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Now that the holiday season is in full swing, I can share my thoughts that I meant to post last week, but never got around to doing so.  It seems to me that every year the Christmas season inches its way back on our calendars and consumes our lives.  Everywhere we turn there are Santas, snowflakes, and glowing lights of red and green. I think that Starbucks now sells peppermint mochas starting  in September!  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love everything about Christmas and what it stands for – but is it really necessary to start playing “Joy to the World” in the stores the day after Halloween?  In years past, I fondly remember the Christmas season commencing the day after Thanksgiving. In fact, the first time Santa made an appearance to kick off the joyous season was on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.  As kids, we would watch the entire parade just to catch a glimpse of Santa in his sleigh riding through the streets of New York City.  However – this is 2011 people!  These days, the Halloween masks are removed, rotting pumpkins are tossed in the trash and the red and green lights glow bright. I feel that the truth of the matter really is that the retail world is driving the Christmas season down our throats, attempting to stimulate the economy and make more money; having kids sit on Santa’s lap on November 1st!!  Skipping right over my favorite holiday of all – Thanksgiving. 

There are so many reasons that I love Thanksgiving – a time to be with family while football is on TV; to reflect on what we are thankful for; sit by a fire and sip on Baileys & coffee; play football in the backyard; eat so much pumpkin pie that it hurts; enjoy numerous glasses of wine and laugh with family and friends.  Yes, Thanksgiving in my world seems to represent the “picture perfect” holiday.  I do spend time reflecting more than usual on the things in my life I am thankful for.  I do try to start every other day of the year waking and thinking about at least one thing that I am grateful to have in my life – it is great way to get the day started right. But I suppose for me, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to spend some “extra” time reflecting on things like……

This year I am thankful for the health of my family; the fact that my kids are thriving and happy; the sounds of their laughter; my husband, who is my best friend and stands by me through thick and thin; my mom – I have so many friends who have lost a parent too early & even though she drives me crazy sometimes, I am so incredibly blessed to have a mom like her; my dad – who drives me nuts for other reasons, but I know loves me and wants the best for me always; Nelson, Stacy, Graham, Jody, Cathy – all whom have been there for me this year when I needed them the most; my mother in law, who has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I have ever known; and my true girlfriends  – I can’t imagine not having their beauty, wisdom, motivation and influence in my life.

I am thankful for our family vacations this year – feeling the sand on my toes and sweat running down my back in line for Space Mountain; having the opportunity to inspire and motivate people through healthy eating and exercise; starting Fit Envy; the endless amounts of positive energy that have flown into my life through inspirational people, books, seminars and opportunities; and the fact that my husband has a job and I am able to put delicious healthy food on our table every night.  I am grateful for our troops who protect our freedoms everyday; the opportunity to volunteer at my kids’ school; for the women I have met through Make A Wish; for living near family so that my kids can ride their bikes to see their aunt, uncle & cousins.

I could go on but point being, I think it is important to live a life of gratitude and concentrate our positive energies on the blessings that we have.  It’s the people and relationships that matter in our lives, not the property and possessions.  The more love we give, the more we get in return.  This is the perfect time of year to reflect and start making it a habit to think everyday upon waking, about at least one thing we are thankful for. 

“A resourceful person can see opportunity when others see obstacles.”  – Garrett Gunderson

“No matter how good or bad you think life is, wake up each day and be thankful for life. Someone somewhere else is fighting to survive.”- Unknown

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