Christmas is my favorite time of year!
I’m not sure which one of these I love the most during this season - the music, the lights, the fresh Christmas tree every year, the good moods everyone is in, or the cool weather! This week of Christmas, we're actually supposed to be getting several days of rain and crisp weather! Even in Arizona! Sweet!
For many years, I’ve enjoyed a tradition where I begin listening to Christmas music right after Thanksgiving, making the Brown Sugar Cookies I’ve made since I was 10 yrs old, the feeling of gratitude I feel, and viewing a series of Christmas videos and choral videos, beginning December 1, or so. Some are even filmed in black & white, which I love!
Let’s begin with the importance of gratitude in our lives, during the holiday season, as well as throughout the year.
Do I always exhibit the feeling of gratitude? No. But when I focus on the right things versus the crummy ones in my life, I’m much happier.
So, what is an Attitude of Gratitude, why is it important and how do we go about creating it and making it a daily habit?
What is an Attitude of Gratitude? Best-selling author Lewis Howes writes extensively about cultivating a grateful mindset in his highly-inspirational new book, The School of Greatness. As Howes simply says, "Life is better if you develop an attitude of gratitude." I would add - it’s simply being thankful for everything in your life.
Howes continues, "If you concentrate on what you have, you'll always have more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you'll never have enough."
An Attitude of Gratitude is imperative to both our health and overall recovery. Try taking a few minutes at the beginning and end of each day to write down what you are grateful for - repeat - every day for one year, and you will see a huge change in your emotions and life.
MUSIC I love:
A Robert Shaw Christmas
Robert Shaw Philharmonic & Chorus
Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas
Michael Crawford Christmas
The Boys of St. Paul's Choir School Christmas
Johnny Mathis Christmas
Barbara Streisand Christmas
Vince Gill Christmas
VIDEOS I Love! (All are now on Prime Video)
A Christmas Carol DVD (b/w version with Reginald Owen) (1938)
Christmas in Norway with the St. Olaf Choir (DVD & CD) (2013)
Luciano Pavarotti at The Historic Montreal Notre-Dame Basilica (1978)
It’s A Wonderful Life! (Jimmy Stewart & Donna Reed) (1946)
Love Actually (2003)
The Bishop’s Wife (Cary Grant, Loretta Young & David Niven) (1947)
Tonight I want to tell you a story of an empty stocking.
Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child’s cry.
A blazing star hung over a stable, and Wise Men came with birthday gifts.
We haven’t forgotten that night over the centuries.
We celebrate with the stars on Christmas trees.
With the sound of bells, and with Christmas gifts.
And especially with gifts.
You give me a book.
I give you a tie.
Aunt Martha had always wanted an orange squeezer.
And Uncle Henry could do with a new pipe.
We forget no one.
And all the stockings are filled.
That is, all except one.
And we’ve even forgotten to hang it up.
The stocking for the child born in a manger.
It’s his birthday we’re celebrating.
And lest we never forget that.
Let us ask ourselves what he would wish for most?
And then, each put in his share.
And the stretched out hand of tolerance.
All these shining gifts make...
PEACE ON EARTH!
< Excerpt from The Bishop’s Wife, 1947 >