So, how was your week?
For those who are celebrating Christmas, we're guessing it was just a bit more hectic and intense than other weeks might have been this year! Are we right?!
It might have been your last week of work; your children may have had their school graduations and started school holidays; you may have even graduated from University yourself!
Then on top of this, you need to plan and manage the Christmas day preparations and answer questions like; whose place are we having Christmas day at? What’s on the Christmas menu? Who has food allergies? How many mouths do I have to feed? What gifts have I got and do I still need to buy?
This time of year can be a spectacular time of year, but also in some ways a stressful one – we hear you!
With so much going on and preparations still to finish, it can be easy to forget about the personal and emotional side of Christmas. These days in Australia we feel there is much more focus on the materialistic side of Christmas, rather than the emotional side.
For some, Christmas time isn’t such a magical time - it might even be the loneliest time of the year.
Some parents might also feel guilty that they can't afford the gifts they want to give their children.
With this in mind though, we can still give one of the most important gifts of all this Christmas.
We can give the gift of Gratitude.
At herparade, we love the idea of gratitude because it is free, it doesn’t cost a dollar. All it requires is just your time and effort. By practicing gratitude, there is also absolutely nothing to lose. You make yourself happier, by helping make others feel happier - which makes you feel great!
Research has proven that gratitude is great for your mental health, and we believe it is also great for your soul.
Below we have put together four ways you can give the gift of gratitude this Christmas:
1. Write meaningful Christmas cards with a message from the heart
Imagine how you would make someone feel by writing a Christmas message to them about how you feel about them and how grateful you are that they are in your life. Research has shown that writing letters of gratitude can have long lasting positive effects on your mental health.
2. Give a thoughtful gift that someone can cherish forever
What’s better than just any gift? Well - one that someone has put some thought and effort into. Giving a thoughtful gift can create beautiful memories that can last a lifetime. This could be giving someone a gift you know would mean a lot to them and help them. It could be a photo collage of unique memories you share, which would be a beautiful reminder of your friendship every day.
3. If you know someone who might not be surrounded by friends and family this year, invite them to your Christmas celebration AND insist on them to come!
Doing something nice for someone you care about is a way to express gratitude. Knowing that you changed a person’s day from a day of dread to a day they love is a pretty amazing feeling! Make this person feel comfortable to accept the invite, and do not take ‘no’ for an answer.
4. Instead of spending money on gifts, use that money to donate to a local charity
Helping a charitable cause can help you feel more grateful and in-turn good about yourself! It is a nice way to practice gratitude collectively, by organising your friends and family members to pool $funds together and donate to a local registered charity. Not only are you expressing gratitude, you are getting others involved and teaching the younger generation about giving to others less fortunate.
Gratitude can really be expressed at any time of the year, not just Christmas. But we think Christmas time is a perfect time to remind ourselves about taking active steps to show and practice gratitude.
Like nearly everything in our lives, being grateful is a decision we need to make and actively work towards.
How will you give the gift of gratitude this Christmas?
Merry Christmas to you and your family. We wish you all the happiness and health over the holiday season.
We hope you create memories you can cherish for years to come.
Herparade team x