23 Nov 8 Ways to Maximize Your Thanksgiving

thankful grateful blessedRecently, we hosted an event at the Wisconsin Athletic Club called “Giving Thanks to Our Seniors.” Together, we played trivia, listened to music, and ate lunch. We honored an 86-year-old king and an 87-year-old queen, who are the oldest respective male and female member. As people started to depart, I noticed that one table was continuing to enjoy their time together. Moments later, I casually invited myself into their conversation. As soon as I sat down, one person said to me, “Thank you for making us feel important. Thanksgiving is the best holiday of the year.” As the week went on, I heard a number of other people say, “Thanksgiving is the best holiday of the year.”

Your Best Memories from Thanksgiving

What do you remember about Thanksgiving? Outside of choking on some turkey that I forgot to chew in the early 90s, all of my Thanksgiving memories are positive. Looking back, I remember slowing down from the hustle and bustle, spending quality time with loved ones, and of course, packing in as much homemade food as was physically possible. Looking ahead, I pondered how we could make Thanksgiving the “best holiday of the year.”

8 Ways to Maximize Your Thanksgiving

  1. Mail. Think about an influential person in your life who you will not be seeing this Thanksgiving. Write that special person a handwritten note. Thank them for the positive difference that they made in your life. Send it in the mail.
  2. Move. When you feel yourself starting to doze, don’t head to the nearest bedroom. Instead, initiate some movement. Bundle up and go outside for 20 minutes to play catch with a relative or jump into a leaf pile with the kids.
  3. Meditate. Think deeply about all of your blessings. Write down 10 things for which you’re thankful. Don’t forget to write your name on the list first. Stop being so hard on yourself and appreciate you, too. Your loved ones don’t expect perfection.
  4. Mingle. Move freely and chat with the family introvert. Share one reason why you’re grateful for them.
  5. Match. Think about someone who always asks you questions and then really listens to you. This year, don’t just share information. Instead, intentionally make the holiday about them by asking and listening versus talking and telling more.
  6. Mend. Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to eliminate any competition about who’s right or wrong. Think about someone who has wronged you. Now, think about someone who you have wronged. Be the person who accepts full responsibility to repair one disagreement or broken relationship.
  7. Model. Lead by example and express gratitude. This year, don’t take anything or anyone for granted. Say thank you to the cook and dishwasher. Say thank you to the family member who checked in with you regularly throughout the year. Say thank you to the person who drove you there. Say thank you to your spouse for spending Thanksgiving with your family. Simply put, mind your manners.
  8. Meet. If you go shopping after lunch or dinner, reach out your hand to someone standing alone and introduce yourself.  Then, casually compliment them. Or if they are behind you in line at Starbucks, buy them a coffee. In doing these simple acts, you’ll likely make someone’s day that may not have had the opportunity to celebrate with loved ones.


How will you make the BEST of your Thanksgiving?

While all of us will be with different people and choose different things to do, we can all be grateful. Relax, have fun, laugh, take pictures and videos, enjoy food and drinks, hug your loved ones, and strive to make this your best Thanksgiving ever.

ACTION: Look back at the ways to maximize your Thanksgiving. Circle the top 3 ways that you want to try out at your celebration this year. Finally, take action and make this Thanksgiving “the best holiday of the year.”


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