for the holidays already, Bath and Body Works breaks out all of the holiday scents, and Santa is posing at the mall for pictures. I’m all for listening to Christmas music and getting in the spirit, but everyone forgets that Thanksgiving even exists. Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday. It’s not about gifts. It’s simply about getting together with the people who love you the most so you can reflect on all of the things you have and express gratitude. If you’ve neglected to notice that Thanksgiving is approaching so soon, here are a few beautiful things to be thankful for and get you in a grateful mindset.
No matter what, your family is there for you through the good and the bad. I love Thanksgiving because it brings everyone together. You can tell your cousin that their smile makes your day. Remind your mom that she’s your best friend. Be sure to hug your brother and let him know that you miss him so much while you’re away. It’s moments like these that mean the most to us in the end. Prepare your Polaroid camera for some emotional moments!
College is a time of discovery. Along your journey, you’ve made so many new friends and expanded old friendships. How often do we tell our friends that they mean more to us than they know? Invite your friends over for Friendsgiving before you head home to be with family. Buy some cute dishes and have everyone prepare their favorite Thanksgiving dish. Start some conversation about why that dish means so much to you/why it’s your favorite. You’re bound to learn something new about your friends!
We move so quickly in our day-to-day lives that it’s easy to forget that the leaves are changing and cute little critters are coming out of hiding. Take a walk and appreciate the beauty around you. If you’re artistic, paint or draw a scene that you found particularly compelling. Or if you’re not feeling artistic, bring a journal and write down your thoughts. Describe the moment and how you feel in detail. Try to make this a weekly practice of gratitude.
School can be tough, but we go to one of the most beautiful and inspiring universities in the country. I’m so proud to say that I go to the University of Notre Dame. We’re pushed to grow as individuals every day, but it’s also a sanctuary for students to form a family. Not all schools are like that. We’re so lucky that we can trust the people around us to protect us and make sure we’re safe. Stop stressing over work and realize how blessed you are to be here!
Do you have a significant other or a special someone you’re passionate about? Chances are you probably tell them you love them every day. But do something special to let them know how much they truly mean to you. Share your favorite photos of both of you together with them. Write them a poem expressing your love. Even spend just one night in a silent room with no distractions and talk about all of the wonderful moments you’ve had together. Nothing you do has to be elaborate. You should just show that you care.
The Color Pink
This is about to get a little less serious. But I truly don’t know what I’d do without the color pink. It’s a symbol of hope! What would we do without hope?! We probably don’t realize how much color impacts us. It can change the way we think about certain situations. Marketers often use certain colors in their advertisements to spark interest and certain feelings. Do a little internal exam and think about your favorite color. REALLY focus on it and think about the way it makes you feel. You’re welcome.
What better way to celebrate than to have a holiday that’s all about sharing good food? The combination of wholesome turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing makes my belly growl. I’m so thankful that my family cooks well because I can’t even make instant mac and cheese. So when you bite into those green beans and pumpkin pie, remember someone made those for you out of the love in their heart. Love tastes so good.
Think back on your life so far. Have you traveled out of the country? Did you take a weekend trip that changed your life or even made you happy for the briefest moment? Going to new places opens up our minds to possibility and increases our sense of discovery. Personally I’m thankful that my family gave me the opportunity to travel to France and Italy in high school. That opportunity enhanced my love for languages and I was bit by the traveling bug. Traveling is such a wonderful experience for the soul. Take a little trip when you have the time. It doesn’t have to be far. You’ll realize that travel can be one of the best forms of expressing gratitude for what the world has to offer.
Do I have to elaborate?
Hey, you were made the way you were for a reason. That’s something to celebrate! Stop comparing yourself to everyone around you. You are a beautiful, strong, independent individual who is worthy of love and compassion. Reflect on all of the things about yourself that you adore. Is it your eyes? The tiny gap between your top teeth? The way you can ace a calculus exam like no other and look amazing at a party in the same day? You do you, girl. Be proud of how far you’ve come. Embrace your flaws. Every part of you is as beautiful as you make up your mind to be.
That’s all for now. I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving, whether you’re spending it with friends on campus or going home for a visit. Remember that expressing gratitude can truly make all the difference.