We are only a few short days away from Thanksgiving, and as we enter this week, we take time to reflect on what it truly means to be grateful and thankful for all that we have. Setting aside the stress of cooking the perfect meal or hosting our families and friends, we stay focused on what this day can mean for ourselves and others in our community. During the busy holiday season, we may not take the opportunities otherwise to see what really matters. Whether it is our families, friends, jobs, homes, or pets, we all have so much to be thankful for and to celebrate together.
Traditions can be celebrated throughout the year, but they are most prominent during the holidays. Traditions can be fun, comforting, and something to look forward to. Many think of Christmas when it comes to traditions, but Thanksgiving can be a time of tradition as well. It’s not always easy to define what it means to be grateful or thankful, so for our younger kids, we can implement the tradition of writing (or drawing) appreciation cards for two family members or friends. Another idea would be starting a gratitude tree; each leaf represents or states something they are grateful for. This can help to teach or build on the understanding of appreciating what we have.
As a family or individual, our traditions may change throughout the years and extend to include those in our community. We can simultaneously be thankful for what we have and be aware of what others do not. The act of donating or volunteering can spark a new level of joy in our hearts and can make such a difference in the lives of those we are helping.
If it is within your means and capabilities to do so, there are multiple places to volunteer at or donate to here in Omaha, Ne:
- Open Door Mission – Lydia House: always accepting donations or volunteers during the holiday season. The link below shows urgent needs and ways to help. https://www.opendoormission.org/get-involved/urgent-needs/
- Open Door Mission: Giving Tuesday is November 28th https://www.opendoormission.org/giving-tuesday-give/
- 21st Annual Diaper Drive hosted by Channel 94.1: diaper donations will be received on Friday December 8th and Saturday December 9th at the Linden Market HyVee https://www.channel941.com/?ee_search_query=%22s%22%3A%22diaper+drive%22&s=diaper+drive
- Give the gift of warmth: there are many locations to drop off coats, hats, blankets, scarfs, and gloves for those who need them https://www.ssvpomaha.org/coat-drive–giveaway.html
Here at Arbor Family Counseling, we understand that the holidays may not always be a time of love, joy, and tradition. If you are alone this holiday season, struggling with family conflict, or experiencing feelings of grief or depression, reach out to a counselor by calling our office at 402-330-0960 or visiting our website at arborfamilycounseling.com. We are here to talk and listen when you need it the most.