’Tis The Season To Appreciate Life

Jade Moon
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Wednesday - November 17, 2010
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Blessed are those who can give without remembering and receive without forgetting. - Author Unknown

Thanksgiving: next week! Christmas: right around the corner! Surely there’s been a mistake. We cannot be ready to pack up 2010 so soon after we started, can we? Didn’t I just write that column about taking down the tree? Seems like yesterday. And, actually, the big department stores have been teasing us with subliminal “get ready” messages since before Halloween. The traditional Christmas colors, the familiar displays - hey, you don’t have to say the “C” word, we see what’s happening!

OK, glass half-full girl here - I know people grumble that the holidays are commercial and arrive too quickly and we spend too much money, blah, blah, blah. And I know that the older we get, the quicker the holidays descend upon us. There’s truth to that. The early retail displays are annoying as heck.


But ... truth? I love the holidays. Love them. There are many reasons, but right at the top I have to say I love them because of the reasons they give us to stop, reflect and most of all, to give thanks.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. - Melody Beattie

This is the time of year to slow down a bit and take stock of the best parts of our humanity: generosity, inclusiveness and love. It’s time to immerse ourselves in family matters, to be with friends, to extend a hand and to make lives better. A large part of that is remembering that we owe a debt to people who have helped us.

Every time we remember to say “thank you,” we experience nothing less than heaven on earth. - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Somebody I know recently asked, “What does it mean to be happy? How do I know when I’m happy?” Is being content the same as being happy? Is happiness an extreme emotional state, or is it merely the absence of misery?

I wish I had an answer for her. I guess I would tell her: It depends. What’s made me happy has changed through the years. Not for better or for worse, but depending on life and circumstances and job and living arrangements and wisdom accumulated through the years. There has been one constant: people. Whether parents, siblings, friends, lovers, husband or child, it’s the people that have made me happiest. It’s not a cliché. It’s simply the truth.


So often we dwell on the things that seem impossible rather than on the things that are possible. So often we are depressed by what remains to be done and forget to be thankful for all that has been done. -Marian Wright Edelman

We’re always busy. That’ll never change. What changes is how we choose to prioritize and whether we allow ourselves the luxury of slowing down, in order to appreciate what - and mostly who - we have in our lives.

Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone!

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