In an hour one of my favorite Christmas Eve traditions begins. Our local public broadcasting radio station will gift local listeners with the Festival of Carols from Kings College in Cambridge. I’m thankful that I will be able to enjoy this lovely choir right here in my own home.
In fifteen minutes I will stop for breakfast, delicious muesli faithfully made by my husband every single week. I’m thankful for the time he takes and for a life in which food is always present.
At this very moment I am sitting in my cozy house, working in my study that overlooks a waterway populated by birds and occasionally alligators. I am so grateful that I was gifted to live in this lovely place and to be able to do the things I love most, like write this blog and share it with you.
I am also thankful for my morning paper. In the midst of grimmer news I found an article today entitled 7 Ways Saying Thanks Can Alter your Life. It’s an article worth reading in its entirety.
Gratitude, it seems, is a mood-booster, a relationship-strengthener, an aid in bouncing back after life’s inevitable setbacks. It’s also good for your grades, for fighting depression, for achieving goals and for elevating your social standing. That last one needs an explanation, I think. According to one study people who are the most grateful also have the greatest capacity for empathy—-which means their friends and colleagues find them more helpful and generous.
I can’t imagine a better use of this day than to remember all the things for which we are grateful. Not because of what gratitude can give us personally, but for what we, as grateful people, can give those around us.
We may or may not believe in a Virgin birth, wise men coming from the east, shepherds visited by angels. But I hope that the spirit of this season, whichever traditions we choose to celebrate, remains with us throughout the coming year. And what better place for that spirit to take root than with a simple “thank you.”
I am grateful for all of you, for your support of my novels, your wonderful comments here, your participation on my Facebook Page. I wish each of you a happy holiday filled with gratitude and love.