How to Truly Give Thanks at Home this Week

Giving Thanks: Thursday is More than Just a Day for Food and Football

Two friends giving thanks for each otherIn the United States, it’s Thanksgiving this week.  As we prepare delicious food, plan on parades and games, take the time to  give thanks  and acknowledge others in special ways, especially at home.

Do things for others without being asked. Go the extra mile to help clean, wash laundry, buy groceries. And get them something you know they will love.

If you’re skillful with tools, ask if you may fix things around the house of the one you’re visiting. Ask what needs to be done.

Listen to an older family member.  Ask questions and give them your full attention.  They don’t have it very often. Give thanks for their wisdom and knowledge.

Use touch to convey your thanks and love. Giving a shoulder rub can ease tension instantly. Hugging your mother will melt her heart.  Patting a child on the back and letting them know they did a good job elicits a smile.

Cook with love.  Make foods that you know people dear to you appreciate and crave.

Do something unexpected but highly appreciated. Perhaps bring a new game for the kids or take everyone outside on a nature walk.  Share photos of recent work you have done.  Interview family for a future archived family video.

Don’t take others for granted. If your family is small enough, write a hand-written card for each one letting them know what you specifically appreciate about them.

Turn off your devices and be present with others.

Enjoy your holidays by expressing gratitude from your heart.


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Overcoming the Stress of Holidays

Stress Express; Family Fighting

You Can Overcome Holiday Stress

All too often the pressure of meals, gift-giving, family dynamics and time management get to be too much.  Here’s how to prevent and beat that  holiday stress.
• Ask for help. If you are cooking a holiday meal, don’t do it all.  Be specific and ask each guest to bring something you need.  It will lighten your load and expense.

 Use your neighborhood grocery many will make all elements of your meal, or you can buy pre-made side dishes and desserts to save time and hassle.
• Do something untraditional- like Mexican or Italian

• Consider not doing the family thing.  A coaching client of mine was dreading the negativity that their family regularly spews at holiday functions.  I coached them to go on a vacation with their children.  It worked out great and everyone was relaxed.
• Put the battles aside for one day.  Vow to forgive and bite your tongue and change the conversation when it gets sensitive or controversial.

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©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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Express Gratitude for the Small Things

Acknowledge Each Other Regularly

Taking the time to thank your loved ones for their small acts of kindness goes a long way.  It’s a key to a good marriage, friendship or family.

Thank you notes keep employees Fired Up!Certainly, one spouse may do most of the cooking and the other take out the garbage, but sharing your appreciation of each other throughout the week can help keep the love alive.  Making requests, rather than demands, is far more effective at keeping the love flowing.

Be Aware of Your Own Gratitude

Consider keeping a gratitude journal, where you record 5 things you are grateful for each day.  Some days it may be your health, other days it may be your home and loved ones, sometimes it may be that you made it home safely after a grueling trip. What’s important is to acknowledge verbally that you have been blessed.  Some people prefer to do this once a week; either way is fine, so long as you acknowledge the good things in your life.

Gratitude teaches us not to take people or life for granted. It’s one of the lessons the great late Christopher Reeves shared when he spoke- to appreciate every moment while you have it.  He was a very smart man.



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 ©2011 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication 
or reprinting without permission and author reference
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Clean Up Your Emotional Junk

Release Your Anger Before the Holidays

With the holidays upon us, it is easy to let family anxiety come between you and your spouse or partner.  Emotional “junk”  like anger, frustration, petty annoyances, can  build up in your relationships  when you are not willing to talk about the issues. Fear about seeing family members can intensify the tension.Then one day, you explode, because they have all accumulated.

Often, this has the exact opposite effect than what you wanted.

Your partner is usually shocked and hurt and feels like this came out of nowhere. The solution is to mention the little things as they show up, make requests and own your reactions to things.
“I know this might sound petty, but it really bothers me when you leave the cap off the toothpaste. Could you please try to put it back it on?”

That is a reasonable request, shows your need and asks for a solution. Ask- not demand. Share your feelings, explain what bothers you and don’t blame. Encourage your spouse to share their petty annoyances, too and explain that your goal is to have a more loving relationship where stuff does not get in the way. If  you clean up the little things as they arise, you won’t have BIG problems later on.


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 ©2011 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication 
or reprinting without permission and author reference.



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Stress Free Holidays: Surviving the Family

At this time of year, there is celebration, anticipation and STRESS!@X$!  As wonderful as it is to get together with loved ones, it can also be a very difficult time for many of us emotionally.  Here are some tips for taking care of yourself.

1. Advance Food Prep– Do as much as you can in advance and even consider

• making dinner a potluck

• ordering the turkey already cooked (many supermarkets like Publix will cook your whole meal)

• not cooking a turkey-having a brunch instead (less work)

• have the family do a service project instead of cooking

2.Alcohol dynamics. In many families, alcohol aggravates the family issues.  Drunks can get loud, critical, mean, demeaning and embarrassing. Think about:

• an alcohol-free meal; use festive hot cider and interesting hot drinks

• serving punch which is lightly spiked instead of offering beer, wine & hard liquor

• serving coffee drinks which have very little alcohol

3. Let go of expectations and protect yourself. Let’s face it  – if  your parents/siblings have not approved of you, your choices, your job etc until now, they are not going to change.  Accept it and let go of the expectation that they will be different.  Instead, protect yourself, focus on what you love about them, keep the conversations light and steer clear of family battles.  If your parent or sibling starts to criticize you, say “This is a holiday- I would appreciate it if you would be kind.  If you can’t be nice, please don’t say anything.”  Then walk away.

4. Before the family comes:

• get lots of sleep- at least 7 hours a night before they arrive

• hire a cleaning person if you can afford it

• take a hot bath with Epsom salts

• mentally shield yourself with a spiritual shield, prayer, protection or light.

• meditate, pray and move into gratitude for your blessings.

Don’t let your family bring you down.  Choose to be positive and loving regardless of their behavior.  And if they are really that dysfunctional, skip the holiday. Go away and be with people who appreciate you.

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