Designed for Gratitude

Here we are, at the cusp of Christmas and now ladling out the last of Thanksgiving’s leftover-turkey-soup. It’s amazing how the pace of these holidays take us by surprise, despite our best attempts to plan and prepare. It’s also rather jolting how easily a rich spirit of gratitude at Thanksgiving shifts to a spirit of insatiable want at Christmas. We’re conditioned for this to happen, and we enjoy it, both being thankful and also wanting more!

So, what if for Christmas we wanted a spirit of gratitude?  What if our expressions of gratitude brought peace on earth?  What would that look like?

Giving starts with what you have.

What are your resources? A parent with small children without the luxury of volunteering time but with the creativity of her little ones could look like handmade cards for soldiers overseas through Give 2 The Troops. A designer, ahem, may offer a few hours of time for a consultation at a benefit for not-for-profits such as Habitat for Humanity or Home Repair Services. Homeowners with an excess of furniture can donate to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore or Goodwill. However you chose to give, listen to your heart.  If that last mailing from Smile Train has been tugging your heartstrings, a donation for a simple surgical procedure can be nothing short of life-altering.  It’s utterly mind-blowing how far our smallest resources and acts of gratitude will go. Pushing yourself to do or give more than what you have will break down the restorative purpose of giving by compromising your health, your sanity, and ultimately your joy.

Giving goes on.

It takes more than a holiday to master a discipline of giving. Giving may not be monetary, or physical, or even an outward expression of thanks.  Giving, when boiled down to its very essence begins with a spirit of gratitude. A gratitude journal, noting our everyday blessings, is a great way to refocus our selfishness to selflessness. In turn, that change of spirit will naturally change our actions.                                                              

Alas, it is better to give than to receive, when we inherit peace on earth in our giving with a grateful heart. Gratitude both begins with joy and brings joy. Joy to the world!

Merry Christmas from your friends at Jennifer Butler Interior Design!